RIOMA was founded in 1984 in Montilla, Cordoba, in the south of Spain, as a result of its founder and team’s years of experience and passion in the field of textiles. Their operations are mainly concerned with the production of upholstery and home decoration fabrics, characterized by avant-garde and trend-setting designs. The company constantly aims to set the standard within its industry on both a national and European level and exports fabrics to over 80 countries.
At Rioma they are dedicated to improving the quality of life of their community, which is why 28 years ago their founder created the Fundación Social Universal. Through their Foundation, they provide aid and support for the holistic growth and development of young girls and boys between the ages of 3 and 17, who come from vulnerable situations.
These youngsters grow up in environments where they do not have access to adequate developmental opportunities – crucial for minors to ensure that they grow into accomplished adults and flourish in society. But what happens when this disadvantaged situation is compounded by the outbreak of a pandemic?
At RIOMA, they are deeply concerned by the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has on Montilla’s most vulnerable children. They are already seeing its effects in the form of depression, emotional instability, grief, threats of self-harm, violent behaviour, just to name a few of the adverse consequences caused by lockdowns and social distancing. Confinement has also incited intra-family violence in several cases.
At Fundación Social Universal they work to promote children’s rights and provide them and their families support with the goal to guide, advise and heal. During the early stages of childhood, children’s minds are at a formative stage, requiring the need for proper guidance to ensure their development. At this time of their lives, they need physical, psychomotor, sensory, emotional, social, and intellectual stimulation. It is vital that these children learn how to communicate freely their fears, doubts, and sadness as well as have a chance to play, run, laugh, dream and create.
The Foundation’s intervention is part of the activities carried out in the “Mamá Margarita Afternoons Home“, an initiative it coordinates. The Hogar de Tardes helps them provide reinforcement, in coordination with municipal social services, educational centres and families of minors. The children here have supervisors and teachers who give them affection, counsel them, and lend them a listening ear whenever they need to talk about their worries and problems as well as when they want to share with them the good times.
Every afternoon the kids receive support with their homework, learn how to clean themselves properly, eat a healthy snack, etc. They also receive assistance and guidance when they have health issues or any other kind of problem. They are constantly encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities so that they feel included in their social environment and hone their personal abilities and skills. All this helps them gain self-confidence. In short, they are provided with stable and constant aid in their process of growth and personal development.
This project, launched in 2011 for the defence of children’s rights, has grown substantially over the years. It has gradually been taking in more children, increasing its staff of teachers, volunteers, and collaborators and working on diversifying its activities and improving the overall quality of the service it provides.
The Foundation also keeps in touch constantly with families in order to support them. This is based on relationships of trust they already established with the families by offering their services, assisting them in the upbringing and education of their children, and building for them a support network – with a community that listens, understands, provides a sense of security, encouragement and guidance.
At Rioma they believe that a childhood that allows children to exercise their rights is a happy, safe and empowered childhood, allowing every child to pursue their own unique path for growth and development, and laying the foundation for a thriving and prosperous society.