Willy Brandt himself represented social change, which was reflected in his social and political reforms. He believed that policies serve 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.
Three winning projects are chosen at the annual award ceremony, this year on Friday, July 7, 2017 at ThEx (Thüringer Zentrum für Existenzgründung und Unternehmertum). Applications must be submitted between April 1st and May 15th. Any student currently enrolled or alumni from the Brandt School may submit an application.
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.
The Engagementpreis Foundation has been sponsoring the Commitment Award at the Brandt School since 2012.
Further information on the last years projects and how they were actualized can be found on facebook as well as on the following websites:
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.