League of Historical and Accessible Cities

Europe’s historical cities, museums, ancient buildings, monuments and townscapes are renowned worldwide for their beauty, diversity and historical significance. Millions of people visit them every year but many others feel unwelcome due to physical barriers and inadequate services that can prevent people with sensory or physical disabilities from accessing them.

How can you make historical city centres and buildings more accessible without compromising their cultural heritage? How can wider access be reconciled with conservation interests? This is the one of the biggest challenges in Europe regarding accessibility and an important field for the foundation sector to engage in.

Launched in 2010, the League of Historical and Accessible Cities (LHAC) is a pilot project focusing on improving the accessibility of historical towns while at the same time promoting the development of sustainable tourism and the protection of cultural heritage.

Current cities are:

Ávila (Spain)
Lucca (Italy)
Mulhouse (France)
Sozopol (Bulgaria)
Torino (Italy)
Viborg (Denmark)

Visit www.lhac.eu

Citizens for Democracy

This t-shirt was created for the ‘Design hate away’ t-shirt contest, part of the Stefan Batory Foundation’s Citizens for Democracy Programme. The contest aimed to address the alarming level of acceptance of hate speech in Poland. Young graphic designers were asked to create a positive symbol of hate speech prevention to express support for society’s most vulnerable groups and to promote attitudes such as tolerance and respect for diversity, which are essential to democracy.

The Citizens for Democracy programme aims to strengthen civil society development and enhance the contribution of non-governmental organisations to social justice, democracy and sustainable development.

The Belfedar

The Evens Foundation and the University of Peace in Belgium have invented the Belfedar, a cooperative board game for 4 to 8 players over the age of 10. The game encourages constructive communication, cooperation and group solidarity.

The Belfedar website is now available in four languages: Dutch, French, Polish and Spanish. It provides information and inspiration on how to develop social skills for managing conflict and preventing violence through engaging in playful exercises.

Plastic Soup Foundation

Increasingly, plastic litter is finding its way into the environment. The final stop for plastic waste that ends up in water is usually our oceans and seas. Once in the water, plastic decomposes, leaching toxic chemicals that, via fish, can end up in our food chain.

The Plastic Soup Foundation wants to put a stop to the increasing contamination of the world’s water by plastic. Adessium Foundation is supporting the Plastic Soup Foundation as part of its commitment to achieving healthy ecological systems by combating plastic pollution.

Photo credit: Heleen van der Helm

Senior Civico

Senior Civico works with retired people living in the area of Turin, Italy who wish to use and share their skills and knowledge to help their community. The project, conceived in 2009 by Comune di Torino, engages retirees in volunteering in collaboration with institutions and social services with the aim of highlighting the role of elderly people in the development of society and the importance of their contribution to it. A core goal of the project is to promote solidarity and cooperation between generations.

Photo credit: Bellissimo snc


Part pop-up festival, part skills course, and part innovation challenge, TestTown is a 7-day enterprise programme for young people aged 16 to 30. The competition looks for highly creative, innovative ideas to stretch the public’s imagination of what a town centre is. TestTown doesn’t judge concepts on how much money they will generate – rather it rewards innovative thinking, enterprising minds and risk taking.

TestTown is about giving the next generation of entrepreneurs the support to realise their potential while demonstrating how high streets benefit from imaginative thinking. The project provides unique trading space, specialist advice and development funding.

Photo credit: ASM Media & PR

Woven Stories

The women of Figuig, as required by the traditional culture, are the custodians of family care and home, but they also carry on the tradition of vertical weaving, creating wonderful rugs that tell stories.

The project “Woven stories” by the Arte-fatto non-profit organisation is the result of a co-development project between the region of Lombardy and the western region of Morocco which started in 2012. The project, entitled “Weaving the social enterprise of design” helps improve the living conditions of women in both countries through weaving. Arte-fatto was responsible for strengthening the women’s associations of Figuig and Oujda, through technical training of beneficiaries and by supporting the promotion and marketing of their products. Thanks to the project 50 women were trained in the studios of weaving, hand and machine embroidery, crochet and basket-weaving and made a sample of 30 products. At the same time market research began to test the marketability of the collection “Oasis of Figuig”.

Photo credit: Marco Valerio Esposito


The Siemens Stiftung is partnering with the non-profit Center for Multilingualism in Early Childhood (zkm) to spread the KIKUS method for language learning throughout Germany. This method was developed by Dr. Edgardis Garlin, linguist and board member of zkm, in response to the specific requirements of early language development for children three years and older.

KIKUS focuses on children’s experiences, with topics such as family, clothes or food as the objects of playful interaction with the language to be learned. Vocabulary, grammar, and patterns of speech and social behaviour are conveyed and practiced systematically, yet in a manner appropriate for children.