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Seven international projects honored with the iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE

There are probably no other times, than those of worldwide crisis, that show how important social projects are – and how the people behind these projects are real-life superheroes! Crisis, whether personal or international, whether financial or medical, calls for purposeful help and new visions with creative solutions. Every round of the iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE proves this idea to be right! 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.

That is why we are beyond happy to announce the winners of the second round of the iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE 2019 from all around the world: Photos for Social Change (Argentina), Safari Doctors (Kenya), First Profession (Ukraine), MyMizu (Japan), The Mobilizing Communities with the Power of Bycicles Project (USA), My Farmer, My Story (Rwanda) and the Freigeist Lab (Germany). Congrats!

See below the second round’s supported by iF social projects in 2019.

Already, we are excited for the submissions for the first round of 2020. Sign your project up until 27 May! And do not be sad – even if you do not win, your project stays featured in the iF WORLD DESIGN GUIDE.

Photos for social change | Argentina, South America

Photos for social change | Argentina, South America

Photo workshops for kids from socially disadvantaged areas

'Fundación ph15' regularly organizes photo workshops for children and young people from socially disadvantaged areas and slums in Argentina. Courses, which are held by professional photographers, are designed to enhance the creativity and communication skills of the children. They learn how to express themselves artistically in photo series to reinforce their abilities and their characters – to create strong personalities who know themselves and are able to stand up to the adversities and temptations of life. The people running the project are convinced that this is the only way to create a new generation of system changers and improvers.

Jury Statement:
"The ph15 project takes the interests of today’s young people and uses them as the starting point. After all, in the age of selfies and social media, workshops in photography are a good and clever way to reach children and teenagers and to encourage them to get involved. Between school and the generally difficult everyday life at home, the project shows how inquisitive the youngsters are and what a contribution artistic activities can make to the personal development of a child or teenager!"


The ph15 team is thrilled and thanks iF for this recognition! 2020 is our 20th anniversary and we plan to celebrate it with exhibitions, new workshops, lectures and training sessions. We will use the prize money to publish the photos and stories produced over the last 20 years. We would like to share the successes of the project and the work of the children and young people with all the people in these marginalized communities in order to continue to overcome barriers and prejudices.
Fundacion ph15 CABA, Argentinia

Safari Doctors | Kenya, Africa

Safari Doctors | Supported by iF 2019 project

Sailboats as mobile clinics on the Lamu Archipelago

Once a month, the Safari Doctors team sails a boat loaded with medicine and medical supplies to the indigenous Kenyan communities of Aweer and Bajuni in the archipelago and on the mainland near the border with Somalia. At least 11 mobile clinics are operating there. The Safari Doctors want to provide comprehensive, tailor-made healthcare solutions in the marginalized villages of Kenya, where these disadvantaged fringe groups have only limited access to health care. Up to 800 patients are now being reached each month.

Jury Statement:
"The Safari Doctors actually manage to establish the basis for an adequate healthcare system. They offer not only community-based healthcare solutions where they are needed most, but also train women and men in the villages to become active and help themselves. A well thought-out, sustainable system that solves one of the biggest problems in this region of Kenya."


For us, the news of having won the iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE was the best possible positive finish to a successful year! This award encourages us to keeping moving towards achieving change in Lamu. We would also like to thank iF for reminding us how important it is to make positive changes where they are really needed. As our favorite African proverb says: ‘If you think you are too small to make a difference, you’ve never spent the night in a room with a mosquito.’ The prize money will go towards our monthly medical sailing trips, which we plan to increase in 2020.
Safari Doctors Lamu, Kenya

First Profession | Ukraine, Europe

First Profession | Supported by iF 2019 project

Training program for Ukrainian orphans

The First Profession program trains orphans in Ukraine in first basic manual skills to make it easier for them to move into professional and adult life after living in the orphanage. Each year, more than 350 schoolchildren are taken care of and trained in so-called school clubs in the orphanage throughout the entire school year. The aim of this long-term program is to help the children to become independent, self-confident and self-assured in their later professional lives. Such courses as sewing, for example, reinforce the cognitive, motor and personal skills of the children and young people and open up new prospects for them for the future.

Jury Statement:
"There is hardly anyone who needs more hope, orientation and encouragement than an orphan. The ‘First Profession’ project is not only sustainable, it also offers the children an opportunity to explore their own strengths and shows them at a very early age what positive prospects life can have in store for them in spite of everything. A great project that shows orphans that they are an extremely valuable part of our society."


We are more than happy to have received this great prize! Many thanks to the 16 team members who decided in our favor! We will use the prize money to finance a concrete ‘First Profession’ project in a boarding school for children with special needs in Zhytomyr, Ukraine!
NGO Ostvitoria Kyiev, Ukraine

MyMizu: Japan's First Free Water Refill App | Japan, Asia

MyMizu | Supported by iF 2019 project

App to avoid the use of plastic bottles

MyMizu ('mizu' means water in Japanese) is a free app that displays more than 8,000 freely accessible water refill locations (water fountains and partner cafes, restaurants and shops) throughout Japan, with 200,000 locations worldwide. The goal is to reduce the use of plastic bottles and connect people to the refill points via smartphone app. MyMizu makes it possible to get drinking water without having to buy another plastic bottle – which is good for the Earth, your health and your wallet. Since its launch in September 2019, the app has been downloaded more than 7,500 times. In addition, the use of PET bottles has decreased a thousand times – which is particularly encouraging in view of the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

Jury Statement:
"MyMizu is a fun, sustainable way to avoid plastic waste. After all, not only does the MyMizu app show you where you can fill up your water bottle for free, it is also a trendy shop and restaurant guide, which is what motivates many of the partners to participate in this project. It’s a sustainable, environmentally friendly cycle that everyone can benefit from!"

Wow, what an honor! We are incredibly grateful. Not only are we delighted with this distinguished recognition, but the award will also help us to expand our activities for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The award will further our mission to create a world with fewer disposable plastics! Thank you so very much from Tokyo.
MyMizu Tokyo, Japan

Mobilizing Communities with the Power of Bicycles | USA, North America

Mobilizing Communities With the Power of Bicycles | Supported by iF 2019 project

Hard-wearing bicycles for developing countries

World Bicycle Relief has been building extremely hard-wearing bicycles designed to withstand the harsh conditions in developing countries, especially in parts of Africa and South America, since 2011. Rugged cargo bikes can be used to cover long distances in a shorter time, which allows more time for work and provides greater transport capacity. People who often have to move heavy loads on uneven roads for less than a dollar a day benefit most from the durability, simple repair and low cost of spare parts. What else is special: Not only are bicycles provided, but mechanics are also trained to ensure long-term mobility.

Jury Statement:
"The project solves mobility problems in those parts of the world where affordable and reliable transport is not available. And what’s more, the bikes can be repaired by the participants themselves, which makes a positive contribution to sustainability at the same time. Every detail of this project has been well thought-out."


We at World Bicycle Relief are very happy to have received this great prize! We are grateful that our efforts to counteract extreme poverty by providing bicycles are recognized as important. We will use the iF award to further expand our innovative, social business model to support even more communities the world over.
World Bicycle Relief Chicago, USA

My Farmer My Story | Rwanda, Africa

My Farmer My Story | farmer and mentor after kitchen garden construction

Students cooperate with farmers to increase yields in Rwanda

The 'My Farmer My Story' project networks students and local farmers in northern Rwanda so that they can work together. The students do a kind of internship with experienced farmers and are allowed to put the theoretical knowledge they have learned during their studies to the test in actual practice or to develop new solutions to everyday problems in agriculture together with the farmers. Both sides benefit from this important input: the farmers, who learn about new ways and techniques that can be used in traditional agriculture – the agricultural science students from insights into the daily challenges facing the farmers. The aim of this measure is to change traditional agriculture in Rwanda so that farmers work in a more professional, market-oriented way. First indication of success: The project has so far been able to contribute to a 57% increase in the maize harvest – 40 farmers and 22 students have already been involved.

Jury Statement:
'My Farmer My Story' gets young people together with farmers in Rwanda, with both sides profiting from this connection. The farmers in particular get new ideas and information for their daily work and possible solutions to move their activities more in the direction of professional, market-oriented processes – which fights famine in the long run. A simple but brilliant idea!"


We think it’s wonderful that FESY’s efforts to combat famine by providing good-quality education in the agricultural sector gets such high recognition. A big thank you goes out to the iF team for honoring our project with the iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE 2019! This prize makes it possible for us to train more farmers and students and in this way to fight against poverty and hunger and work towards high-quality education.
FESY (Friends Effort to Support Youth) Kigali, Rwanda

Freigeist Lab | Germany, Europe

Freigeist Lab | Supported by iF 2019 project

Digital assistance system helps people with cognitive limitations to prepare meals

The popular "Nudel Emma" in Überlingen is the first inclusive bistro to use a unique digital system for people with cognitive limitations. Employees are supported in completely autonomously preparing and serving food in a restaurant without the need for any further human assistance. Video projections and sensors accompany the interactive meal preparation and indicate what should be added to the bowl as the next ingredient. This independent way of working strengthens the self-confidence of people with disabilities and makes them an active part of society. The assistance system was developed by the Berlin-based Freigeist Lab and was successfully launched in the Nudel Emma as a pilot project.

Jury Statement:
"The project is an impressive combination of a technically innovative workplace with the inclusion of people with disabilities. The mobile “Nudel Emma” pop up restaurant enables people to meet eye-to-eye, making it a model for an interactive, sustainably designed catering concept. A truly innovative social concept."


Our team is very grateful and proud to have been awarded the iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE. This international award shows that technical innovation and design can contribute to making our world a more diverse place. It will help us to support our work while we further spread the idea of modern inclusion in the workplace and serve to inspire people all over the world.
Freigeist Lab Berlin, Germany

>> View also the supported by iF projects of the first round of the iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE 2019.