The director of the law firm Bufete Mercadal, Mr Francisco Mercadal, recently joined the Executive Board of the Barceló Foundation, a non-profit organisation established by the Barceló family in 1989. Its purpose is to contribute to the human, economic and social development of the most deprived individuals, mainly in the poorest countries in Africa and Latin America, and preferably to improve the quality of life of women.
Francisco Mercadal affirms, “I accepted the offer with great pleasure, since I admire the work carried out by the Barceló Foundation. I can now participate in its activities and do my bit. I thank the managers of the Foundation for the trust placed on me. It is a true honour to assume this role and, as the new member-at-large of the Executive Board, I will do everything to help achieve its goals.”
The functions of the Executive Board include the following: submitting proposals to the Management to improve the Foundation’s internal operating procedures and project approach; analysing, accepting, rejecting or asking for additional information with regard to the action plans drafted by the Management; verifying that projects are approved in compliance with the policies and internal rules of the Foundation and applicable legal standards; and ensuring that the resources of the Foundation are duly used for the project that has been approved, the expected results are obtained and the resources are efficiently managed.
According to the last report “Construir Confianza 2017” published by Fundación Compromiso y Transparencia, the Barceló Foundation is the second most transparent foundation among the leading family foundations in Spain. It operates in countries ranking below 100 in the Human Development Index, elaborated annually by the UNDP (United Nations Development Program), and mainly in countries ranking over that mark, yet having high levels of inequality among the population. The aim of the Barceló Foundation is to improve this situation and to avoid the marginalisation of people living in the world’s poorest regions.
In 2017 alone, the Foundation carried out a total of 115 humanitarian aid projects in 25 different countries and invested more than 2 million Euros that helped a total of 272,000 people, mainly for health-related purposes (218,000). One of the most important projects was FARMASOL (Farmacias Solidarias y Educación para la Salud), directly managed by the Barceló Foundation. It implemented 6 new projects in Africa and increased the rate of beneficiaries by 32% compared to 2016.
Likewise, ALISOL (Alimentos Solidarios) – a project conceived for the donation of perishable food (vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, etc.) to people in need across Majorca – saw an increase of 15% thanks to the expansion of the cultivable area of the SON BARCELÓ estate owned by the Foundation in Felanitx. Last year, more than 160 tonnes of fresh produce were donated to 14 different charities on the island and reached more than 2,300 people every week.
Another important aspect was the launch of a second call for social projects, which had a high participation rate. Aid was granted to a total of 32 charities on the island, including the Rana Foundation, 3 Salut Mental or the AMITICIA Association. The second call for proposals was worth €300,000 and benefited a total of 1,500 individuals.
In addition, the Barceló Foundation also operates in art and culture matters. The Foundation started out to increase the quality of life of people by improving physical, spiritual, professional and intellectual aspects, so raising awareness of the Arts has always been one of its key goals.
Its activity as far as art and culture are concerned is to praise the paintings of Majorcan artists or artists who lived on the island in the 19th century and first half of the 20th century, and not only the most prominent ones, but mainly those who fell into oblivion for different reasons or whose work was somehow less known.