Caixa rewards innovative approaches to social problems

La Caixa Social Innovation Awards presented for innovative solutions to social problems. Photo: La Caixa / El Plural
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• Projects tackle gender violence, poverty, social exclusion, hate speech & more
• Social Innovation awards carry 15K euros prize money for each award winner

Obra Social la Caixa, a program of the Fundación Bancaria la Caixa philanthropic foundation of Spain’s Caixa bank, has announced the 2016 winners of its annual Social Innovation Awards, presented to 10 projects that have developed innovative solutions to social problems faced every day by Spanish society.

The 10 winning projects in 2016, selected from among 50 finalists narrowed down from 327 projects that received some form of support from Obra Social la Caixa last year, have each received 15,000 euros in prize money from the foundation to continue developing their programs aimed at resolving a wide range of social problems in Spain.

Among the 10 social innovation award winners in 2016, representing organizations and social entrepreneurs from Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Zaragoza, Málaga, Almería, Granada, A Coruña and Vizcaya, are programs aimed at combating hate speech against immigrants and ethnic minorities, improving the employability of people in vulnerable situations, prevention of gender-based violence, supporting people with intellectual disabilities, and promoting intercultural co-existence between the Spanish population and immigrants.

Also among the winners are a project seeking to improve the quality of life for the elderly through accessibility to services and shared housing, a program to develop a temporary shelter network for young migrants of foreign origin with no family relatives nearby and who live in situations of vulnerability or exclusion, as well as a cooperative project that links social inclusion of marginalized members of society with energy efficiency.

Three runner-up projects that each received prizes of 5,000 euros, included an innovative project using dogs to help people to learn to read, a program designed to address poverty using an integrated approach through the empowerment of children, teachers and families and a program providing psycho-social support for children with cancer with disabilities, their family and relational environment in rural areas.

► Read More in Spanish at Europa Press, El Plural and El Mundo …

► Read More in English about La Caixa Social Innovation Awards, here …

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