The World Health Organization considers human beings as bio-psychosocial entities, that is to say, as a dynamic integration of physical, psychological and social structures. In relation to the first element of this inseparable triad, the study of the physical aspects is currently essential. Worth highlighting among the wide range of parameters susceptible to such research are the neurobiological aspects and more specifically, the study of environment influence upon genes. This vision would be incomplete if it did not contemplate full social integration and equality of opportunity for disabled people at risk of exclusion from legal and/ or welfare assistance.
In order to meet this wide range of objectives, the Canis Majoris Foundation was established in 2011. It was clearly visible that a structure comprised of three interrelated areas was needed:
Each area with a coordinator and assigned staff.
The foundation elaborates its proposals through a biennial plan of objectives and actions for achieving such objectives, directed by a Board and Executive Committee. Detailed information on these aspects can be found on our website. This structural vision of the Foundation should be seen from the perspective of the values held and the approach to our work, characterized, among others, by the following:
As a reflection of this approach and as the initial steps taken by the Foundation which have stamped our identity, we would like to point out the following actions, so different in form, yet all aimed at reaching the same objectives.
The first measure, cornerstone of our work, was establishing within the Relief Area, a Therapy Assistance Unit with animals (TAA), having signed collaborative agreements with diverse institutions, notably among which are the Madrid Regional Government and the Institute for Social Work & Social Services (INTRESS).
In 2012, within the framework of our principles and objectives, an agreement was signed with Alcalá University (UAH) serving as a framework for part of the activity within the area for R+D+i together with the Training & Awareness area. These projects are the Elena Pessino Scholarship for students with disabilities at UAH and the Elena Pessino Research Grants aimed at young researchers in Spain.
Another noteworthy event was the convening of the first edition of the Siboney Infant and Children´s Narrative Prize, promoting reading and writing among the youngest in our region, with new editions each year.
In addition, and within the Training & Awareness area, the Foundation has signed an agreement with the Madrid Regional Government and the Madrid Official College of Psychologists, in order to establish training courses, beginning with a TAA course directed exclusively at psychologists.
Lastly, 2015 has seen the creation of the Elena Pessino Academic Chair in collaboration with Alcála University. developing an R+D+i programme based at the Elena Pessino Laboratory for Neuroscience of Mental Illnesses in addition to a programme for the study of disabled people´s rights located at the faculty of Law at Alcála University.
These activities, through which the TAA work team has consolidated, always under the scope of disability and/or psychosocial exclusion, have expanded into what we believe has contributed a hallmark of marked originality and dynamism that has made the Foundation a reference in our field.
For further information we invite you to visit our website and our profile on the various social networks. We also invite you to participate in our events and above all, send us any new initiatives to improve our work in the disability and/or psychosocial exclusion.