A total of 34 Reus neighborhood associations and also two entities have applied for the Relacions Cíviques grants for 2022. The deadline for making requests ended on April 25 and municipal sources indicate that 98 projects have been received. The figure is much higher than that of 2021, which stood at 65. The same sources value that “the improvement of the pandemic has been noted.”
The bases, intact since 2017, were modified last year to “empower” the associations and provide their projects with social content. For this reason, the aid was allocated to “the promotion of associations and the development of neighborhood movement projects” and was linked to the Sustainable Development Goals. Now, “they have a greater impact on the promotion of cohesion, collaboration and transversality of associations in general and those of neighbors in particular in the different neighborhoods of the city.”
As for the nature of the projects that have attended, there have been some from the cultural field related to libraries, music and poetry, reading clubs, digital literacy, creation of festive elements or stories. Also others linked to sports, on street games, multisports, soccer, gymnastics, yoga or dances; and social, in collaboration with other neighborhood associations to create synergies. Communication is also the focus of some of the initiatives, linked to the launch of newsletters or social networks. And others have to do with activities on the festive calendar, which “have taken a significant turn with the incorporation of sustainable activities” such as “Christmas decoration workshops with recycled materials, costumes or the promotion of recreational and commercial activity in the neighborhood on days certain”.
The councilor for Civic Relations, Montserrat Caelles, is “very satisfied with the response of the entities to the change promoted by the council” and says that “the reorientation of projects with a change of paradigm has been noticed” and that “the majority flee of the presentation of specific festive and recreational activities for one day and have been inclined towards annual continuity projects that reinforce associative life and create neighborhood empowerment».
Arrive on time for parties
The president of the Federació d’Associacions de Veïns de Reus (FAVR), Marcos Massó, values that “each association has presented what it thinks it needs to carry out its events and neighborhood activities”. Regarding the changes in the criteria, “people accept it and understand that funds cannot be allocated to large parties like years ago because the economy does not allow it either and what is also of interest to the City Council is that we do something more social for the neighborhood and not only the vervain».
Some entities had expressed their concern in case the contributions did not arrive in time for the holidays, which will be recovered in 2022 after two years of Covid and will begin in a few weeks. Massó indicates that “it is something that happens every year, which is always fair and we are almost used to going a bit at the last minute”, although he recalls that “what is coming the City Council does not cover 100% so it is not so decisive”.