EESC Civil Solidarity Prize

Civil society against COVID-19

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Twenty-three projects are awarded the EESC Civil Solidarity Prize

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is pleased to announce the 23 winners of its Civil Solidarity Prize, a one-off contest launched as an alternative to the annual EESC Civil Society Prize to reward not-for-profit initiatives carried out by individuals, civil society organisations or private companies to tackle the COVID-19 crisis and its manifold consequences.

An evaluation committee composed of experts chose the winners from the 250 applications received from 27 countries. The work of the panel was very challenging and rewarding, considering the large variety of projects, all of which showed that European civil society has carried out effective and creative actions to fight against COVID-19 and its consequences, displaying courage, engagement, solidarity and an unbelievable sense of responsibility.

The awards ceremony took place as a fully remote event on 15 February 2021.

The 23 prizes, worth EUR 10 000 each, went to:

Alison – Free Online Courses & Online Learning platform (category 15 – Ireland) for its project Coronavirus: What You Need to Know, a free COVID-19 facts course that has been translated into over 70 languages and has reached over 350 000 people worldwide;

Asociación de Familias y Mujeres del Medio Rural (Association of Families and Women in Rural Areas) (category 9 – Spain) for its project AFAMMER Great Rural Solidarity Network, which brought together hundreds of women in rural Spain who gave their time and sewing skills to tackle a shortage of protective masks and the growing isolation of elderly people during the pandemic;

Asociatia Prematurilor (The Romanian Association of Premature Babies) (category 24 – Romania) for its project Support for Medical Staff and Newborns in Maternity – Protective Equipment and Apparatus Against COVID-19 in maternity wards;

Blivande (category 25 – Sweden) for its project Crisis Response, an open-source initiative to create protective healthcare equipment on a large scale;

Bouge ton Coq (category 11 – France) for the initiative C’est ma tournée! (It's My Round!) which supported rural shops struggling to meet costs during the pandemic;

Casetta Rossa (Little Red House) (category 16 – Italy), a non-profit association which combined food delivery to vulnerable people with a radio station broadcasting information and personal stories to boost morale;

Cherwell Collective, CIC (category 28 – UK) for the project Live, Learn, Eat, Grow, which provided food and other essentials to people in need and trained residents to grow their own food;

Človek v ohrození (People in Need) (category 27 – Slovakia) for its initiative Their Health is Also Our Health, which supported hard-hit Roma communities and helped them through the pandemic;

Društvo psihologov Slovenije (Slovenian Psychologists Association) (category 26 – Slovenia) for their project Psychosocial Support to General Public and Professional Support to Psychologists and Other Healthcare Professionals During COVID-19 Outbreak in Slovenia;

Emergency (category 29 – cross-border/European), an Italy-based NGO, for the assistance it provided in Europe and worldwide to contain the pandemic, in particular through its Replicable Model of Safety and Protection Measures, a scalable model to design and manage hospitals during the pandemic;

#EUROPAgegenCovid19 (category 1 – Austria), an initiative presented by the non-profit company Kommunikationswerkstatt Talk 27, fighting disinformation, fake news and misinformation on the pandemic and motivating citizens to stand up against emotional and cognitive manipulation;

Hrvatska mreža za beskućnike (Croatian Network for the Homeless) (category 13 – Croatia), which supported homeless people as the country moved into lockdown and was further hit by an earthquake;

Karin Dom (category 3 – Bulgaria), a foundation which offered online training activities to support families of children with special needs;

Karolina Barišauskienė (category 17 – Lithuania), a communications expert, for her project Priešakinėse linijose (At the Front Lines), a digital campaign of stories and insights from medical professionals on the coronavirus front line;

Krisenchat (category 6 – Germany), a 24/7 counselling service which provided free practical support and comfort via Whatsapp or SMS to young people and children;

Krystyna Paszko (category 22 – Poland), a high-school student who created Chamomiles and Pansies, an online shop offering a lifeline to victims of domestic violence during lockdown;

Magyar Helsinki Bizottság (Hungarian Helsinki Committee) (category 14 – Hungary), which provided free legal assistance in human-rights-related cases linked to the crisis;

Malta Chamber of SMEs (category 20 – Malta) for its project With You All the Way, which provided online advice and peer support to help thousands of SMEs adapt to the pandemic;

Nevypusť Duši (Take Care of Your Mental Health) (category 5 – Czechia), an organisation of medical students and graduates, psychologists and social workers that set up an online programme to help students cope with mental health problems during the pandemic and build psychological resilience;

OKRA, trefpunt 55+ (category 2 – Belgium), an association that responded to the pandemic with The resilience of OKRA, an initiative aimed at keeping older people active and socially connected;

Steps (category 12 – Greece), a non-profit organisation that transformed its existing One-Stop project into Many Stops, providing hot meals, bottled water and personal hygiene products to street-connected people and those in precarious housing;

Vizinhos à Janela (Neighbours at the Window) (category 23 – Portugal), a neighbourhood initiative presented by Íñigo Hurtado which brought some relief through daily balcony concerts and food delivery to people in need;

Volunteers for the support of vulnerable groups during the period of the Covid-19 pandemic (category 4 – Cyprus) for their activities coordinated by Erika Theofanidi, which included the delivery of food and medicines to people isolating because of their age or health issues.

The EESC thanks all candidates for their applications and warmly congratulates the winners.