Prague/Vienna, May 2 (CTK) – Czech projects scored success in the SozialMarie Central European contest of social innovations in Vienna where they won the first and third prize among almost 200 projects from five countries on Sunday, the organisers have told CTK.

The first prize winner is Zaostreno na dusi (Focused on Soul), a project fighting the stigma linked to mental diseases.

SozialMarie is the oldest Central European prize awarded for social innovations. A total of 190 projects sought the prize this year, including 22 from the Czech Republic.

The 15 awarded projects are comprised of six Austrian ones, four Czech, four Hungarian and one Slovak.

The first prize, carrying 15,000 euros, went to Zaostreno na dusi, a project of Studio 27, which is a group of four journalists with personal experience with a serious mental disease. They use public debates and a YouTube channel to try to change people’s approach to mentally ill patients and push through a psychiatric care reform in the Czech Republic.

The third prize, carrying 5,000 euros, went to the Czech Na ovoce (To Pick Fruits) project, which is a digital map of the places where fruits can be picked for free in the Czech Republic.

The mobile application enables people go to the orchards that have been neglected and also share their experience with free fruit picking.

The second prize went to an Austrian project facilitating the start of adult life for young people leaving children’s homes.