human development, social justice and sustainable social systems


15 January 2021

The first ever Caritas Europa Innovation Festival was a huge success!

Over 170 colleagues from 33 countries joined this special debut, to get inspired and learn from each other. On the stages: 12 innovative Caritas projects!

These projects showed innovative ways to tackle homelessness and social disadvantage, to respond to the Covid-pandemic with new solutions and collaborate with start-ups to solve problems in international programmes.

They displayed a new approach to engaging volunteers with little time and a high need for flexibility, and how reducing food waste can actually help victims of human trafficking. We also got to know an inclusive Youth Club with ambitious ideas.

To find out more about the innovative projects have a look at the presentations!


A very special compilation…
A total of 44 project have been submitted – find out more about these projects and maybe get in touch with your colleagues for further exchange.

Download compilation


On the stages!
A short description of each of the projects presented:

My right (Armenian Caritas): shows how a group of young Caritas Volunteers took initiative and developed a Peer-project for the inclusion of youth with disabilities. Caritas supports their initiative without taking over control.

Ecosol (Caritas Spain): is a well-established Caritas Social Business, that was badly hit by the Covid-Crisis. It turns the pandemic into an opportunity by creating new Covid-relevant services and products.

Shediaart (Caritas Greece): is a special Caritas street paper project, that creates additional jobs by upcycling its own production waste into well selling design products.

Noah housing first (Caritas Social Action Network – CSAN): A housing first project that turns the normal homelessness pathway narrative on its head by focusing on the “hardest cases”.

Clay coin (Caritas Slovakia): A simple clay coin with a big impact changes the way of donating to people begging on the street – this project has already transferred to three other cities in Slovakia.

Adaptive FSM (Trócaire/Caritas Myanmar): Trócaire (Caritas Ireland) and Caritas Myanmar developed an innovative solution to handle toilet disposals in IDP camps. Local communities can be trained in the system easily, reducing the risk of diseases like diarrhea and cholera in crowded and vulnerable camp environments.

Chat net (Caritas Austria): Uses new technologies to break up social isolation by creating a new form of easy and flexible volunteering.

The sustainable development farm (Caritas Serbia): Caritas Sabac successfully combines work inclusion and high-quality service for people with disadvantages with a sustainable business approach in agriculture, food production, event management and ethno-tourism.

Food4Life (Caritas Italy): This special project shows how reducing food waste can actually help victims of human trafficking and sex exploitation and also breaks a taboo by focusing on helping affected children as well.

Promotion of innovative Technologies (Caritas Denmark): Caritas Denmark collaborates with private sector companies to build innovative and affordable products for poor local markets in developing countries. Products like a solar-driven electrical stove or a special water-sack for solar water disinfection solve pressing problems and provide green jobs to local youth.

Triplo D (Caritas Portugal): This projects shows how Caritas Coimbra links democratic participation, active citizenship and human rights – through education, training sessions and community discussion groups. Triplo D invests in levels of participatory and constructive intervention and promotes target groups as agents of change.

RIBES (Caritas Italy): RIBES adopts a multidimensional model to prevent minors’ educational poverty. Moving away from a specialist focused approach, the project promotes community engagement to support people in need, gives new life to school and welfare system.





9.00-12.30 (Central European Time)

further information

Corinna Sharma
Project Manager, Caritas Vienna