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. In September 2022, she was awarded the Emilia Pardo Bazán medal by Galicia’s autonomous government (Xunta de Galicia).

In February 2022, Felipa Jove Santos, president of the María José Jove Foundation, received the 2022 Spanish Patronage Award, which was presented to her by HM Queen Sofia of Spain.


                                                                                                              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 President 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:

  • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Humanization of the Teresa Herrera Maternity and Children’s Hospital. The María José Jove Foundation is continuing with its project to turn the facilities at the Teresa Herrera Maternity and Children’s Hospital into more user-friendly spaces. Specifically, more than 400 m2 of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), the PICU waiting room and the children’s recovery room were decorated with murals featuring underwater scenes, the work of illustrator Araceli Paz. Improvements have also been made to the Neonatal Unit.
  • Yoga for breast cancer patients. Between September and June, a yoga workshop for breast cancer patients is held twice a week at the María José Jove Foundation. The beneficiaries of this activity, which is free of charge, are patients of the Medical Oncology Service for the A Coruña Integrated Administrative Area.

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.

                                                                                     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.


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.


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.
Free, weekly programme targeting non-professional carers of dependent persons.


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 fitness, sailing, canoeing, and live fishing.
  • Summer programme. Offers adapted sailing and canoeing courses, beach activities, and inclusive trekking.


A programme for non-professional carers of dependent persons. The activities are designed to improve participants’ motor skills and abilities, thereby helping them in their daily lives. Run by experts, ANKORA seeks to boost users’ perceptive skills, work on their psychomotor abilities, showing them how to handle the efforts required in their daily lives in the most suitable way possible, as well as how to position the body when making an effort or to breathe correctly whilst carrying out a specific activity.

                                                                                                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, each year this programme has provided training for around 600 teachers from all over Galicia in dealing with pupils with Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The key objective of this initiative is to provide teaching staff with the necessary knowledge of ADHD so that they can handle classroom situations in the best possible way, thereby facilitating the inclusion and development of their pupils.


This programme provides minors aged between 0 and 6 from families at social risk with appropriate integral care that will contribute to their physical, social, emotional and intellectual development, offsetting the deficiencies caused by the worsening of their socioeconomic situation following the COVID-19 pandemic. PEQUES combines face-to-face activities at the María Jose Jove Foundation headquarters for minors and adults with distance activities.


A family intervention programme targeting young mothers with small children who are experiencing financial difficulties or are the victims of gender violence. Participants, who are referred to the programme by A Coruña’s Social Services, NGOs, primary healthcare centres, family guidance centres or mental health units, receive integral assistance designed to reduce destructuration as well as improve social and family adjustment levels. The team, made up of 2 social workers, a labour mediator, a clinical psychologist and coordinator, provides advice on access to social and clinical resources, childcare support and mediates possible job opportunities with organisations, companies and private employers. Other services include labour insertion training and mediation with children’s educators as well as emotional support, amongst others.


A programme promoted by the María José Jove Foundation (FMJJ) and A Coruña City Council for young people aged between 16 and 20 whose personal, family, educational or social situation has isolated them from formal education and regular social and labour activities. The beneficiaries of this programme are young people lacking motivation and with highly destructured daily lives (schedules, obligations, tasks, responsibilities, etc.), a low level of social activity and a lack of training necessary to join the labour market. All these factors have worsened in the wake of the COVID-19 health emergency. Aliad@s combines weekly sessions in groups of 3-4 members with shared interests and individualised monitoring and actions. Essentially, the initial stage consists of the individual analysis of each case via a series of interviews in order to design a personalised itinerary for each participant. The work is based on 3-month cycles. Once one cycle is complete, another one starts with other young people. Each cycle includes between 10 and 12 young men and women.

A pioneering programme to support young people in situations of personal or social emotional risk. The programme, which stems from the alliance between A Coruña City Council, through the Emalcsa Foundation, the María José Jove Foundation and the Participa Association, came about due to the need to provide solutions for the rise in self-harming behaviour among young people. The problem has been detected by educational institutions, municipal social services and mental health professionals and the onset age has fallen to 10.

NORTE aims to instil healthy self-care habits and effective emotional management in young people aged between 18 and 30. The objective is to reduce risk factors such as social isolation, destructive thoughts and lack of self-control, whilst at the same time boosting protection factors (perceived social support, safety, self-care, tolerance to frustration and the capacity to solve problems). Intervention occurs when the emotional problems are still incipient and the young people are still at a low risk level, in order to prevent the situation from worsening. NORTE offers 65 places per year, divided into four groups.

Inclusive photography workshop

Run by the María José Jove Foundation, the aim of this programme is to provide functionally diverse young people aged between 16 and 24 with tools for their potential labour insertion in the field of photography. Tutored by the Nos Why Not association, in 2021 the programme held its third edition, in which some thirty young people participated. The main objective is to show participants that photography can offer job opportunities and to create a professional infrastructure that will enable them to extend their knowledge in this field. It is also an opportunity to socialise and expand their cultural and career interests. Finally, the workshop also encourages synergies between various sectors of society and empowers the participants as a professional and artistic group within the field of photography.

Workshops and activities for families

A trajectory of more than 10 years has positioned these activities at the forefront of complementary and inclusive education in the city of A Coruña, where they are renowned for their approach and originality. Activities include workshops for children and families, as well as parental education actions, etc.


                                                                                                                   ARTS AREA

The María José Jove Foundation’s actions in the Arts Area is based on two core concepts: the application of art as a tool for inclusion, consolidating its exhibition room as a space for accessible art; and patronage, characterised by a determined commitment to supporting artistic creation.

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.

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.

MUV, the Virtual Museum

A platform for art and culture, an interactive digital and virtual environment that is open to new ways of impacting on research, communication and knowledge transfer through art. This is the philosophy behind the decision taken by the María José Jove Foundation (FMMJ) to launch MUV, Spain’s first entirely virtual museum. This is a pioneering initiative on the international museum scene and a further step forward in the FMJJ’s drive to support artistic creation. Indeed, it has been designed as a sharing structure that will facilitate connections between artists, commissioners, researchers and cultural organisations from all areas of the world, fields and disciplines. Designed by the architects Creus e Carrasco, the MUV is located on an imaginary site in Galicia, reflecting the spirit of the landscape and the identity of the land. MUV can be accessed via the website at with digital visualisation or by taking a virtual reality tour, which requires a pair of VR glasses. The entity’s headquarters in A Coruña include a space for virtual visualisation.

Patronage. Actions to support artistic creation.

  • The Marta-García Fajardo International Art Award, whose main objectives are to provide support for art practice as well as the promotion and dissemination of the visual arts. This international biennial has a cash prize of 12,000 euros for the winner, whose works become part of the María José Jove Foundation Art Collection. The organisation also publishes a monographic study, analysing the winner’s trajectory and works.
  • FMJJ Art Training Scholarship for artists born in Galicia to study the Master’s Degree in Fine Arts run by the FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel (Switzerland). Awarded annually and worth 20,000 euros, it is open to Galician artists who meet the requirements and pass the admission tests for the Master’s Degree in Fine Arts at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design.
  • FMJJ Art Residences. Open to Spanish and international artists.

Inclusive Art

Art and health. A pioneering integration programme targeting persons at risk of social exclusion in Galicia. The objective is to contribute to the improvement of participants’ physical, mental and social health through interaction with art. Ten thousand functionally diverse people from all over Galicia benefit from this programme in its face-to-face and distance formats: people with mental illnesses (depression and depressive-anxiety adaptation disorders); people with serious and chronic diseases, referred by treatment groups and associations; people on their own, without any perceived social support or socialisation difficulties; people with cognitive impairment, Alzheimer-type and other types of dementia; and people at risk of social exclusion due to social and economic problems.

Therapeutic Applications of Art Research and Essay Award organised by the María José Jove Foundation. Every two years, the María José Jove Foundation organises a Research and Essay Award for the Therapeutic Applications of Art, whose principal objective is to drive contemporary thought and its interdisciplinary convergence in order to contribute to the study, dissemination and praxis of art as a therapeutic tool. The award has a cash prize of 6,000 euros for the winning essay, which is also published.

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.