The María José Jove Foundation was created in 2003, in memory of María José Jove Santos, who died in the city of A Coruña in March 2002. Despite being a relatively new entity, it is very dynamic, and in the last fifteen years has presented more than one hundred activities that represent and consolidate the values passed down by María José: a committed, hard-working mother, involved in different social and humanitarian activities, always associated with children and persons with functional diversity.

With the firm undertaking to carry out actions aimed at achieving those objectives, the Foundation works hard to contribute to social inclusion and childhood, focusing on four key areas of activity:

– Healthy free time and leisure
– Education and training
– Cultural promotion
– Healthcare

The Foundation, whose main sphere of activity is in the region of Galicia, has been declared as an entity of Galician interest, and it is estimated that to date more than 40,000 people have benefited from its activities. Virtually all of them have been Galicians, although in recent years its activities have been extended to the rest of Spain.

Also, the premises of the María José Jove Foundation contain its Art Collection, an important example of private art from the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, owned by Manuel Jove, which he has temporarily granted to the Foundation for its exhibition for educational and cultural purposes.

The Foundation’s activities are funded by the Jove Santos family, who sit on its Board of Trustees, the Rialta university residence (all of whose income is destined to the work of the Foundation), and donations from private individuals.


AREAS OF ACTIVITY:

HEALTHCARE AREA

The priorities of the medical area of the Foundation include the prevention and investigation of illnesses, especially those that affect children, as well as helping to make their hospital stays more enjoyable. This work has been recognised, amongst others, by the Galician Paediatric Society, which awarded the Chairwoman of the Foundation, Felipa Jove, with its gold insignia. It also operates an important endowment programme.

Its main activities are:

Agreement with the Galician Public Genome Medicine Foundation:

Since 2014, the María José Jove Foundation has funded research by the Galician Public Genome Medicine Foundation in the field of autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) and attention deficit – hyperactivity disorders (ADHD). Currently under the direction of Dr. Ángel Carracedo, it is working on three studies on autistic spectrum disorders.

• Pharmacogenetic Study. The aim is to identify the genetic markers that make it possible to predict a patient’s response to a medicine, providing them with personalised treatment and reducing the psychological and physical exhaustion these patients usually suffer when undergoing treatments that provide little benefit. Over a two-year period, the study will focus on a minimum population of 200 children diagnosed with ASD, ADHD, and OCD.

• Genetic technology and sequencing. This will evaluate the use of mass sequencing technologies in the genetic diagnosis of autism, with the aim of identifying the genetic cause of ASD. To do so, potential or recessive mutations identified with ASD will be identified, then proceeding with new genetic recommendations in families in which it has been possible to identify relevant alterations for this disorder.

• Search for neuromarkers. The motivational and affective nature of tactile processing will be studied in patients with ASD, and their contribution to the development of socio-cognitive language and interactive behaviour in persons with autism. A study will also be carried out into brain function in a group of patients with OCD.

Agreements with the University Hospital Complex of A Coruña Foundation :

For the María José Jove Foundation, minimising the impact that hospital stays have on children, and their families as a result, is a major priority. For this reason, since 2007 it has had a framework agreement with the Profesor Novoa Santos Foundation aimed at promoting measures that improve the quality of the services, assistance, and stays for children who have been admitted to hospital.

Within the framework of this agreement, the María José Jove Foundation funds:

• Programme for the Intensification and Development of the Integral Training Plan in Palliative Care in Paediatric Attention in the Health District of A Coruña. This cooperation will make it possible to set up a pioneering multi-disciplinary programme for palliative paediatric care in Galicia.
• Creation of a Paediatric Oncology Hospitalisation Unit. Covering a total of 300 square metres, with a central nursing control desk, it will have five hospitalisation rooms, a day room for patients and their companions, and a rehabilitation gym. The rooms planned for this unit will also be prepared for oncology patients, with the possibility of isolation. Work on building the unit is currently in its final stages.
• Programme for Intensification in Integral Cardiac Rehabilitation for Children. The programme was created with the aim of helping children and teenagers with congenital heart problems who have difficulties in adapting to school because of their pathologies, which are sometimes made worse by their fear of taking part in physical exercise.
• Assisted therapy with dogs. Together with the Montegatto Canine Centre, the Foundation is involved in a pioneering project in Galicia, where therapy dogs help in the Children’s Rehabilitation and Early Care Unit at the Teresa Herrera Hospital in A Coruña.
• Hogar de Corazones. The María José Jove Foundation entirely funds the Hogar de Corazones (Home of Hearts), a free accommodation service for the families of patients admitted to the Children’s Cardiopathy Unit who do not live in A Coruña.
• Education Programme to Promote and Encourage the Donation of Organs and Tissues. The María José Jove Foundation supports a programme to inform and raise awareness amongst the population, mainly young people, on organ donation.
• Computer Classroom Grant. Since 2007, the Foundation has funded an annual grant that helps to provide the computer classroom at Coruña’s University Hospital (CHUAC) with specialised personnel who are responsible for coordinating afternoon activities in this space.
• Educational Decoration for Children. In collaboration with the creative workshop NO IMPORTA, has decorated the paediatric medicine department on floor 3 of the hospital with didactic murals.

Animal-Assisted Therapy and Companionship Programme for Underage Victims of Gender Violence:

Reducing the stress and anxiety underage victims of gender violence experience, when required to attend court to testify or comply with other formalities, is the key objective of this project set up in collaboration with APICO (the Association for Equality and Co-Education), part of a wider animal-assisted therapy programme intended to boost minors’ possibilities to overcome the emotional impact of gender violence.

This is a pilot scheme set up by the Court for Violence Against Women in Betanzos, whereby any minors involved in incidents of gender violence who are required to testify in court or comply with any other formality in the Betanzos courts are accompanied by a dog that they have already had contact with during previous therapy sessions. The court companionship service also includes a fortnightly therapy programme targeting these minors. The dog-assisted therapies, which are overseen by occupational therapists accompanied by a dog trainer, last for between 4 and 5 months and involve 3 to 4 dogs.

EducaSaúde Programme:

Together with the City Council of A Coruña, the María José Jove Foundation organises a Municipal Health Education Programme, aimed at children in infant and primary schools, between the ages of 0 and 12. The programme, which is supported by the Galician Paediatric Society (SOPEGA), is aimed at informing, raising awareness, preventing risk behaviours, and promoting healthy lifestyles amongst pupils and their families in terms of eating, hygiene, rest, vaccination, sex education, responsible free time activities, communication with the family, or preventing illnesses and accidents. More than 18,000 children have already taken part in the programme.

Epidemiological study into the prevention of asthma, rhinitis and atopic dermatitis in children in A Coruña and its metropolitan area. Global Asthma Network (GAN):

With the collaboration of the Galician Regional Health Ministry and the University of A Coruña, in October the María José Jove Foundation announced its decision to conduct an epidemiological study into the prevention of asthma, rhinitis and atopic dermatitis in children in the city of A Coruña and its metropolitan area. This research project is part of a global programme involving 60 countries designed to update the information obtained 15 years ago in an initial research programme which positioned A Coruña at the head of asthma incidence in Spain.

Acquired Brain Injury Seminar:

For the last three years, the María José Jove Foundation and Adaceco have organised an annual seminar on Acquired Brain Injury. The objective is to raise awareness of new and innovative approaches to both treatment for brain damage and ways of improving the quality of life of patients and their family members.


SALUDABLE FREE TIME AND LEISURE AREA

The work of this area focuses on promoting healthy free-time and leisure habits amongst the young and people with functional diversity.

OCUCANDO.

A healthy leisure programme with therapy dogs, aimed at children with functional diversity and special educational needs. Ocucando is a pioneering initiative that started last year, to encourage integration and physical, psychomotor, and sensory activity for children through play sessions with therapy dogs. The aim is to stimulate affective and free-time experiences together with the dogs, through training session and games, bolstering the children’s social and intellectual development by acquiring a sense of tolerance and respect towards the animals. In doing so, the programme uses play activities, music, psychomotor education, and interacting with the dogs as motivational elements. A technical committee studies the personal history of the user in detail beforehand, interviewing their family, designing a specific activity plan, and then recording their progress after each session.

YOUR STORY REALLY DOES MATTER.

Working with the ‘Lo Que De Verdad Importa’ and SM foundations, the María José Jove Foundation has set up a project in Galicia entitled Tu Historia De Verdad Importa (‘Your Story Really Does Matter’), aimed at focusing attention on the lives of the elderly, as well as encouraging shared learning and experience between two generations. Tu Historia De Verdad Importa reflects the work of 10 volunteers that lived side-by-side 10 elderly people on a daily basis over a six month period, listening and taking note of their experiences for inclusion in a book.
ANKORA
Free, weekly programme targeting non-professional carers of dependent persons.

ESFUERZA.

Since 2007, the María José Jove Foundation has presented ESFUERZA, a pioneering programme in Galicia that has become a leading reference in the region. Aimed at people with functional diversity of any age, it is a completely free programme that encourages the personal and social development of its participants, helping to raise their self-esteem and empower them, as well as generating healthy habits by playing specially adapted sports and enjoying leisure activities.

• Winter programme. With more than one hundred places, the programme offers courses in swimming, fitness, sailing, canoeing, and inclusive trekking.
• Summer programme. Offers adapted sailing and canoeing courses, beach activities, and inclusive trekking.
• Adapted bicycle service. In collaboration with the También Foundation and Sanitas, the María José Jove Foundation provides a bicycle lending service adapted to anyone with reduced mobility who wishes to enjoy inclusive cycling in the city of A Coruña.

NAUTICAL OPEN.

As a result of its commitment to provide the community with innovative activities for persons with disabilities, since 2009 the María José Jove Foundation has organised a sailing regatta and canoeing competition for persons with functional diversity. The competition is held in the bay of A Coruña, and brings together yachting enthusiasts from all over Spain.


EDUCATION AND TRAINING AREA

In the field of education, the María José Jove Foundation supports different types of high-quality programmes that promote inclusion, and which help to facilitate a work-life balance.

Its main lines of action are:

Agreement with the Regional Ministry of Culture, Education, and University Organisation, and the Galician Institute of ADHD and Associated Disorders (INGADA).

Since 2014, this programme has trained 200 teachers from all over Galicia each year to manage pupils with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Educational Workshops for Children from the María José Jove Foundation.

This programme has operated for more than ten years, and has become a leading reference for its focus and originality in complementary education in the city of A Coruña. Its educational programme is aimed at children between the ages of 4 and 12, and its workshops have support monitors for children with functional diversity, for whom the courses are completely free.

Yoga with the family.

The María José Jove Foundation hosts the highly popular ‘Yoga with the Family’ workshop. The aim is to provide parents and children with an introduction to yoga in order to strengthen ties and relations through play, mutual awareness and understanding. Designed for families with children aged 5 and over, it focuses particularly on the importance of breathing and bodily control.

Summer camps.

In July, the María José Jove Foundation ran a summer camp entitled Abierto por vacaciones: arte por todas partes (‘Open for the holidays: art is all around’). A summer camp with a difference as all the leisure and recreational activities include the various forms of art, presented in a fun and entertaining way. Designed for girls and boys aged between 6 and 12 and held each day between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. this programme is free of charge for children with functional diversity and minors from low-income families.

Games library.

These workshops continue through the Christmas period with a games library that aims to teach children values of equality and respect, through play, as well as supporting working parents during the holiday period.


ARTS AREA

The María José Jove Foundation works actively in the field of culture, offering art-based initiatives designed to promote the inclusion of people with special needs or at risk of inclusion. Other key action areas include support for young talent and encouraging the creative spirit of young children.

María José Jove Foundation Art Collection

The María José Jove Foundation Art Collection includes a series of Spanish and international art movements and figures from the 19th to the 21st centuries. The collection, which is owned by Manuel Jove Capellán, has been on temporary loan to the Foundation since 2005 on temporary loan to the Foundation under the premise that it will remain on public display. Comprising more than 600 works of art, this collection is featured in a permanent exhibition of some 112 works at the María José Jove Foundation headquarters.

The María José Jove Foundation Art Collection is managed in accordance with museum-based parameters. In this sense, it operates an open loan policy for the works included in the collection, based on entirely altruistic principles. The collection also forms the core for its programme of cultural activities.

INCLUSIVE ART

Sinergias (‘Synergies’)

Firmly convinced of the value of art as a tool for inclusion, the María José Jove Foundation has launched its ‘Synergies’ programme, whereby secondary school pupils aged between 12 and 18 will work with people with special needs or at risk of exclusion. The organisation offers students a vision of realities other than their own and the chance to share and exchange experiences. When used as a tool in this sense, art becomes inclusive, creating a two-way flow of communication and information. Both groups have the chance to share a single space and a range of activities. Experts from various areas also participate in the programme.

Encuentros (‘Encounters’)

Following on from the excellent results of its hablar conARTE (‘Talking with ART’) programme, the Foundation has now launched ‘Encounters’, a new project targeting people aged 16 and over with special needs or at risk of exclusion. It consists of workshops that use artistic expression to boost cognitive and emotional development, thereby empowering participants. The various actions are intended to raise visibility, and include exhibitions, the creation of works and objects as well as musical and theatre performances.

New Activities for the Accessible Art Exhibition Hall

The María José Jove Foundation, which has Galicia’s only Accessible Art Exhibition Space, and only the second to open in Spain, has created a bespoke programme of educational activities. mirar conTACTO (‘Observation and conTACT’) offers an intriguing insight into six works by Darío Regoyos, Ramón Casas, Salvador Dalí, Cristino Mallo and Juan Genovés or Carlos Alcolea, encouraging visitors to touch them and opening up the art world to the visually impaired, whilst also providing an essential tool for educating and raising the general public’s awareness of people with visual disabilities.

School Visits Programme

This programme seeks to boost the imagination, raise awareness and encourage the use of imitation, exploration and space to stimulate personal sensations through narratives and storytelling. The range of activities for infant, junior, secondary and special education pupils includes 7 different dynamic activities, as well as personalised tours based on a specific topic or style and a key item (focusing on a work and artist featured in the collection). The programme will run from September to June.

In addition, there is a specific option for secondary school pupils entitled Fronteras (‘Borders’). The objective is to use art to raise their awareness of forced displacement and the refugee crisis. Political conflict leads to societies where large segments of the population are uprooted and forced to leave their homes and countries of origin, resulting in a loss of identity and sense of belonging and increasing their risk of exclusion. The programme of activities includes talks and debates, workshops and interactive tours of the art collection, focusing on conflict-related works.

Activities for Adult Associations

The María José Jove Foundation promotes activities for adults that include talks, interactive and personalised tours. They are designed for adults, families, associations or institutions, and offer an original and entertaining way of discovering the art collection.

Temporary Exhibitions.

In order to provide the general public with the chance to learn more about art, the Foundation hosts temporary exhibitions with a clearly educational perspective both in Galicia and in the rest of Spain.

Puppet Festival.

Using the colours, sounds and magic that are the hallmarks of puppet companies from all over Spain, the María José Jove Foundation aims to instil children with a love for the theatre, as well as encouraging their creative spirit and imagination. The Puppet Festival, which takes place each year during the Christmas season, is organised in collaboration with A Coruña City Council and IMCE (the local authority’s municipal entertainment institute). Now in its tenth year, this highly successful event is always extremely popular.