Fundación Balia’s mission is to reduce poverty and inequality and help construct a more inclusive and just society by helping disadvantaged children and adolescents to develop fully and reach their potential. Balia has a presence in Madrid, Seville and Guadalajara. It has 7 dedicated centres, as well as delivering its numerous programmes through 27 public primary schools and 31 public secondary schools. In 2019, 958 families, 1,244 children (3-12yrs) and 1,454 adolescents (13-25yrs) benefitted from their various programmes. COVID-19 has caused a social, economic and educational emergency. Since the State of Emergency was declared in Spain and Fundación Balia had to shut its doors, it has provided psychological and emotional support to its families, financial support to help cover basic food and hygiene needs, and educational support through the provision of laptops and internet access so children and adolescents were not deprived on their right to an education. Fundación Balia cautiously reopened its doors in June 2020 to provide an adapted version of its annual summer camps. The decision was taken to restart all face-to-face programmes in September, to prevent the inequality gap from widening further. Strict protocols and protective measures were implemented to guarantee the safety of the children, adolescents and staff.
The Scheinberg Relief Fund has provided a year’s supply of masks and hygiene items to protect all children and adolescents participating in Fundación Balia’s programs and all its staff. Masks have also been provided to the families whose children attend Balia.