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The Ninth Solidarity Week at UC3M

The Ninth Solidarity Week at UC3M

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) held its ninth edition of Solidarity Week from March 23 to March 26.  In this event, the need to work together for a common aim could be seen, felt and understood in the nearly 50 activities which focused this year on the role that education plays in fostering fair and sustainable development.  

A solid education is a key element in the fight against poverty and inequality.  That is one of the ideas shared by the organizers of this UC3M show of solidarity:  The Office of University Cooperation for Development, from the Office of the Vice-chancellor of Equality and Cooperation; Students Space, from the Office of the Vice-chancellor for Students and University Life; and the Environment Unit from the Office of the Vice-chancellor of Infrastructure and the Environment.   In addition, the event was supported by several departments, research institutes, delegations, collaborating groups and student associations. 

“Education is necessary in order to change the world,” concluded the UC3M Vice-chancellor for Equality and Cooperation, Rosario Ruiz Franco. “It is of the essence to look at the world through another perspective, to be citizens with a critical consciousness and to promote fair and sustainable development.”

One of the many activities reflecting this commitment enabled participants to experience for themselves the inequality of food resources throughout the world in the “Comedor del Mundo” (World Dining Hall).  In this event, held on the Leganes campus, participants could experience the abundance and scarcity of food, which often reflects the opportunities that their diners have.  The juxtaposition of world diets was not the only event of Solidarity Week.  The display of how art can educate came from the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, who explained their MUS-E program. In it, with performances by contemporary artists, dance and theater were used were used to creatively introduce these concepts to education.  

Rosario Ruiz Franco also explained that the Solidarity Week activities “represent the Unit’s firm social commitment, which at the same time, attempts to engage and raise awareness among the University community on values such as collaboration, volunteering, and sustainable human development.” The participants could put this spirit of solidarity into practice through activities such as a blood donation campaign held on all of the campuses as well as a blood marrow donation information stands.  At the same time, they were able to show support for specific causes such as that of Alex, from whom they could “adopt a neuron” with the purchase of solidarity-based products. 

The Getafe campus held a total of 20 activities to demonstrate the role of education in the Millennium Development Goals or on the access to education in El Gallinero, a shanty town of Madrid.  The Leganes Campus held fifteen or so activities, during which it was discussed, among other matters, how technologies and engineering can contribute to education. The Colmenarejo Campus featured sessions dealing with inmate education as well as ways of educating people with disabilities.

All of the UC3M libraries were also decorated with their most solidarity-based books and materials. Throughout this week, the libraries displayed their collections on the subject “Education and Development” with exhibits in a prominent area of the libraries and another virtual display of the covers of bibliographic and audiovisual resources with links to library catalogues. Library blogs additionally joined in this event, including comments and reflections on different works in the collection on education.  

Further information:

Ninth edition of Solidarity Week::