ESAL program beneficiaries empower themselves by working in ABD

The SOC’s Work and Training Program offers a 12-month employment contract, training and support to people with more difficulties in finding work

It has been more than six months since Ana, Wilknia, Alba and Soliber started working at the Asociación Bienestar y Desarrollo ABD through the ESAL line of the Work and Training Program. This is an initiative promoted and subsidized by the Catalan Employment Service (SOC) with funds from the State Public Employment Service (SEPE) and the European Social Fund and is aimed at improving the employability of people with difficulties in accessing the labor market through recruitment, training and support. Specifically, ESAL is aimed at unemployed women (including women victims of gender violence), transgender people and long-term unemployed people registered as non-employed job seekers.

Ana, Wilknia, Alba and Soliber each work in a different area of the organization, but all four value the good atmosphere and camaraderie.


Ana works in the occupational risk prevention part of the Administration Department, where some of her duties include sending training certificates, managing medical check-ups and sending justifications for subsidies. With a friendly smile and a steady gaze, she studied accounting in her home country but after years of living in Spain she had not been able to practice her profession. Despite having a certificate of professionalism in administration that she obtained at ABD, no company would consider her, and that undermined her state of mind. “It was an opportunity I was waiting for and it came at the right time. My previous situation generated a lot of insecurity and ABD has made me much more self-confident,” she says. After this contract, which has given her a year’s training, Ana is clear: she wants to continue working in the administrative area. “I see myself as more empowered and I know that I can continue in the administrative area,” she says.

“This program is giving me a lot of tools or making me discover many others that maybe I didn’t know I had.”

Ana, an ABD employee through the ESAL call

Wilknia works as an administrative assistant in ABD’s human resources department, a department she has long wanted to work in. Here she is in charge of organizing the calendars, processing staff leaves, registrations and vacations, sending out contracts, and also lends a hand to her colleagues to lighten the administrative workload. “Although the workload is sometimes quite heavy and there can be some stress in the department, it has been easy for me to adapt to the rhythm,” she says. In Venezuela she had more than 15 years experience in the administrative area, but there she focused more on the legal side, so for her this job is an opportunity to get into the work environment while doing the homologation of her degree. “The trainings are a way to update yourself because every day there are new things and you always have to be at the forefront,” she declares in a calm voice. After this year, Wilknia wants to continue working in the workplace.

“This program has given me the opportunity to do what I have long wanted to do. I’m open to change and it hasn’t been difficult for me to adapt.”

Wilkina, an ABD employee through the ESAL call

For her part, Alba is in charge of the reception at ABD’s headquarters on Independencia Street, but she does much more than that: she receives visitors and accompanies them to the services they come to, organizes the material, prepares workshops and videos, plays music to make the entrance more welcoming, scans and digitizes key documents for the organization… she never stops. Alba has realized that working at ABD she has a lot to contribute. “I’ve found the right place. There are many different branches here: Energy Control, Preinfant, Sexus? There are a lot of things, but everyone does their own thing to make the world a better place. And that’s what I want: to make the world a better place,” she says with a mixture of confidence and tenderness.

Apart from her receptionist duties, Alba is also making videos and organizing talks for Preinfant, as she has studied coaching, mindfulness and emotional intelligence, knowledge with which she wants to help people love themselves. “I see myself working here because people make me feel that way. And if it can’t be here, let it be somewhere similar,” she says.

“I no longer want to work just to make money: I want to do something for the world”

Alba, an ABD employee through the ESAL call

For Soliber, working to help other people has also been an incentive to join ABD. She had previously worked in the hotel industry, but it is a sector where family reconciliation became very complicated for her with two young daughters. She had been unemployed since 2018 and learned about the Comunitat Activa project as a user. Now she works at La Botiga, which provides service in Hospitalet.

At the Botiga, she is mainly in charge of logistics, receiving incoming food and staple products, taking inventory, reviewing delivery notes… and with the training she received through the program, she says she has learned to better use certain technological tools to manage stock or inventories. However, the personal contact and the connection with the users has also given him a lot. Looking to the future, Soliber sees herself working in logistics, so she is reviewing what training she needs to apply for a job in this sector. 

“Coming to the Botiga is a way for them (the users) to express themselves or to get some things off their chest and I really like it”

Soliber, an ABD employee through the ESAL call

In this edition, a total of seven people have accessed the ESAL call, through which they have grown personally and professionally in different services and resources of ABD.

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