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The neighbours of the mas del Bon Pastor

“Now, when we pass in front of the Mas del Bon Pastor, we will know that there are some boys who are excited and eager to have a better future for when they join, as adults, the society that welcomes them”

On the occasion of the Festival of Palau-Sacosta in Girona, the Neighborhood Association has interviewed Marc Cornellà, director of the CRAE Abeona (educational project of the Resilis Foundation). In this conversation with Silvia Valverde, Marc explains that the Bon Pastor farmhouse currently houses this residential center for young minors with a team of educators that make possible the day-to-day life of the center. Who are the neighbours of the mas del Bon Pastor? Do not miss this interview that serves to open the educational project to the community in which it must grow.


Interview with Marc Cornellà, director of CRAE Abeona


A convinced social educator, Marc was born in Girona in 1979, has been a neighbor of the neighborhood for many years, where he still retains friendships and where he has recently returned.


If we take into account the Santa Clotilde-Bon Pastor complex, in all these years it is easily recognizable. On the outside, I mean. But inside it has changed. It no longer houses a family, at least a conventional family… What is the current use of this house?

Well, the farmhouse has an eminently social function of vital importance, especially for the young people who host… This is technically known as a CRAE. We are a new CRAE recently opened but located in a space where one already existed. When the Congregation of the Good Shepherd decided to stop managing the CRAE Bon Pastor in June 2017, the Resilis Private Foundation assumed the management of the squares of the center, subrogating all the staff. Between October and November of the same year, and following the criteria and recommendations of the DGAIA, this service was divided into two smaller services located in the same municipality, leaving the old facilities until our arrival.


And what do these acronyms mean?

CRAE: Residential Centre of Educational Action. The professionals who work every day with young people who live in the centers, we usually explain residential foster care as a measure of protection for children and adolescents who, unfortunately, cannot be with their family.

This is the sense that there are both host families and the one I run: they are a space of life for them, and life is coexistence and accompaniment.

“Life is to have satisfied in an adequate way the basic needs. And I’m not just talking about a roof and a plate at the table.’


Do you make them a family?

We can never supplant the role of a family. The CRAE works in a complementary way to this, in its day to day, always thinking about the return to its family core, whenever possible, of course. We work to improve the shortcomings of the family without any intention of replacing it, on the contrary, of strengthening it. We have the family to participate in the education given from the CRAE, to the extent that they can participate. We do not play the role of a family home; but we do try to ensure that all the good things that social bonding can bring to a young person do not lack them.

“From our work as social educators we work so that the protection offered to them today can become, in the not too distant future, their development as adults”.


And how are they protected?

It is protected by covering basic needs and above all protects itself by educating. All these essential things that would normally come entirely from a family and social environment, the network we have and that helps us to develop, we try to sew them from the center. Talking to you now, explaining from this interview who we are and what we do in the neighborhood that hosts, at the same time, our center is also part of its education and our objectives. Being part of a community, respecting it, knowing it, including it, is an important part of its training as people who will one day leave the CRAE and offer their grain of sand to the society in which they live, as we all do, wow.

This is the sense that there are both host families and the one I run: they are a space of life for them, and life is coexistence and accompaniment.


And how many young people do you attend?

Crae Abeona is tasked with caring for and welcoming 17 young people aged 12 to 18 under the supervision of the Directorate General for Child and Adolescent Care (DGAIA). Since the CRAE Abeona opened at the end of November 2017, 17 young people have lived there, divided into two experiential units. Since its inception it has been structured as a specialized service in the care of young teenagers. The 17 places were allocated to the range of 15 to 18 years.


Young people of Moroccan origin, right?

Mainly, yes. It should be noted that one of the peculiarities of the service is the fact that it has specialized in the care of young migrants, mainly of Moroccan origin, as you can see. The idea of promoting smaller and more familiar coexistence units responds to being able to make crae a space where young people acquire a high degree of autonomy while projecting an image of less institution. The choice of the name of the CRAE has ended up becoming premonitory.



Abeona is a very ancient goddess of Roman mythology responsible for protecting anyone who undertook a trip and also children when they first left home alone, without the shelter of their parents, Abeona made sure to provide them with security.

All the young people we serve have started this journey, far from their own, risking their lives many times to achieve opportunities for the future that their countries are denied, and it is our task to accompany them on this journey.



Now, when we pass in front of Mas Bon Pastor, we will know that there are some boys who are excited and eager to have a better future for when they join, as adults, the society that welcomes them.

Thank you very much Marc for your collaboration.

Silvia Valverde