Brandt School Universität Erfurt

Twelve Projects Competing for the 2019 Commitment Award

The winners of the 2018 Commitment Award

The Willy Brandt School of Public Policy at the University of Erfurt, in cooperation with the Engagementpreis Foundation, will award the 2019 Commitment Award on July 11, 2019. The goal of the Commitment Award is to support sustainable and social projects by providing them with initial funding. It offers students and alumni of the Brandt School the opportunity to apply what they have learned during their studies. This year, twelve projects will be competing. 

Allow us to introduce the 2019 project applications:

Project 1: Johana Botía Diaz
“Community garden to ensure food for the children in a school of Wiwa and Kogi indigenous groups in Colombia” (Colombia)

Second-year student Johana Botía Diaz seeks to support the education of Wiwa and Kogi children in Colombia by strengthening the local community garden project and providing food for the schoolchil-dren. The project also aims to create spaces to learn about agriculture and gardening and to promote the inter-generational transfer of ancestral knowledge of medicinal herbs by creating a medicinal herb garden.

Project 2: Jean de Dieu Kizito Cirhigiri
“Vijana Mobile App” (Democratic Republic of Congo)

The “Vijana Mobile App” project, created by first-year student Jean de Dieu Kizito Cirhigiri, aims to combat the ineffectiveness of agricultural cooperatives with a more inclusive approach, namely affordable mobile technology. The Vijana Mobile App hopes to connect farmers in rural areas with households in the city, making fresh and affordable food more accessible, while at the same time striving to remove the stigma associated with agricultural work among the younger population

Project 3: Urquia Martinez Rodriguez, Jessica Davila Barragan, Berenice Muñoz Proaño and Emma Santana Fano
“ECOsfera: una alternativa sustenable” (Venezuela)

“ECOsfera: una alternativa sustenable” by Urquia Martinez Rodriguez, Jessica Davila Barragan, Berenice Muñoz Proaño and Emma Santana Fano aims to tackle the problem of malnutrition and food security in Caracas, Venezuela. The project seeks to decrease malnutrition levels and undernourish-ment in children living below the poverty line by improving the conditions of school dining halls and educating children, as well as the community, about self-sustaining agronomic practices.

Project 4: Ni Otto Dodoo and Anthony Dogbedeo
“Knowledge is Power: The Reading Hub (to the rescue of students in Budumburam Refugee Camp)” (Ghana)

Ni Otto Dodoo and Anthony Dogbedeo, first-year students at the Brandt School, and their project “Knowledge is Power: The Reading Hub”, seek to support the children living in the Budumburam Refugee Camp in Ghana. The project aims to provide the platform for students to develop, strength-en and sustain their interest for reading and general studies, improve their mathematic skills and receive assistance with schoolwork. The project also seeks to reduce child prostitution, teenage pregnancy and parenthood, drug abuse and ‘streetism’ in the refugee camp.

Project 5: Sofia Vanessa Hernández Zambrano
Communitarian-Fabric “Tierra Verde” (Ecuador)

Ecuadorian women, especially young women, single mothers and those of African descent, face outstanding unemployment rates. First-year student Sofia Vanessa Hernández Zambrano`s project “Communitarian Fabric ‘Tierra Verde’” aims to offer an opportunity for social economic productive groups (Asociaciones EPS) consisting of Afro-descendent women and/or single mothers to start their own entrepreneurial initiatives by providing them with the necessary infrastructure and support.

Project 6: Nada Salaheldin Ibrahim and Fatma Montaser
“Technical and Vocational Training for Street Children (HERFA)” (Egypt)


“HERFA”, which means craft in Arabic, aims to provide street children (aged from 10 to 18) with technical and vocational training, entrepreneurship and life ethics workshops. The project, created by Nada Salaheldin Ibrahim and Fatma Montaser, hopes to give street children an alternative to begging and to provide them with the necessary technical and life skills needed to make a living from practicing a trade.

Project 7: John Chrysostom Kamoga and Gitungo Wamere
“Nature Trending” (Uganda)

To help combat the effects of climate change in Uganda, first-year students John Chrysostom Kamoga and Gitungo Wamere and their project “Nature Trending” plan to create employment opportunities, while at the same time promoting sustainable living. The project will support tree planting and the production of handmade products, while also aiming to create a global demand for such sustainable products.

Project 8: Sreekanth Reddy Mukku and Julian P.J. Degen
“Digital Kiosk – Namma Digital Seva” (India)

Sreekanth Reddy Mukku and Julian P.J. Degen, creators of the “Digital Kiosk – Namma Digital Seva” project, aim to bring digital literacy to the disadvantaged parts of the population and provide access to secure digital services. Their “Digital Kiosk” will allow community members to use digital public services, such as paying bills online, and to apply for jobs or register for government services. The project also aims to educate the community on data safety and security.

Project 9: Eric Mushimiyimana and Hamzah Inusah
“Clean Fuel for Life” (Rwanda)

The “Clean Fuel for Life Project” by Eric Mushimiyimana and Hamzah Inusah seeks to help an existing local association open a shop that will provide affordable, safe and clean cooking energy by supplying refilled gas cylinders and stoves to the rural residents in Gitovu Sector, Rwanda. The goal of the project is to decrease deforestation and soil erosion and to reduce household air pollution. Since collecting firewood takes a large amount of time, using clean fuel could increase school attendance and reduce the time women need to cook.

Project 10: Nicole Oubre, Sonia Gonzales and Ariana Barrenechea
“MINTy Girls” (Germany)

Only 21% of university graduates currently working in the MINT disciplines (math, informatics, natural science and technology) are women. To combat this gender gap, first-year students Nicole Oubre, Sonia Gonzales and Ariana Barrenechea and their project “MINTy Girls” aim to empower and inspire young girls by helping them build confidence and develop skills in MINT subjects through workshops focusing on different MINT concepts, guided by female university MINT volunteers

Project 11: Tamara Puerto
“Edu-Sex” (Colombia)

Second-year student Tamara Puerto’s project “Edu-Sex” seeks to combat gender inequality and the lack of sex education in Colombia. The project aim is to design, prepare, implement, evaluate and disseminate the results of a set of workshops, study modules and conferences with schools and universities in Colombia on topics related to sex and gender, gender equality, sexual and reproductive rights and diversity

Project 12: Kanishka Wahidi
“Books to the blue bus!” (Afghanistan)

Brandt School alumn Kanishka Wahidi and his “Books to the blue bus!” project seeks to support the Charmaghz initiative, which provides a mobile library to the citizens of Kabul, Afghanistan. The goal of the project is to provide stationary, writing supplies and books for the bus, to help promote early childhood education, especially for children currently not attending school.

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