DESS® Celebrates World Book Day

A Celebration of Literature, Love, and Social Responsibility

With another World Book Day behind us, we take this opportunity to reflect on the enduring significance of this day's significance and the wonderful initiatives DESS® Staff supported. Known as Sant Jordi Day in Catalonia, this celebration uniquely combines the joy of giving books and roses to celebrate both love and literature.

The Legend and Its Legacy

The tradition of Sant Jordi (Saint George’s Day) dates back to the legend of a knight who rescued a princess from a dragon. According to the legend, where the dragon's blood spilled, a rose bush grew, and from this bush, Sant Jordi plucked a rose for the princess. The rose that grew from the dragon's blood is a symbol of beauty, life, and rebirth emerging from a struggle.

This story has evolved into the cherished custom of exchanging roses and books—a symbol of the fight against adversity and a celebration of cultural enrichment. It's a narrative that resonates with the idea of facing challenges, whether they be personal, societal, or universal.

A Day of Roses and Books

This year, our celebration included special contributions from local non-profits. We sourced beautiful roses from Fundació Fupar, an organization that champions the inclusion and empowerment of individuals with disabilities. These roses are a testament not just to love but also to the resilience and potential of every individual in our community.

In line with our commitment to sustainability, we also featured eco-friendly plantable bookmarks from CET Apunts. These innovative bookmarks can be planted, turning a small act of gifting into a lasting tribute to nature and growth.

sant jordi sustainable bookmark charitable rose

Collective Choice for Charitable Impact

In keeping with our annual World Book Day tradition, every member of DESS® Team generously contributed to a donation. Continuing our commitment to community engagement, this year we invited staff to take an active role in selecting a charitable cause to support. Staff members were encouraged to suggest non-profit organisations close to their hearts, making them a vital part of the decision-making process.

From the proposals received, the final choice was made through a draw, leaving the decision to chance and ensuring fairness. The draw determined the beneficiary to be the Federation of Associations of the Elderly in Catalonia (FATEC), an organization that represents over 450,000 individuals and is run by volunteers who are dedicated to promoting activities and initiatives for the elderly within our society.

FATEC is recognized as the most representative organization of the elderly in Catalonia, with a strong presence and history of social action. Their mission is to foster active, healthy, and socially productive aging, enhancing the physical, mental, and social well-being of older adults, while also maintaining and extending personal autonomy and fighting against age discrimination. They advocate for a proactive, person-centered, integrated, and deliberative model of care that ensures quality attention.

Amongst their many projects, FATEC is known for initiatives such as the "+PLUS VIDA" program, encouraging physical activity among seniors, and the "Digital Gap" initiative, which assists the elderly in navigating modern technology. Additionally, efforts to combat loneliness and ensure respectful treatment address the emotional and societal needs of this community.

dess staff celebrates sant jordi

Highlighting Literary Contributions

A focal point of our celebration was the promotion of "El vuelo de Cristina" ("The Flight of Cristina"), a poignant narrative conceived by Sergio Muñoz, a valued member of the DESS® team, and written by Marçal Gribau. This heartfelt story recounts the tragic event of 2015 when a Germanwings pilot deliberately crashed a Barcelona-Düsseldorf flight, taking the lives of 149 people. Among them was Cristina, Sergio’s sister, a promising young neuroscientist working for an important pharmaceutical company, whose life was cut short in the catastrophe.

The book delves into Cristina's story, celebrating her life and commemorating her contributions to science, serving as a moving tribute and a stark reminder of the fragility of life. By donating all royalties to research initiatives at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Muñoz honors his sister's memory and supports the scientific community she was a part of. This initiative exemplifies the spirit of Sant Jordi, showcasing our commitment to spreading knowledge and supporting vital research, all while remembering those we've lost and the legacies they've left behind.

Looking Forward

As we reflect on this year’s Sant Jordi celebration, we are reminded of the power of community, literature, and the enduring human spirit. Our initiatives serve not only to celebrate a rich cultural tradition but also to foster a spirit of giving and sustainability that impacts our community positively.

dess solidarity and sustainability