Most of our students face an uphill battle to assimilate and succeed in the Spanish education system. Their first hurdle is language - both Spanish and, increasingly English, which within the European Union is an indispensable business language and a key to finding a job.
Children, youth, and adults may also not have a stable home environment - one conducive to study, a good social life, and after school opportunities. If they are from "La Cañada Real" (see photos below), few homes have air conditioning in the summer or sufficient heat in the winter. Most property owners don't have legal title, so the risk of demolition is ever-present. One end of "La Cañada Real" is known as the largest heroin distribution center in the greater Madrid region.
Parents and youth tell us that family ties can be fragile and domestic violence is common. Even so, parents are willing to invest something in their children's education (we insist on at least partial payment). We can raise the quality and variety of educational opportunities and spread the benefits to a wider network as we are able to offer supplementary scholarships to children and youth who might benefit. We also want to increase job and life skills opportunities for parents.
“We need more volunteers, better facilities, transport, and equipment to help children thrive.”
Daniel Sánchez | trainer, rivas light and life cultural center
The most immediate need is to find a new locale for the Rivas Light and Life Cultural Center and to get it functionally ready for an increased number of students and so the locale is capable of hosting cultural and community events. This means, at a minimum, rehabbing and furnishing the full interior, installing a full industrial kitchen, acquiring a used minivan for transport needs, acquiring all necessary instructional equipment, raising student scholarships, and increasing our volunteer fund to provide small stipends for volunteers to organize and host cultural, educational, and community events.
As a result, we have just established the "Love Spain" capital campaign on behalf of the Rivas Light and Life Cultural Center (see budget below) with the goal of raising $148,600 by the fourth quarter of 2018. This will get the Center to the point it is able to operate sustainably and self-sufficiently over subsequent years. Significant leadership and staff costs are already covered. You will find a broader description of each line item and the opportunity to give directly to the fund of your choice on the donate page. You can also participate in your choice of exciting events in 2018 in support of the Rivas Light and Life Cultural Center as an integral part of the Love Spain Capital Campaign on the join event page.
Love Spain Capital Campaign Budget (USD)
Love Spain Capital Campaign Budget (by %)
Love Spain Capital Campaign Progress (USD)
Our goals are ambitious. Join an event and donate now to help establish a permanent, sustainable Rivas Light and Life Cultural Center. We want to make a major, transformational impact in the lives of our students, parents, and families who take part in our programs. We want to help everyone integrate into our community - Rivas Vaciamadrid. We want children and youth to thrive and families to feel they belong in the broader community and simultaneously we want the broader community to embrace all newcomers and celebrate the richness of Spanish culture and the new cultures coming into ours. We want to help build new relationships and heal the broken ones - and we want to help point people to the One who makes this all possible.