Aprender a crear resiliencia comunitaria a través de la comunicación y la tecnología
Este proyecto ha sido financiado con el apoyo de la Comisión Europea. Este sitio web y su contenido reflejan únicamente las opiniones de los autores, y la Comisión no se hace responsable del uso que pueda hacerse de la información contenida en él.
Alberto Cabanes is founder and CEO of Adopta un abuelo (Adopt a grandparent), the social enterprise that has managed to put the emotional needs of the elderly on the board.
Since 2013, the project faces the dream to make the elderly feel heard, accompanied and loved. That dream became a reality and today it is a social enterprise that connects more than 3,800 volunteers with 2,800 grandparents.
60% of the elderly who live in homes do not receive visitors. Alberto, founder and CEO of Adopta un abuelo, thinks that the figure of the elderly is a great social asset in this country and, unfortunately, the most undervalued.
In 2015 the first intergenerational accompaniment programme was launched with 57 volunteers in Ciudad Real and Madrid. The demand for young people was so great (+10,000 registrations in two months) that in May 2016 Alberto left his permanent and stable job in a multinational to develop the project in more cities.
Since then, the project became a social movement in more than 50 cities in Spain in 2 years and was awarded more than 20 times in social entrepreneurship and social innovation at national and international level.
Today it is a social enterprise that connects more than 3,800 volunteers with 2,800 grandparents.
TRADITION AND INNOVATION
This project that began in Ciudad Real in 2015: "My friends supported me, but it's also true that they thought I was half crazy," Alberto Cabanes says. In Spain, getting it started is doubly complicated, but I encourage anyone to take a step forward. At the end of your life, you will regret those things you don't do, not what you have done". Alberto sold his car and invested all his savings in the project. For him, it was the best investment in business training: "Entrepreneurship is more useful than any master's because it allows you to experience practice. When you become an entrepreneur, you can see perfectly what you are working for and why".
The project born in Ciudad Real in the Autonomous Community of Castilla-La Mancha, in the centre of Spain, in the south-east of Madrid.
“If setting up a business could be difficult, imagine it in a rural environment”, argues the founder.
“Our aim is connecting generations and making older people feel listened to, accompanied and loved, while young people learn wisdom and values during the visits”.
VALUES AND STANDARDS
Networking is the keyword in Adopta un abuelo. “We like very much the idea to collaborate with local and national reality and to export our idea at a national level” argues the founder. In particular, our best collaborations are with centres for people with disabilities all over Spain, as they host many people over 60.
“I never look at what I have done, but always look at what I have and want to do. Entrepreneurship is a way of life in which you have to continuously improve.
SCALABILITY AND RESILIENCE
The COVID-19 crisis has further highlighted elderly’s vulnerability by causing the collapse and isolation of many residences. From one day to the next, the nearly 4,000 volunteers were deprived of their weekly visit.
However, the organisation did not stand idly by. They decided to develop, with the collaboration of Madrid City Council, an initiative aimed at offering telephone accompaniment during the lockdown. Within 24 hours the project received more than 3,000 applications from new volunteers. Within two weeks they had made 4,000 calls and had expanded to other cities in Spain.