The Department of Solidarity and Cooperation in the Municipality of Reus is part of the Councill of Participation, Citizenship and Transparency –Regidoria de participació, Ciutadania and Transparència, in Catalan–. Throughout the year it carries out several activities for the awareness and promotion of peace, since information plays a crucial role in the education and international cooperation. We believe that social awareness must be understood as another form of cooperation for the development, as it is a strategy addressed to achieving a bigger equality between North and South. To correct the existing imbalance between North and South it is required of a profound shift in the perception we have of the reality in the South and knowledge of the causes of the imbalance.
In order to develop work in these topics with the sectorial entities, the Local Council for the Solidarity and International Cooperation was created in 1999. It is a consulting organ of the Municipality of Reus which main goal is the analysis, debate and elaboration of proposals, along with the follow-up of activities and projects in the sphere of international solidarity and the cooperation for the development.
Its main objectives are to get to know, and if necessary, to pass on the proposals to the competent organs of the Municipality, in order to understand and spread the values of solidarity and cooperation among the Reus residents; to promote emergency campaigns for the humanitarian aid; to cooperate with other municipalities from other countries of the wrongly known as third world and with supranational organizations devoted to this goal; the promotion and follow-up of cooperation for the development projects and other activities in this field.
Some of these actions which are carried along with NGOs are:
– Solidary dinners, conferences and talks, solidary cinema sessions, the Hour of the Solidary Story, book presentations and the Latin-American Agenda, acts for Saint Jordi, to celebrate Peace Day or to participate with activities in Parc de Nadal.
– During the school year, several workshops are carried out in schools and high schools in town about fair commerce, disarmament, peace culture, knowledge of other cultures and values like solidarity and cooperation for the development among others.
– From the department, different solidary stories are edited, along with guides and didactic units to work with the children and families through culture, values like cooperation, Human Rights, social justice, peace, respect, solidarity, sustainability and the value in the difference.