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From new hopes for refugees to bee-keeping for a better future in or a self-organized wildlife conservancy: This year’s iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE supported projects help right there where help and new visions with creative solutions are needed.
We are happy and proud to announce the winners of the first round of the iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE: Nashulai Massai Conservancy (Kenya), Desert Flower Foundation (Austria), Echo100Plus (Greece), APS Cambalache (Italy) and Greco Design (Brazil).
We were overwhelmed by all the great submitted projects and impressed by the great work of the NGOs and all the volunteers all around the world. A big thank you to all of them! Already, we are excited about the submissions for the next round.
this round’s supported by iF social projects in 2019.
'Bee My Job' is an Italian beekeeping training and mediation program for refugees and asylum seekers. It offers displaced people the chance to learn a skill, get to know local people and integrate in society through work. The initiative is run by the charity Cambalache in Alessandria, around 100 km north of the port city of Genoa. Since the charity was set up in 2014, it has trained a total of 170 beekeepers and arranged 106 work placements. The income from the honey produced goes towards funding the project. As well as economic integration, the main focus of the project is on promoting social integration.
"Displaced people are given a wonderful opportunity to find a job in beekeeping and agriculture. Their professional training gives them the sense of being useful. They are trained and given a work placement – no matter what their background. It is a superb way of integrating immigrants and providing them with ways of becoming part of society."
In the face of growing poverty and the loss of biological diversity, the land of the Maasai and the wild animals that live there is under severe threat. In 2016, the Nashulai Maasai Conservancy was the first indigenous reserve to be set up in East Africa. It covers an area of 6,000 acres. Fences that normally separate humans from wild animals were removed to create a traditional, holistic land usage model: cows, sheep and goats graze alongside elephants, rhinoceros and gazelles – just as the Maasai lived in centuries gone by. The land is monitored to ensure that there is always enough food and water for all. The project and its mission „Protect wildlife – preserve culture – fight poverty“ has already inspired other communities to make similar changes.
"This project combines the protection of wild animals and the preservation of culture in order to put an end to poverty and to develop a functioning, self-organized protected area in the land of the Maasai. It is the perfect example of a strong community with a fantastic idea."
More than 200 million girls and women suffer from genital mutilation. And every year another 3.5 million girls are added to this number against their will. Female genital mutilation (FGM) has nothing to do with religion, culture or tradition. It is an unacceptable crime. The human rights activist and supermodel Waris Dirie has been fighting against this crime for years. At the age of five, she herself was the victim of FGM. Together with the British label Coco de Mer and the photographer Rankin, Waris and her Desert Flower Foundation have declared war on FGM: „Our mission is to eradicate FGM and empower women to lead self-determined lives.“
"The eradication of female genital mutilation strengthens women's rights and helps them to lead a self-determined life, which is a human right. It is an excellent and necessary project!"
Echo100Plus is an Austrian NGO that has been involved for years with Greece and the refugees stranded there. In October 2016 the initiative set up the Echo-Hub-Leros - a community and education center on the island of Leros. A team of professional teachers and volunteers looks after the needs of displaced people here: starting with first aid measures and moving on to educational, professional and leisure activities. A special school project offers meaningful daily employment as well as valuable training in various areas. The main aim of Echo100Plus is to prepare schoolchildren for a successful start in their new life.
„The provision of music, computer and languages courses is hugely important for refugees as they try to rebuild a „normal“ life. Echo100Plus also acts as a bridge by involving the local community in the services provided by the hub. As a result, locals and refugees are enjoying a better degree of cohabitation on Leros than elsewhere. It is a truly exemplary project.”
The favelas in Brazil are the result of an extremely unfair wealth distribution. Fa.vela is Brazil's first business accelerator based in the favelas and works together with low-income communities. The project „Design Meets Fa.vela“ aims to develop visual identities for companies - all on a voluntary basis! In the last three years, 90 brand identities have been created. The logos have been produced by the city's best designers. Thousands of people benefit directly from the project, just by taking into account family members and the number of jobs created.
„Poverty is a trap that is hard to escape from because the children of poor parents usually grow up to be poor adults. Fighting poverty through design is a powerful new strategy. This fantastic initiative by Greco Design makes this very clear.”