Welcome to Eurodiaconia

Social Innovation Hub

Best practices from our members

See below a selection of social innovation projects led by our members across Europe.

“Health For Villages” Fundatia Filantropia Timisoara, Romania

"Health for Villages" ("Sănătate pentru sate") is a socio-medical program for people from villages and small towns, who do not have access to modern equipment and specialized consultations. Federația Filantropia Timișoara, as part of the broader network of the Romanian Orthodox Church, together with the Ministry of Health organized the campaign, ensuring assistance, free medical consultations and dental prophylaxis for individuals who live in disadvantaged areas. Thousands of people were consulted for free by specialist doctors through the "Health for Villages" campaign. The doctors who were part of the caravan that has so far passed through 8 counties to timely discover diseases that can become serious if not treated early. Federația Filantropia Timișoara also ensured smooth running of the activities in the campaign with its ambulance services.

"Partener Social" Fundatia Filantropia Timisoara, Romania

"Partener Social" is a platform for finding beneficiaries in need, such as children, elderly, and persons in vulnerable situations in the community. Personal data of beneficiaries is collected with the help of social workers and Directorates for Social Affairs in the counties of Romania. This platform serves as a preparation for different interventions, such as the evaluation of the needs of beneficiaries, tailored consultations and doctor visits, with an option to organize virtual consultations too. In the end of every consultation, the beneficiary receives a comprehensive report with dates, diagnoses and administrative details, that are shared with the social worker in compliance with GDPR. This project is funded by the Norway grants and used by Fundatia Filantropia Timisoara for their service provision.

"Superhands Project" Diakonie Austria

"Superhands” is a service for children (young carers) that provides information on emergency and nursing services. "Superhands" is structured as a platform to share knowledge, case studies, photo stories and first aid tips for children and young people who care for sick relatives. It also provides legal assistance and contacts with care professionals, by phone and online for free. The aim of the website is to inform carers about health care services carried out in a family context, while providing individual counselling and sensibilization initiatives to fight against the stigmatization sometimes faced at school and other environments. Young Carers (caring for children) help with household chores, shopping, showering and dressing. They provide medication and provide support in traditional care as well as in looking after younger siblings. Their offer is also aimed at caregivers and multipliers, such as teachers, doctors, nursing staff, psychologists, social workers and many more. Diakonie Austria is one of the project partners.

Nueva Vida Textil, Maliaño, Cantabria, Spain

"Nueva Vida Textil" is a social business project for the economic and social insertion of people at risk of exclusion, especially women survivors of sexual exploitation. Integration into the labor market in decent and stable conditions is essential. This is how, in 2021, the Nueva Vida Association made the decision to start a textile manufacturing business project to promote the training, professionalization and job placement of people at risk of exclusion, with local and responsible business models through public-private partnerships. From the beginning, the entity has had a collaboration with the company AUSTRAL Sport and the Camargo City Council. In total, 22 people have participated in this project (18 women and 4 men). 8 women in contexts of sexual exploitation, 3 people under international protection, 1 couple experiencing homelessness and 10 people at risk of exclusion.

"Proti un Dari" ("Know and Do") Youth Program Agency, Latvia

International Youth Program Agency project "Know and Do!" ("Proti un Dari") aims to develop the skills of young people (aged 15 to 29 years, who do not study, work, learn a trade and are not registered with the State Employment Agency as unemployed, NEETs) and promote their involvement in education, including master's degree, in employment, in the Youth Guarantee project measures implemented by the State Education Development Agency or in the active employment or preventive unemployment reduction measures implemented by the State Employment Agency, as well as in the activities of non-governmental organizations or youth centers. Additionally, it takes a holistic approach which incorporates access to housing, education and/or health services to meet the needs of the youth and cultivate their visibility. The project is funded by the ESF, REACT-EU and by the state budget.

URCA managerial assistance model Diaconia Valdese, Pinerolese, Italy

Diaconia Valdese has been active for years in the Pinerolese area in the field of welcoming people with dementia, with particular attention also to families. Recently, services for people living at home have been strengthened. Diaconia Valdese and Memory Team ETS, the Bari association, creator of the URCA managerial assistance model, signed a partnership in June 2023, that involves the replication of the model for the correct management of behavioral crises in patients with dementia, allowing persons with dementia to move freely in their area and engaging families. To date, there are 150 families followed by a team of professionals who reach the patients' homes on scooters for surgery emergency, environmental assessment and psychoeducation with the aim of promoting the well-being of the family, avoiding inappropriate hospitalizations, delaying the institutionalization of the person with Alzheimer's and having a positive impact on costs.

ESIA, Diakonisches Werk Schleswig Holstein, Denmark

The European Social Innovation Alliance (ESIA) is a European network of 26 partner organisations from Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom supporting and learning from each other in establishing national competence centres and working towards a pan-European social innovation infrastructure on all levels – locally, regionally, nationally, and transnationally. Partners: Centre for Social Investment, Danish Design Centre, Danish Social Innovation Academy, Diakonie Schleswig-Holstein, FASE GmbH, Foundation for Civil Society, Glasgow Caledonian University, Institute for Work and Technology, Phineo gAG, Social Entrepreneurship Netzwerk Deutschland e.V., Shipyard Foundation, Social Enterprise Estonia, Social Innovation Exchange, Tallinn University, Technical University Dortmund, Võru County Development Agency with the lead partner Social Impact gGmbH.

"SING" - Innovatively Designing Senior Work, Diakonie Austria

Not replacing but supporting: Digital innovations are used in everyday life to make the work of employees easier and to increase the well-being of clients. People are still the focus - digital innovations are only used where they can create real benefit and are carefully checked and tested before use in Diakonie Austria. The Model “SING” – Innovatively Designing Senior Work – was designed by Diakoniewerk as a concrete proposal for a new financing and provision logic for care to enable independent life for elderly people. The elderly can choose the mix of support programs that they need. With Allfred, a platform was created that connects people who need support with those who can offer this support. Everyday helpers can be found via the portal to help with household chores, shopping or doctor's visits, for example.

"Your game, your rules?" video game, Diaconía España

On the European Day for the protection of Children against sexual abuse and exploitation, Diaconía España warns about the dangers of sexual exploitation of minors in video games with the campaign "Your game, your rules?". It has developed a video game in which gamers will be able to test their skills in detecting suspicious cases of recruitment and learn about tools that help them know how to act if they find themselves in a situation of risk when playing online. This is the first campaign in Spain that focuses on the virtual identity used in video games, where, with increasing frequency, risk situations occur regarding the recruitment and exploitation of minors for sexual purposes. With this campaign, Diaconía España drew attention of the general population, but, above all, young people and their families so that they know the real dangers that some video games can hide. For Diaconía España, it is “fundamental” that society begins to become aware of this hidden problem and that both fathers and mothers, as well as young people, can be informed about the responsible use that should be given to video games and avatars; and have the necessary tools to prevent cases of grooming and recruitment for sexual exploitation.

"Stoor", "Ohjaamo", "NUOTTI", Lahiti Diaconia Foundation, Finland

A core focus in Dila’s work refers to assisting marginalized youth and helping them find their place in society. The development work of the future workshop started in 2022 and it will be done together with the Future Research Center of the University of Turku. The activity is intended for young people aged 16–29, who are still concerned about the future. The purpose is that young people are encouraged to think about their future and wishes and make related decisions. The young person must have their own motivation to participate, and commit to a project lasting about a month, even though the workshop is based on volunteering. Young people are guided through Dila's own activities, e.g., Stoor (which gives young people a means to familiarize with social work), and through cooperation agencies, such as Ohjaamo or NUOTTI coaching. This work consists of various employment services for young people, a drop-in center for teens aged 13-17, and their ‘future workshop’ (Tulevaisuuspaja) program. The DIGI workshop supports people under the age of 29 to develop digital work skills.

ALADIEN & QuartrBack Evangelische Heimstiftung, Germany

The Evangelische Heimstiftung (EHS) emphasizes that technical progress should serve people and has formulated ten ethical principles for digitalization. Their digital strategy, symbolized by ALADIEN, aims to ease everyday life through various technical aids. ALADIEN has been in use since 2017 in EHS’ WohnenPLUS residences and assisted living, supporting everyday companions in outpatient residential communities with daily care. Sensors in living spaces enhance resident safety and comfort by detecting dangers and emergencies. The QuartrBack project focuses on improving the quality of life, social participation, autonomy, and self-determination for individuals with cognitive limitations or dementia through technology. It includes a helper network app that initiates an "intelligent emergency chain" involving relatives, volunteers, and professionals. EHS has also developed a digital education process using a peer-to-peer concept for older adults in senior-specific living arrangements and institutionalized care. The “Institute for Care and Aging” (IPA) supports EHS’s innovation by focusing on research related to nursing practice. EHS involves nursing staff, residents, and external partners to drive new developments and promote scientific exchange through lectures, publications, and networking nationwide.

We.Ca.Re Cantiere Regionale Project, Diaconia Valdese, Italy

The activities of the We.Ca.Re Cantiere Regionale Project, strategy co-financed with the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Regional Development Fund aimed to stimulate innovation and collaboration between services, administrations and citizens in construction of increasingly effective mutual support networks. The project involves students from the lower secondary schools of Torre Pellice (IC Gianni Rodari), Perosa Argentina (IC Gouthier) and Pinerolo (Serena area – IC Silvio Pellico), who created videos to talk to their peers about conflicts that they have to deal with on a daily basis, giving constructive advice. Young learners were empowered to take responsibility for their own content creation. Following this, a YouTube channel was created - We.ca.re. WeRicogniamoCi - which brought together the videos, making them accessible not only to male and female students but to anyone who wants to delve deeper into the work carried out during the We.Ca.Re project throughout the region.

Living Room, and Suojattomat, Helsinki, Finland

Living Room offers help, support and activities for young people who came to the country as minors, without parents, so that they are not left alone. Suojattomat is a project that works with people who have sought but been denied asylum in Finland. we offer them community activities and community support instead of inaction.

"Work skills project," Diakonissalaitos, Finland

The Work Skills Project ran from November 2020 until December 2022 under the European Social Fund (ESF).) The project responds to the challenges faced by young people at risk of social exclusion in the Rovaniemi region. It promoted the employment of young people, especially men, who are not in education, training or employment. There are more unemployed men aged under 30 than women in Rovaniemi and the project provided companies with coaching and increase skills to improve their capacity to support sustainable employment among young people.

"Superhands Project" Johanniter & Diakonie austria

Superhands Germany: It is estimated that around 480,000 children and young people in Germany look after relatives in need of care. So almost half a million – that’s one or two per school class. That's why the Superhands platform exists. To talk, to ask questions, to get information. For many children and young people with care responsibilities – also known as “Young Carers”.

Dementia-Friendly Communities in Czech Republic

Dementia-friendly Communities in Czech Republic, ran from September 2021 until December 2022 under Erasmus+ KA1 as a short-term project for mobility of learners and staff in vocational training and education Dementia-friendly communities is a concept primarily focused on dignity and respect for a person with dementia. The project rasied awareness and understanding of dementia and its symptoms and advocates that dementia isn’t the end of life, but rather a new chapter. "Dementia-friendly communities in Czech Republic" was partnered by Slezska Diakonie, (CZ) and Diaconia Valdese and Rifugio Re Carlo Alberto (IT)

“Resilyou" App, Evangelical Reformed Church and Diakonie Switzerland

The “Resilyou” app for strengthening the psychological resilience of users through regular use, was financed by the St. Gallen Church, among others. An app for personal development and inner strength, scientifically based and suitable for everyday use with its low-threshold and holistic training. Using daily rituals, users should consciously focus on positive experiences, be they small successes in everyday professional life or beautiful encounters in private life. A positive attitude is important in order to stay mentally healthy even in times of crisis. Because friendly relationships are a central pillar for mental health, it is recommended to train in teams of two. According to a statement from the Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of St. Gallen, the app was made possible by three-year start-up funding from the cantonal church. Since the beginning of 2023, “Resilyou” has been available for download in the Apple and Google stores.

"Plaudernetz" Caritas Austria, Diakonie Wien and Diakonie Austria

Caritas Austria uses social innovation to combat loneliness. Many people in Austria suffer from a lack of social contacts and are severely affected by loneliness. Plaudernetz is the telephone number against loneliness, where people from all over Austria can be easily connected to one another. You can chat every day between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. on 05 1776 100. Everything is completely anonymous and confidential. In moments of loneliness, the chat network is a quick help. Thanks to our volunteer chat partners, more than 34,000 conversations have been held since it began in April 2020. Their chat network is a quick help in moments of loneliness: dial 05 1776 100 and be connected to other people. It is also possible to register as a chat partner and support the network, technology and volunteers financially at

"GISA" App, Diakonie Düsseldorf, Hassels-Nord, Germany

Diakonie Düsseldorf’s Office for Social Innovation focuses on promoting new approaches to social work and the organization's operations. Collaborating with social enterprises, start-ups, and incubators, they seek digital products and services that enhance their ability to effectively meet future needs with an aim to use digital tools to complement and enrich personal attention, not replace it. One notable innovation is the GISA app, designed to provide easy access to information and events for families in the Flingern district shop, the Ernst-Lange-Haus in Hassels-Nord, and refugees using Diakonie Düsseldorf's advisory services. The app aids users with filling out applications, addressing landlord issues, and navigating their new environment. It also facilitates connections through parent-child groups for mothers with and without a migrant background. Available for free, the app offers updates on new services and events and allows direct, secure communication with staff via messenger, including voice and image messages.

Energy with Spirit-Solidarity Energy Communities, Austria

In collaboration with eight other partners, Our Austrian member Diakonie Austria pioneered the implementation of a project called ‘Energy With Spirit-a solidarity energy community in the Evangelical-Diaconal area in Austria. This is within the framework of the “Lighthouses for Resilient Cities 2040” funding program as part of the Smart Cities Initiative of the Climate and Energy Fund. The Energy with Spirit project addressed the challenges of the energy crisis by actively engaging vulnerable populations in the energy transition. The project raised awareness about energy efficiency and sustainability among participants, promoting long-term behavioural changes towards energy consumption. By creating a solidarity energy community, the project also improved the socailisation and confidence of the involved population.

"Zekki – What’s up?", Deaconess Foundation, Finland

Our Finnish member, Deaconess Foundation, in collaboration with Diak University got the shared first prize on the European Social Innovation Competition alongside projects from The Netherlands and Austria.The “Skills for Tomorrow – Shaping a green and digital future” Challenge Prize was awarded to the Finnish consortium for their collaborative project “Zekki – What’s up?”. The initiative consists of a digital service in Finland that matches young people with various support services on an online wellbeing self-assessment quiz.

D-Care Lab Innovations in the Danube Region, Deacon Foundation

The Danube Region is facing critical challenges in home care due to its aging population. The demand for affordable and high-quality long-term care services, including home care and community-based support, is urgent. To address these needs, the EU-funded D-Care Labs project aims to revolutionize the home care landscape and enhance the European Care Strategy. The D-Care Labs project offers promising opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship. By empowering social professions, fostering social investment ecosystems, and adopting the successful D-Care Lab model, the region is embarking on a new path for home care. Through innovation, collaboration, and a dedication to dignified care, the Danube Region is reimagining the future of home care, bringing positive change to care-dependent individuals.

Virtual Reality in Palliative Care, Deacon Foundation, Finland

At the Deacon Foundation’s Hospice, a pioneering research project is exploring the use of virtual reality (VR) glasses as a supplement to alleviate pain and anxiety in palliative care patients. Led by Professor Hanne Konradsen, the project aims to uncover the profound effects of VR in mitigating suffering. With a significant percentage of patients experiencing pain, alternative methods like VR offer promising relief without unwanted side effects.The Deacon Foundation’s Hospice leads this exploration, pushing the boundaries of compassion and innovation in palliative care.

"Grow old as I want" Community Nursing project at Diakoniewerk, Austria

Since spring 2022, the first community nurses of the Diakoniewerk have been in use. The main idea is that community nurses can develop their future tools and measures (also) themselves. Under the motto “Grow old as I want”, Community Nursing is there for seniors and relatives and accompanies a self-determined life in old age. Preventive and individual solutions are created that are right for the patient. The Community Nurse is active as a contact person at community level for all questions relating to health, everyday life, care and nursing. Networked within the community, with social service providers, doctors and associations, rhe qualified nurese coordinates the care solution that is tailored to your individual life situation.