Public Libraries – a gateway for empowering local communities

Several libraries in Palestine and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon are becoming beacons for local community empowerment. These libraries are beneficiaries of the Libraries for Change project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Samer Khoury” library in Ein El Hilweh camp, a project beneficiary, is now offering IT training for its youth members. The youth were very enthusiastic during the interactive training and expressed their desire for additional training courses.

Such project comes under  the education program of the Welfare Association (Taawon) which believes that well-educated, critical and inquisitive individuals are the cornerstones of flourishing societies. Accordingly, cultivating these characteristics across generations of Palestinians is core to Taawon’s mission. The Education Program consists of various components, each of which invests in enhancing the quality of education at all levels, from preschool to university studies.

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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

Quality Education for Cocoa Communities

The Jacobs Foundation Livelihood Programme aims to improve the living conditions of families in rural areas of West Africa. The project in Ivory Coast has shown the importance of understanding and integrating social, cultural and economic realities of vulnerable communities into projects that focus on improving access to education.

Alongside the provision of technical support and entrepreneurship training for smallholder farmers, the project aimed to improve education at 7 schools in the region by supporting close collaboration between teachers, management, parent-teacher associations and the community.

In 2015, after gaining experience with the Livelihood Programme, the Jacobs Foundation has committed CHF 50 million to change the situation in cocoa-growing communities in Ivory Coast by implementing a comprehensive strategy to transform education, empower women, and ensure child protection.

This initiative is called TRECC (Transforming education in cocoa communities), and it builds on CocoaAction, an unprecedented commitment of the private sector to sustain the cocoa industry and improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers.

On y va – auf geht’s – let’s go

The aim of the Ideas Prize “On y va – auf geht’s – let’s go!” is to build on the different connections between people that form Europe. Whether through culture, education, welfare, health, the environment, or sport, the aim is to bring together enthusiastic EU citizens from diverse backgrounds and support them to realise charitable projects across Europe’s borders.

Under the motto “On y va – auf geht’s – let’s go!” the foundation is supporting projects which bring together participants from Germany, France and at least one other EU country. In doing so the participants have the opportunity to realise their projects on an international scale and become part of a wider network of committed European citizens.

The project is being funded by Robert Bosch Stiftung along with the Deutsch-Französisches Institut Ludwigsburg (dfi), a foundation that supports civil and social engagement in Europe.

Stay tuned to find out which projects they will be funding! 

Projet Banlieues

Fondation BNP Paribas is committed to working with local, microfinance and educational initiatives in disadvantaged suburbs. Projet Banlieues aims to get people back into work through helping them to set up their own business, and aiding local social initiatives and educational programmes for young people – these are all ways of helping to combat social marginalisation in deprived city neighbourhoods, in which the BNP Paribas Foundation, in liaison with the BNP Paribas retail banking network in France, is involved.

In particular, Projet Banlieues aims to:
– improve community life
– promote the social integration through the employment and entrepreneurial spirit
– ensuring the access to education to all


Find out more about this project here

Network Pausanias 2.0

The Network Pausanias 2.0 is a project that aims to develop the link between educational activities and material to the land, natural resources, production history, cultural heritage and the museum.

In particular the proposal aims to develop educational activities in the Foundation’s Museum Network, it hopes to promote cultural heritage and an enthusiasm for local history whilst supporting experiential activities.

Find out more about the project here

My Machine

MyMachine is a Belgian initiative that brings children’s ideas to life. It was originally conceived by the Community Foundation West Flanders that is managed by the King Baudouin Foundation, Howest University and Intercommunale Leiedal, and strengthened by support from a number of other educational, governmental and industrial partners.

The initiative aims to engage children in thinking outside-the-box. MyMachine offers a solution to inventive children with great but never usually realised ideas. MyMachine makes children’s ideas a reality simply because these ideas matter.

The MyMachine-methodology (created and owned by MyMachine) is very simple and consists of 3 steps:

STEP 1. The ‘Idea phase’: children from primary schools (in Belgium aged 6 to 12 years) invent and present (Via drawings, models, manuals, …) their own ‘Dream Machine’.

STEP 2. The ‘Design’ or ‘Concept’ phase: higher education students (f.e. product design students) propose one or more solutions to design those machines. The best solutions – according to the children – then are selected and further developed. We call this the DESIGN- or CONCEPT-phase

STEP 3. The final MACHINE-phase:  the technical drawings/designs and working concepts are handed over to Secondary Tech Schools (for pupils aged 12-18 years). They build real prototypes of those machines, assisted by the kids who invented them (IDEA) and the high school students who designed them (DESIGN).

Throughout this whole process the children, pupils and students can use the expertise and support of a wide range of local corporations and organizations who share a common view on creativity and innovation.

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Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development

The Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development covers topics related to the development of the child, from conception to the age of five, and presents the most up-to-date scientific knowledge.

The Encyclopedia is produced by the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development (CEECD) and the Strategic Knowledge Cluster on Early Child Development (SKC-ECD), supported by the Bernard van Leer Foundation. It is designed for service providers, service planners, policy makers and parents.

Next to the website, the Encyclopedia now also has its own YouTube channel, showcasing many interesting videos related to the development of children. Both the website and the YouTube channel are available free of charge.

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.