From November 20 to 22, the 6th Congress of the Third Social Sector took place under the title “Social inequalities – local solutions”. Hundreds of representatives of entities and professionals dedicated to the care and accompaniment of the most vulnerable people within our society have participated in this meeting at L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.
The inauguration of the congress, in the Museum of Design of Barcelona, was in charge of the highest authorities of the Government, of the Parliament of Catalonia and of the two cities that have hosted the congress, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat and Barcelona. During the two days of the meeting, there were many presentations, colloquiums, debates and exchanges of experiences. There was also time for a sample of entities, which served to learn about experiences, publications and the work carried out by some foundations, federations, cooperatives, associations and social enterprises in various fields, as well as to participate actively in some of the debates that are now in progress, such as the creation of new rights to guarantee equal opportunities.
Some of the challenges that the congress has highlighted are structural poverty, energy poverty, the employment situation of the social services professionals themselves or the lack of flexibility in terms of collaboration and networking systems between the public and private sector. In addition, they also talked about how to incorporate and take advantage of new technologies, how to collaborate more and better with the communities where they act, how to be more permeable with the needs of people, how to create spaces and opportunities for their participation in processes, etc.
During the congress, participants could get to know the barometer of the Third Sector as well as the publications published by the Observatory of the Third Sector, and finally some of the current trends, such as the integration of social welfare, health and occupation policies. In short, the congress was useful to meet some of the most urgent demands in this area, to face new ways of investment and to strengthen the structures of relationship, participation and management between entities and professionals. In fact, one of the conclusions of the congress has been that, beyond reinforcing the collaboration between the public and private sectors, it is necessary to look for a closer collaboration with the people of the community in which we act.
The Third Sector groups together more than 3000 entities throughout the Catalan territory that perform an essential task to answer, soften and solve difficult and complex situations of hundreds of thousands of people who do not have their basic needs covered and who, because of an illness, a disability, a situation of homelessness, social exclusion and / or poverty, etc. they are in a situation of vulnerability and risk of social exclusion.