Roma Partnership Reinvented


Wood, copper, leather, glass: these materials are all part of the new design-collection PICNIC by Meşteshukar ButiQ (MBQ), part of a Bucharest-based network of social enterprises that re-interprets traditional Roma crafts. Each of the materials stands for a different kind of traditional Roma craftsmanship and each item was produced in a different part of Romania. This PICNIC set is the tangible result of what the ERSTE Foundation Roma Partnership has been trying to achieve: to support the development of social entrepreneurship and foster income generation activities as well as educational programmes for job creation at community level. The designs were developed in cooperation with two Austrian designers Nadja Zerunian and Peter Weisz (zerunianandweisz).

Since the founding of Meşteshukar ButiQ in 2012, it has continuously strived to bring a new vision to Roma craftsmanship and has succeeded in launching traditional products under a new design. The MBQ concept store located in the centre of Bucharest displays jewellery, objects for home decoration and fashion.

The ERSTE Foundation Roma Partnership is an informal alliance of committed organisations that aims to sustainably improve the lives of Roma in Central and South Eastern Europe. It was created to enable and reinforce long-term collaboration between Roma and non-Roma.

Breakthrough Generation

Mozaik’s 2015-2025 strategy aims to develop a breakthrough generation of entrepreneurial and innovative youth. The goal is to generate a value-driven force that creates new social and economic value, creates new jobs, develops successful social businesses and serves as role models to other youth. This is achieved through tailor-made support in a virtual social business incubator and a well-developed pipeline where young people implement socially innovative projects. Within 10 years there will be 50,000 people in the pipeline, 1,000 socially innovative projects supported and 500 newly registered social businesses.

Community Schools Model

In 2016, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation awarded a grant to support the expansion of a community school model to all 11 public schools in their hometown of Flint, Michigan. In addition to helping students meet academic goals, the model also aims to strengthen the connection between schools, families and local residents.

The new model brings together a variety of resources for children and families, depending on the needs of each school and its surrounding neighborhood. It provides students with strong, research-based educational and enrichment opportunities, along with nutritional support, physical activity, mindfulness exercises and more. Such activities and services will allow the schools to become the best place for community members to access a wide range of services.

Flint has long been known for its leadership in the community school movement. In 1935, C.S. Mott and Flint educator Frank J. Manley launched a “lighted schoolhouse” model, which made use of school buildings during non-school hours to provide educational and recreational programs for students, families and neighborhood residents.

By supporting this initiative, the Mott Foundation is proud to help its home community create a reimagined, 21st century model of community education that meets the needs of today’s families.

Funding Girls’ Organising

Mama Cash has in recent years actively sought to support girls who take matters into their own hands.

In August 2015, Mama Cash, FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund and MEMPROW brought together 30 emissaries from African girls’ rights initiatives. They emphasised the importance of keeping in mind that girls need trust and support to develop their own activism. The reality is that many girls grow up in an unsafe environment. That is why it is critical to ensure that they become as resilient as possible and have a place where they can meet each other and collaborate.

Mama Cash funds groups run with and by girls around the world and is part of the With and For Girls Collective. This funder’s collective is investing $1m each year in awards to grass-roots organisations that are successfully working on girls’ rights.

Challenging Chances – Escape in Pictures

The subject of refugees is still ongoing. It is no longer an abstract phenomenon; now these very real people made out of flesh and blood are living among us in our neighbourhoods. We can now make our own picture from these people who have sought refuge in our country.

The exhibition pictures show us their story right from the start of their escape up until their arrival in Germany. Enthusiastic and sensitive photographers have accompanied them in their search for a better life.

Following the arrival to safety, a long challenging process begins in the host countries. Here in Germany, as in every other host country, we are confronted with a lot of work for the whole society. The integration of refugees through education and work, and maintaining united local communities are some examples of issues faced.

It is necessary to carry on welcoming and accepting immigrants as we have done before. Keeping this issue high on the agenda is important, as well as continuing the prevention of prejudice against refugees.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung together with the photo agency laif from Cologne have made this project possible.

Gulbenkian Challenge – Stop Infeção Hospitalar!

Hospital infections are a major public health issue and are associated with increasing rates of morbidity and mortality in patients and with the extension of their hospital stay. In comparison with the European average, Portugal has the highest prevalence rates of hospital infections and the problem is growing.

In response to this challenge, the Gulbenkian Foundation has launched the ‘Gulbenkian Challenge Stop Infeção Hospitalar!’ (Stop Hospital Infection!) with the aim of reducing the rate of hospital infections by 50% over the next 3 years in 12 hospitals.

The 12 hospitals participating are in a 36-month collaborative learning process, which should lead to progressive levels of improvements in practices. Results will be monitored and regular reporting and assessment will take place.

There have been significant increases in the levels of compliance with the measures proposed, which in turn has led to notable repercussions in lowering the rates of infection.

Digital Lives

Who decides society’s definition of culture and how do we evaluate the various forms of cultural expression? Over the last few decades, video games have consolidated their position as pastime, interest and career among a (large) swathe of the population. More than 500 million people play video games every day.

Simultaneously, few mainstream newspapers report on individual games or on gaming culture in the same manner that they report on other genres such as music, literature, television and film. This affects how we as a society talk and think about games and those who enjoy them.

Organised by the Fritt Ord Foundation, ‘Digital Lives’ invites the public to discuss the topic both through a call for essays and a series of public debates. 180 texts were received for the anthology, including both academic and personal essays. The ten writers selected for the anthology touched on language barriers, addiction, gender equality and the connection between violent video games and the 2011 Utøya massacre. The winning essay was a careful deconstruction of the lack of diversity in games, and dealt powerfully with colonialism and historical narratives.

A Decade of Championing African Agency

In celebration of its first ten years as an independent pan-African foundation, TrustAfrica has published ‘Claiming Agency: Reflecting on TrustAfrica’s First Decade’. The book takes an in-depth look at its work as an African-led foundation that set out to do things differently. ‘Claiming Agency’ asks, does this kind of philanthropy make a difference? If so, how? What are its unique ways of working? The answers are found in five chapters by independent authors that reflect on how TrustAfrica and its partners advanced a range of issues – from women’s rights, smallholder agriculture, and democratic reform in Liberia and Zimbabwe to international criminal justice and illicit financial flows.

For a decade the foundation has pursued a singular mission to strengthen African agency to address some of the continent’s most pressing development challenges. TrustAfrica was founded on the belief that the most enduring solutions to Africa’s problems will come from initiatives led by Africans themselves rather than externally conceived and driven models that do not place Africans at the centre of problem- solving and decision making.

The Resilience Age

Produced by the Rockefeller Foundation, The Resilience Age illustrates the impact of resilience in cities around the world that face challenges including climate change, sea level rise, economic disparity and pollution. By examining the past, present and future of cities from El Paso, Texas to Medellin, Colombia The Resilience Age highlights how these cities developed interventions that established resilience in their communities.

In Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina, engineers, elected officials and community members worked together to build green infrastructure in and around New Orleans; in drought-stricken Texas, the state developed innovative water desalinisation plants and implemented water management strategies that reduced daily per capita consumption from 225 gallons to 130; and, in bankrupt, crime-ridden Detroit, innovative projects executed by residents enhanced social cohesion and facilitated a renaissance in many Detroit neighbourhoods that is ongoing today.

While the location and challenges of the featured cities vary, they all have one thing in common: through innovative approaches to resilience, these cities have addressed their challenges and emerged better prepared to absorb the shocks and stresses that the future will certainly bring.

Watch the documentary:

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência

The IGC is a research institute devoted to biological and biomedical research and to graduate training. Excellence, originality, communication, cooperation and generosity, coupled with an outstanding infrastructure are essential ingredients that make IGC a special place to be.

Established by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in 1961, and still supported by the foundation, the IGC was restructured in 1998 to form the institute as it stands today. Small independent research groups work in an environment designed to encourage interactions and exploit synergies, with minimal hierarchical structure. The scientific programme of the IGC is multidisciplinary, including Cell and Developmental Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Immunology, Host-Pathogen Interactions, Disease Genetics, Plant Biology, Neurosciences, Theoretical and Computational Biology.

The IGC embraces five missions: 1) to promote multidisciplinary science of excellence in basic biological and biomedical research; 2) to identify, educate and incubate new research leaders, providing state-of-the-art facilities and full financial and intellectual autonomy; 3) to provide international graduate teaching and structured training programmes; 4) to improve the transfer of research expertise into developments that are of potential interest beyond basic science; and 5) to promote the values of science in society.