The Fine Arts Circle (Círculo de Bellas Artes) in Madrid was the setting chosen to celebrate this year's presentation of the Fundación MAPFRE Awards. These recognize the work, dedication and effort of those that strive to improve people's lives and who fight to make the world a better place.
In an event presided over by Her Majesty Queen Sofía, the president of MAPFRE, Antonio Huertas, accompanied by Juan Ignacio Zoido, Minister of the Interior, congratulated the winners of the different categories for their selfless work on behalf of society.
Over 740 candidacies were submitted for the competition, making the final choice far from easy. Awards can only be given to the best of the best projects and initiatives, and it fell to the Fundación MAPFRE international jury to choose the four winning projects. The following four people or organizations received their prizes from Her Majesty Queen Sofía in person.
The Award for the Best Initiative in Health Promotion went to Dr Luis Rojas-Marcos, for his project `Abandoned on the streets of the city: Project Help´. This project originated in New York and has changed the lives of thousands of homeless people suffering from mental illnesses in major cities across the United States and Europe. Dr Rojas-Marcos, very grateful for this award, said that “the most important lesson I have relearned is that our daily task in life involves helping one another” and that “the best investment is the common good”.
Next, Pedro Piqueras, master of ceremonies for the Awards made way for the Award for the Best Accident Prevention Initiative. The prize went to ALSA Grupo for its `World Class Driver´ (WCD) program, aimed at continuously improving its fleet and its driver training. Jorge Cosme, president of the transport multinational, received the award by stating that “this prize represents a new stimulus to continue improving our safety program”.
The Aladina Foundation received the Award for the Best Social Action Initiative for its Psychological Care Program for Children and Adolescents with Cancer and their Families. Paco Arango, representing the foundation, thanked Fundación MAPFRE for the award and emphasized the work done by its team of professionals in bringing back a smile to the faces of families of children suffering from cancer. “We have challenged ourselves to leave the world a better place than the one we were born into”.
Lastly, the José Manuel Martínez Martínez Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr Valentín Fuster for more than forty years of hard work on behalf of society, through major advances in researching cardiovascular diseases. On accepting the award Dr Valentín Fuster, director of the CNIC research center, said that “the worst risk factor in today's society is to lead a stressful life”. His latest projects on this line of investigation are aimed at controlling cardiovascular diseases through education on a healthy lifestyle, the study of nutrition, obesity, hypertension and controlling one's emotions. “If we want the world to change, we must support young people. Young people represent the future” he concluded.