Businesses that incorporate social commitment issues are always a role model to be followed. On 16th April, the ESADE Observatory for Behavioural Studies: Society and the Consumer, together with Danone and the Association of Athletes for a Better Childhood (ADDIM), presented the findings of their study ‘Educating, Transforming and Improving through Sport’. The research analyses the impact of Danone sports schools in neighbourhoods at risk of social exclusion over the eight years that the schools have been up and running.
These results are encouraging. The more than 5,000 children – between 6 and 12 years of age – who have taken part in activities at Danone sports schools have improved their general health, eating habits, school grades and interpersonal relationships through practising sport, remedial classes and being taught the importance of values. Childhood is undoubtedly the key age in which to inculcate behaviours that will mark people’s future development. The study shows that the Danone and ADDIM social projects have succeeded in transforming the lives of children from families at risk of social exclusion. Were it not for such initiatives, many of these children would have been more likely to have failed at school and would have left school at an earlier age.
Started up in 2004, Danone sports schools aim to raise student achievement levels and promote social values – from childhood – in Spanish state schools in socially deprived neighbourhoods with high educational failure rates. The research, led by Manuel Alfaro and Ismael Vallès from ESADE, demonstrates that the Danone and ADDIM initiative is a model social innovation project for the promotion of future personal development among children at risk of social exclusion.