Boxgirls – How boxing empowers girls and schools

Boxgirls is an innovative project supported by BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt aimed at girls and young women. It uses sports to bring about social change and it operates in Berlin Kenya and South Africa.

Heather Cameron is the mind and the “operational arm” of this initiative of social entrepreneurship. What Boxgirls is trying to do is to teach to schoolchildren in Berlin to master difficult situations without falling into violence.

More and more girls are discovering that boxing is more than just a cool sport and that traditional girlish behaviours – avoiding conflicts, being passive and eager to please – won’t take them far. In the Boxgirls training sessions, the 10- to 16-year-olds find out that hard work pays off and gain a sense of their strengths and limitations.

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The European Foundations’ Initiative on Dementia (EFID)

Dementia is one of the most frequently occurring diseases affecting old age, and remains one of the most important challenges in European society. To live well with dementia, communities must accept and support people with the condition, and facilitate the expression of their remaining abilities. This raises enormous challenges for our ageing societies.

The European Foundations’ Initiative on Dementia (EFID) is a group of European foundations convinced that the community approach has to be developed in tackling the challenges linked to dementia. This publication, supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung provides insight into living with dementia in a community context. It provides new perspectives and proposes a necessary shift in mind-set that requires communities to stay connected with all citizens with dementia.

Support to victims of the Cephalonia earthquake

In late January 2014, the island of Cephalonia, off the coast of Greece, was struck by an earthquake. In the main town of Lixouri, one of the few physical structures on the island in place to take care of the elderly, The Home, was severely damaged. To secure emergency shelter for the older victims, the pensioners were relocated to a sports centre, poorly adapted to their everyday needs.

The JTI Foundation reacted to this loss by supporting the Lixouri Charity Foundation to purchase prefabricated accommodation better suited to the elderly and responding to their needs. Once The Home has been rebuilt, the elderly will be relocated to their permanent housing and the prefabricated houses will be kept for future use, providing all residents in Cephalonia with additional security in the event of another disaster.

Entrepreneurs for Social Change

Along the shores of the Mediterranean the effects of the economic crisis are still being felt, with high levels of youth unemployment and a stark lack of opportunity. Entrepreneurs for Social Change (E4SC) aims to support the ideas of young social entrepreneurs from the Euro-Mediterranean region.
Through a week of training and nine months of mentoring, 20 young social  entrepreneurs are given the chance to acquire the business, funding, marketing and intercultural understanding needed to help take their businesses to the next level and create positive social impact.

One of the projects to come from Entrepreneurs for Social Change is represented by the puppet you see here. Puppets 4 Kids is a project of YES Theatre, which aims to help improve the cognitive skills and psychosocial well-being of Palestinian children and youth. The YES Theatre and its partners are working to respond to local community needs, engaging with local partners to develop creativity and innovation through artistic performances, drama workshops, capacity building and cultural exchange activities.

The E4SC project was devised by the Fondazione CRT in collaboration with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Cultiva Ekspress Junior, “Slow Bridge” Project

The mirrored tiles you see here are just a few of the 5,300 customised by children in Kristiansand, Norway.

The tiles were part of a project called “Slow Bridge’’ where children were given the chance to make their mark on the urban landscape by writing or drawing their dreams on individual tiles which now line the inside of a bridge in Kristiansand. The idea came from the artist Anna Berthelsen and was the first project funded by the new Cultiva Ekspress Junior scheme which funds artistic and cultural projects for children between 0-18 years in Kristiansand.

Por Mil Razones (For a thousand reasons)

For a thousand reasons is a campaign launched by Fundación ONCE to inform and encourage people with disabilities to make use of Portalento (, a portal that provides guidance, training and support to increase the access of those living with disabilities to quality employment while raising awareness among employers and entrepreneurs of the site as a tool to help them find suitable employees. This campaign is co-financed by the European Social Fund.

Holstebro Music School

Holstebro Music School set up the first preparatory course for the academy of music (MGK) in Denmark in the 1970s. In recent years, thanks to Færchfonden’s donation of DKK 7,000,000, the music school has been able to continue developing the best possible framework for the development of musical talent in Denmark. The school has been involved in the establishment of Dansk Talentakademi (the Danish Academy for the Promotion of Talent) in Holstebro, which offers 150 talented young people from the all over the country a basic education within the fields of music, visual arts, dance, theatre and writing.


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Fight for Peace, Brazil

Complexo da Maré, a group of favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, covers 800,000m2, and is home to 132,000 residents. Over half are children, adolescents and young people who face high levels of poverty, social and economic exclusion and a scarcity of public services. The Trafigura Foundation is one of the foundations that supports the NGO Fight for Peace which helps to give these young people more options through the provision of education. Over the course of three years, the ‘New Pathways’ education project sees 140 young people aged 18 to 29-years-old who have been at least two years without studying, engage in a fast-track education scheme. The project is extremely important in Maré as there is a severe lack of educational and employment opportunities for young people. As well as receiving numeracy and literacy classes, students from New Pathways attend weekly personal development sessions, which, combined with individual mentoring from the social support team, offer careers advice and youth leadership skills. In 2014, 71 at-risk youths enrolled into the educational classes. They all reported feeling more optimistic about their future.

Fight for Peace is a programme of the Trafigura Foundation 

Find out more about the programme

Soft Toys for Education

Soft Toys for Education is a good cause partnership between the IKEA Foundation, UNICEF and Save the Children, first launched thirteen years ago. The idea is simple: for every soft toy or children’s book throughout November and December, the IKEA Foundation donates 1 euro to children’s education projects. The initiative has supported 99 projects in 46 countries, reaching 11 million children.

Find out more about the this project. 


Children Need Families, Not Orphanages

This animated film narrated by J.K. Rowling was released as part of Lumos’ mission to raise international awareness about children living away from families in orphanages.

In Children Need Families Not Orphanages, the Harry Potter author, who founded Lumos, speaks passionately about why children need families to grow and thrive, and how impersonal orphanages cannot meet a child’s need for individual love and care. The film is designed to build the political and public will to end the use of orphanages and institutions for children globally by 2050, by helping countries create community-based services that support vulnerable families to stay together.

“A baby quickly forges a bond with loving parents,” J.K. Rowling says, “and because of this bond the brain develops with remarkable speed and complexity.” But this picture of childhood can be a fragile one, she warns. “Poverty, conflict and disaster can destroy the foundations of family life… (and) in these circumstances, families can feel they have no choice but to place their child into a so-called orphanage, especially if the child is disabled and needs care the family cannot afford.”