XV de Hortaleza Foundation, in collaboration with FM Foundation, has created a program called Proyecto DROP. This is aimed at young people between 17 and 25 years of age who for some reason are in a situation of vulnerability. And, this group also has the highest unemployment risk rates in Spain. The objective of the project is the social integration of these young people.
This program offers a first work experience combined with the practice of a sport such as rugby. Rugby will favor the improvement of social relations, learning, skills and abilities that will make them better employees and people. These young people will have to be committed both to the sport and to professional practice.
“Job placement and child protection are the two fundamental commitments of the FM Foundation. That is why we did not hesitate to join the project and have become its promoters,” explains Zenaida Benjumea, the FM Foundation’s delegate in Spain and Portugal.
Initially, the program will be able to cover 40 young people with the help of the ITER Foundation, (a non-profit organization that promotes the social and labor integration of young people at risk of social exclusion in the Community of Madrid). Both entities are collaborating to identify young people potentially interested in this project.
Rugby day for social integration
As rugby is one of the pillars of the program, a rugby day was held on June 25 with 20 young people interested in the project with the aim of bringing them closer to this sport, teaching them the basics in order to find out if they like this sport and assess whether they fit the profile to be part of the project.
The event was attended by Alicia Martín, general director of Sports at the Madrid City Council; Elías Delso, president of XV Hortaleza; Sara Varela, director of XV Hortaleza Foundation; and Zenaida Benjumea, delegate of the FM Foundation in Spain and Portugal. The project is also supported by the Madrid Rugby Federation and sports clubs in Madrid.
In addition to these entities, other companies have actively joined the project by providing an employment contract for these young people. FM Logistic has already carried out a pilot project with three young people during the recent season, “all of whom are delighted with their professional and sporting work, and have discovered rugby as a passion,” says Pablo Gómez, general manager of FM Logistic Ibérica.
The project also has the support of the Madrid Rugby Federation and sports clubs in Madrid. The role of the Madrid Rugby Federation is that of the project’s main connector and guarantor. Its experience with players, clubs and good player codes will help to meet the standards of the good rugby player and will favor good employability conditions.
“If any company or Foundation wants to participate in the project, please do not hesitate to contact us. Strategic alliances and joint efforts are the best guarantee of success to turn around vulnerable situations and grow opportunities,” argues Sara Varela.