Periodically, we introduce you to one of the people leading the work of our member organisations. Today we head to Catalonia to talk to Janeta Camps, Director of European Relations in fundació AMPANS
ARFIE: How would you describe your Organisation?
Janeta: In a few words, I would describe AMPANS in a few words as an organization that provides support to people in vulnerable situations, so that they can develop their life plan, get adequate training, working opportunities, and accommodation.
Our key objective is to become a point of reference in the provision of supports services for people in vulnerable situations, characterised by the excellence of our management and the social value that we bring to the society.
Our approach is to develop our activities in line with the values shared throughout the organisation: respect, kindness, quality, professionalism, responsibility and commitment.
ARFIE: Why did you join ARFIE and how would you describe it to a stranger?
Janeta: AMPANS foundation has always had a European perspective and looked with interest at what happens outside of Catalonia. We adopted a European management model, the EFQM 500+, which drives us and motivates us to work in partnership, share experiences, approaches, policies, and with the best organisations.
We discovered ARFIE thanks to our Swiss colleagues from FOVAHM, with whom we have been working and learning for a long time on certain intervention approaches for people with disabilities. Joining ARFIE was a great opportunity for our organisation. We are currently on the board of directors and we are working on three very interesting projects. In ARFIE we found great organisations, competent professionals, and of course good friends. I believe that ARFIE is a network of organisations, active in the social field for people with disability, committed to a cooperative and co-productive vision of knowledge transfer. They work with great enthusiasm on transnational projects to meet universal needs and develop innovative practices. In recent years ARFIE has developed a number of excellent initiatives. Its latest projects have given a great boost to different participant organizations, so that in their respective countries they have been able to empower people with disabilities and guarantee and foster their rights through concrete measures.
ARFIE: What about Catalunia ? How is disability perceived in your Region?
Janeta: At one point, between 1995 and 2000, we understood that people with disabilities were in fact a priority for the government, and many services were developed at that time: We became aware of the needs and rights of people with disabilities. Since then, we have made great progress in providing visibility to people with disabilities in the community setting, in their access to services and social inclusion. Unfortunately, the 2008 economic crisis negatively impacted the work done, and so the socio-economic situation of our country became risky for the most vulnerable part of the population, including people with disabilities. I would say we went 15 years backwards. Today there is an agreement between government and professionals to seek means of support that are able to reach this population, so that they progress with dignity and on the basis of their self-determination.
ARFIE: Who are your key partners?
Janeta: Our main partners include the public sector, the state and local governments, civil society, and of course the people to whom we are directing our support, so that they can co-productively participate in the decision-making process. In this sense, we are committed to improving our offer to be able to give more effective answers.
ARFIE: What are the main challenges for Catalonia today?
Janeta: We still have a lot of challenges. The main one is ensuring the full implementation of the 2007 United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Therefore, we must promote and foster real opportunities at community level for people with disabilities. In addition, there is a need to explore new models and methodologies that are respectful, effective, and above all sustainable. Furthermore, we have to ensure the quality of our professionals and economic resources to sustain our services. We need to look for positive results. Furthermore, we must not forget the families and make sure that they receive the necessary supports. Finally, we must support people with disabilities so that they can reach their potential and live a full life as any other citizens
ARFIE : To conclude tell us something about you
Janeta: I like sports. I belong to a cycling club and we ride as much as we can, and each time allows us to discover our environment and to stay connected with nature and with the other teammates of the club. I like reading to learn, especially to discover new points of view that help me grow as a person. The last book I read was The Sinking of Civilizations by Amin Maalouf.
In my free time I like doing everything that can be experienced, and in particular spending time with my children.