There are some meetings that you do not forget. The one we had the honour (and this word is not too strong) of experiencing with Joan Planes is one of those meetings. A brilliant, moving altruist. The creation of his foundation in 2016 perfectly reflects this extraordinary man.
A commitment and actions for the social swimmingpool
What is important for you today?
Joan Planes : Knowing how to thank nature and repair the consequences of industrial action, especially since globalisation. Thanks to the Fluidra group, we can take action through the foundation, with projects that allow underprivileged people to have access to water. The main goal is to promote sustainable and responsible use and enjoyment of water, as an essential natural resource for human beings, thanks to the group's expertise in this subject.
Water has an important social meaning, with projects that focus on accessibility, raising awareness and education about how to use this vital element.
The foundation is also undertaking a cultural commitment by focusing, in particular, on promoting music. This is the "oil" which makes everything run properly. It is therefore important to encourage and provide access to culture.
Interview between Joan Planes and Virginie Bettati at the Piscine Global Europe trade show
Water, durability and music are therefore the pillars of the Fluidra Foundation?
Joan Planes : Yes, they are part of the foundation's commitments. It is a natural step towards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The group is also part of the United Nations' Global Compact because we have always believed in sustainable use of water and in its affordable access to all communities. We appreciate culture in general, and music in particular, as a way of reasserting people's worth.
Can you give us an example of some of your work?
Joan Planes : Alongside helping sustainable farming, we have recently built a social swimming pool open to everyone at a school located in Thiaroye, in Senegal, which will allow over 2,000 children to learn how to swim. This project will help combat the problem of people dying from drowning, which, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), is one of the ten most common causes of death among children around the world. This solid work will also give us a huge sense of moral satisfaction. Seeing the smile and gratitude of these children is priceless.
And what about the future?
We are going to continue our work and study the projects submitted to us. Another development will be achieved from January 2023 with YouDrop.org. This mini crowdfunding platform is for all members of the Fluidra community (i.e. the employees, or 7000 people, but also their families, the distributors, suppliers and customers). They will be able to present their projects, make a commitment to a cause, bring in the foundation, and take action to help, support and build, always with the goal of preserving water and its sustainable use.
It is a melting pot where everyone makes suggestions and takes action. The idea is to facilitate the joint financing of projects linked to social swimming pools. YouDrop intends to give the floor to neighbourhood initiatives, to encourage and make them possible, thanks to small individual contributions. Some of us have already thought of the benefits of swimming and water games for people with mental illnesses.