Brandt School Universität Erfurt

Commitment Award

The Engagementpreis Foundation has sponsored the Commitment Award at the Brandt School since 2012.

Willy Brandt himself represented social change, reflected in his social and political reforms. He believed that policies served no purpose if the policy makers did not have a specific goal in mind when creating it. Thus, in the multicultural and diverse setting of the Brandt School, the Commitment Award seeks to give students the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned at the Brandt School and to initiate new social initiatives here in Erfurt and around the world. Starting in 2014, the Brandt School is accepting applications not only from current students, but also from alumni. 

Three winning projects will be chosen at the annual award ceremony in July (applications must be submitted by May 1). Any currently enrolled student or alumni at the Brandt School can submit an application and be eligible for this award.

A jury of experts carefully evaluates the applications while considering the following questions: How charitable is the project? How much potential and sustainability is incorporated into the project? Will the prize money be used responsibly and effectively? Is the project likely to be actualized?

The jury consists of various members from politics, civil society and the private sector. In 2016, Dr. Andreas Rickert, managing director of Phineo, Christiane Kilian, project manager of ThEx Innovativ, Marufa Akter, winner of the 2012 award, and Juan David Rivera Acevedo, winner of the 2014 award, have been jury members.

Commitment Award Winners

The 2016 winners

1st prize: Daniar Matikanov, Aiperi Otunchieva, and Batybek Alymkulov (Kyrgysztan)

“Water for Small-scale Farmers” - As a result of climate change and due to the alteration of rainfall patterns, rain-fed agriculture at Shybran village in south Kyrgyzstan is under risk. Improved technology for rainwater harvesting will be the key to adapt to these changes. Our winners present practical solutions for efficient water use in the absence of water system infrastructure in rural areas. They state that even with annual precipitation levels lower than 300 mm, it is possible to ensure rain-fed agriculture.

2nd prize: Harini Suresh (India)

"Save our Future" - First-year MPP student Harini aims to spread awareness about the issue of child sexual abuse in the city of Chennai, India. Fellows at schools would be provided with a complete set of lesson plans breaking down this complex issue into simpler units that would explain everything to a child.

3rd prize: Grigoriy Grigoryev (USA/Russia) and Jafar Terciano Binasse (Mozambique)

“Computer School in Sub-Saharan Village in Mozambique” - They created a project that is dedicated to the development of computer skills for the young inhabitants of the Marrupa community, in Mozambique. They would like to create an inexpensive Raspberry Pi computer school, where local kids can learn to use computers. Eventually, they’ll be able to learn to code and create programs; as the computers would be running Open Source Software.


The 2015 winners

1st prize: Jessie Jhon Mateo-Magkilat (Philippines) and Hannah Yan-Wai Saley (Canada)

Their project "Reading on Wheels" aims at improving street children’s life by bringing the joy of reading to children in the street of the Philippine city of Cagayan de Oro. The prize money helped to to purchase little trollies and books. Volunteers from Cagayan de Oro-based Xavier University go to the streets and read stories to the kids. For their project, the winners benefited from the Brandt School’s global Alumni network: Manilee Pañares, MPP student in Erfurt from 2012 to 2014, works at Xavier University and supports the idea strongly.

2nd prize: Theresia Nkafu Atemkeng (Cameroon)

The project "Shelter to Educate" provides a two years accommodation and school fee support to three women between 18 and 25 years from rural communities in the Buea region by implementing a special housing model, where coaching and mentoring by the landlord is already part of the educational process.

3rd prize: George Ayuune Akeliwira (Ghana)

The project "Giving Hope to Hopeless Tomatoes Farmers of Zorko" supports farmers in the North of Ghana by providing water pumps to the rural community of Zorko, where more than 90 percent of the population is depending on agriculture and water supply is a big problem in the dry season.



The 2014 winners

1st Prize: Julia Oestreich (Germany)

Julia's project “Weaving for Independence” is based in Sri Lanka and works with the Selyn Foundation. The main idea of her project focuses on empowering women by providing the opportunities and skills necessary to start sustainable textile businesses.

2nd Prize: Krishna Giri (Nepal)

Krishna's project aims to provide safe drinking water for school children in Nepal.

3rd Prize: Steve Wakhu (Kenya)

Steve's project “Adopt a Girl” aims to create equal opportunities for girls in schools by disrupting social stigmas regarding sexual health. Although Steve was unable to attend the ceremony, Nora Böggemann accepted the award on Steve’s behalf.



The 2013 Winners

1st Prize: Lamin O. Ceesay and Juan David Rivera (The Gambia)

Lamin's and Juan's project is designed to increase agricultural production and to train farmers in sustainable rice and mango farming techniques to maintain their livlihoods even during the dry season. Focusing on mango production and producing marmalade out of the excess mangos, Lamin and Juan have bought a special machine for a village and are well into the first phase of their project implementation.

2nd Prize: Lea Maffengang (Cameroon)

Lea's project is School-based Sanitation for Children in the rural village of Bansoa, Cameroon. Her project is focused on improving sanitation in schools by providing appropriate supplies and training both parents, teachers and children on sanitation issues. The soaps and cleaning supplies are produced locally in order to boost the local economy and remain a sustainable practice. 

3rd Prize: Dahmata Tene Yabre (Ghana)

Dahmata's project is called Love Child and works with a local NGO in a suburb of Accra. The purpose of this project is to provide mothers with basic childcare items with the long term goal of reducing the infant mortality rate in this community.



The 2012 Winners

1st Prize: Marufa Akter (Bangladesh) 

Marufa's project is Open Sky School for Dhaka's Street Children. The Open Sky school provides basic free education for homeless children in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

2nd Prize: Yudy Andrea Novoa Lopez (Colombia)

Yudy's project is Legal Assistance and Training Program for Displaced Peoples in Colombia (PROACTIV) and is designed to support and facilitate community buidling activities for displaced peoples.

3rd Prize: Laura Dadomo (Argentina)

Laura's project is Prevention and Healthcare for Women focusing on disease prevention and access to healthcare for women in rural Argentina. 


Commitment Award Team