In February this year we participated in the “Passions Auxelloises” Market in Auxelles-Bas (Franche-Comté). There we met other fellow craftsmen and enjoyed a great Sunday with visitors.
At the end of the event we had the honour and the great joy of being chosen as the most beautiful and creative stand of the event! We thank from the bottom of our hearts the town hall of Auxelles-Bas and Giromagny and the jury for such a nice distinction.
At Nou Cami we believe in Corporate Social Responsibility as one of the pillars of any business. We believe that a better future for generations to come is possible by helping and being supportive to those in need. That is why we have the great joy to inform you that we will donate the 150 € of the prize to the NGO Laia Foundation.
Laia Foundation, was founded in 2005 in Vedanthangal, South of India. The foundation collaborates with disadvantaged communities in India and contributes to their social and economic development through educational, health and women empowerment projects.
We introduce the foundation through this interview to Lluís Compte, the leader of this beautiful solidarity project.
Lluis, what attracted you from India to take the decision to move from Barcelona to Vedanthangal?
I already knew India in a trip I made before. I considered taking a leave at work to do volunteering work because of the impact that trip had on me. I saw that most of the population did not have access to important services as education and healthcare of quality, so I moved to Vedanthangal to collaborate in a rural development project. The fact of moving permanently was something more gradual, it was not a decision taken at any given time.
How did the Laia Foundation begin?
I arrived to Vedanthangal with another Catalan volunteer, Laia Mendoza. Our most important task during Laia’s stay was the support project for people affected by the tsunami in December 2004. We contacted our relatives and friends requesting collaboration and we were able to raise funds to rebuild more than 100 houses for the affected families, in the area of Tharangambadi, Tamil Nadu.
In early 2005, Laia returned home and passed away after a traffic accident. It was then that Laia’s family and friends founded this organization to continue the projects that we had started in Vedanthangal.
Please tell us about the first projects, did you have many difficulties in launching them?
We started to work in the educational field. Parents had the feeling that despite going to school their children did not reach the knowledge they should.
We started from scratch, recruiting teachers and training them, developing a methodology and the support material. It was complicated since the main difficulty was to create good work habits. At present it can be seen that school reinforcement centers work very well, but it was a long process.
We are currently working within a network of organizations that share our objectives. In this sense, finding support in India was also very important.
Which projects are you developing now?
We continue with the educational project, which benefits 800 students. Secondly, a health project that aims to eradicate children malnutrition in the area. Thirdly, a project to eradicate poverty through micro credits to women. The latter could also be defined as a project to empower women, since it has a positive impact on the social status of the beneficiaries.
Which collaborations or supports do you appreciate most today?
Donations are very important for our organization, to maintain our projects and to improve them. For example, we want all our students to have access to information technology tools.
As for volunteering, we are looking especially for people that command the audio-visual field, who can help us explain our projects to our partners and spokespersons.
We invite you to have a look at their web page and / or collaborate with the foundation through their website:
Enjoy the following video and photos developed for Laia Foundation.
Photos: Pep Avila (Spain)