The Lehendakari thanks the social organisations for their work and stresses the essential role of the sector
- Sareen Sarea celebrates the seventh anniversary of the Basque Country’s Third Social Sector Law in an event attended by the Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu and different social organisations
- The Third Social Sector calls for collective solidarity to face social challenges
- The association presented the Sareen Saria award to Thomas Holdbrook, founder of Asumdwe Nkabon, the association of Ghanaian people in the Basque Country
This morning, the Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu took part in the event organised to mark the Day of the Basque Country’s Third Social Sector, held at the Carlos Santamaría Centre in Donostia and organised by Sareen Sarea, the association that brings together the sector's networks and entities. This event commemorates the entry into force of Law 6/2016 of 12 May, which marked a turning point in the Basque Country’s third social sector (TSSE).
The Lehendakari took the opportunity to thank the social organisations for their work and highlighted the essential role of the sector. Urkullu shared the need to sign an agreement with an ethical substratum, useful for making progress in the objective of overcoming the current context of great difficulty. “To address these challenges, we are reaffirming our commitment to people and decent living conditions, sharing the necessary resources and clear and measurable strategies. We are taking up the challenge to “inspire the seed of change”,” he said.
With the slogan “Inspiring the seed of change”, Sareen Sarea has vindicated the need to continue working for social transformation, building a more diverse, inclusive and supportive Basque Country. During the event, a tree full of wishes for social transformation was presented, the result of a collective activity carried out last April in Vitoria-Gasteiz. The Lehendakari and the rest of the people who participated in the event were able to hang their messages to inspire change on the branches of the tree. “These messages represent collective solidarity and a firm commitment to social change to face current and future challenges”, explained Sareen Sarea.
At the beginning of the event, the president of Sareen Sarea, Borja Doval, recalled in his welcome speech that society is facing challenges such as the demographic transition, the crisis of the care model and the need to move towards a new model, the increase in social inequality and the digital transition. “We are in a context of change. And the networks and organisations of the Third Social Sector want to continue to inspire the seed of change in a spirit of solidarity and oriented towards social transformation so that no one is left behind”, declared Doval. The president of Sareen Sarea stressed that these challenges “require the involvement of society as a whole, village by village and territory by territory, and consequently, the collaboration, cooperation and democratic participation of the social initiative organised in terms of governance”.
Sareen Saria Award
Third Social Sector Day is also a time to recognise the careers of people whose commitment and work have contributed to building a more supportive, cohesive and socially inclusive Basque Country. This recognition takes the form of the Sareen Saria award, which this year has been granted to Thomas Holdbrook, founder of Asumdwe Nkabon, the association of Ghanaian people in the Basque Country. The Board of Directors of Sareen Sarea decided to grant him the award for his career of more than three decades as a volunteer and professional in the field of social inclusion of various groups.
At present, Thomas Holdbrook is the heart of the Ghanaian community in Basque Country, collaborating with different institutions, promoting the inclusion of Ghanaian people and contributing to the construction of a diverse and just society where the recognition of human rights is the driving force.
The event concluded with a round table on Social Transformation in the Third Social Sector in the Basque Country. In the colloquium moderated by Lucía Merino (coordinator of the Basque Observatory of the Third Social Sector), it was possible to listen to the experiences of different social organisations. Specifically, Enara Solabarria from Nagusilan, Pablo Ruiz from Bizitegi and Lorenzo Martínez from IRSEARABA presented their particular vision and experiences regarding digital transformation.
Sareen Sarea stressed the need to address a social construction of digital transformation that includes people and their needs. “In order to achieve a responsible digital transformation, we must work as a network, collectively, with a shared and ethical technology, always oriented towards social transformation”.
Third Social Sector of the Basque Country and Sareen Sarea
The Third Social Sector is made up of non-profit citizen initiative organisations whose purpose is to promote social inclusion and the effective exercise of the rights of individuals, families, groups and communities facing situations of vulnerability or exclusion, lack of protection, disability and/or dependency.
It is currently made up of more than 4,000 entities, employs 40,000 people, involves more than 160,000 volunteers, and manages an economic volume equivalent to 2.4% of the Basque GDP.
Sareen Sarea is the association, founded in 2014, which brings together 17 networks of third social sector organisations in the Basque Country, covering areas such as disability, inclusion, family, the elderly, children, immigrants, special employment centres, the social economy, insertion companies and development cooperation.
“We are working to move towards a fairer, more united, more cohesive and more participatory society. We want to collaboratively build proposals and alternatives that bring us closer to a more humane model of society”, explained Sareen Sarea.