Their project “Reading on Wheels” aims to bring the joy of reading to street children in the Philippine city of Cagayan de Oro. The prize money helped to purchase little trolleys and books and the project is fully functioning. 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 lends her support to the project.
2nd prize: Theresia Nkafu Atemkeng (Cameroon)
The project “Shelter to Educate” provides a scholarship for two years accommodation and school fee support to three women between 18 and 25 years from rural communities in the Buea region of Cameroon. This is done by implementing a special housing model, where coaching and mentoring by the landlord is a part of the educational process. The project was so successful that it was able to provide accommodation to one more beneficiary than originally planned.
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.
Improved School-based Sanitation for Rural Children in Bansoa, Cameroon (2013, 2nd prize)
Ventilated Improved Pit Latrines (VIPL): Commitment Award gesture celebrated in the heart of Bansoa village
PART I: Project implementation
Pupils expressing their gratitude
Saturday, June 14, 2014 witnessed the inauguration of the Ventilated Improved Pit Latrines (VIPL) built in Ecole Publique de Batotcha I in Bansoa village, West Region of Cameroon, with the funding of Engagementpreis Stiftung in collaboration with Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, University of Erfurt, Germany. This donation has been celebrated solemnly by the entire village and school children, who performed a dance with “peace trees” to express their gratitude.
View of the latrines
The VIPL came from the project “Improved School-based Sanitation for Rural Children in Bansoa Cameroon” by Lea Pulcherie Maffengang, an alumna of the Willy Brandt School, in cooperation with the women association LES EMERAUDES. It won second prize at the Commitment Award 2013.
Schools in this rural area, as in most parts of the country, lack basic sanitation facilities. This situation leads to diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, and worms among others. These diseases not only threaten the health and wellbeing of school children, but prevent them also to attend school regularly and to achieve their primary education.
On the evening of July 27th, over 120 guests gathered at the Kaisersaal in Erfurt to celebrate the 2014 Commitment Award and the achievements of the students from Class of 2014. Students from both current cohorts, their families and friends, Brandt School professors, faculty and staff, University of Erfurt’s Chancellor Jan Gerken, as well as Ambassador Fletcher Burton, head of the OSCE mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, all took part in the festivities. Ambassador Burton held the keynote speech for the evening, highlighting the importance of commitment, individual integrity, and the values learned in a public policy education.
The 2013 winners of the Commitment Award presented their achievements of the past year, in which all three award winners successfully implemented their projects in The Gambia, Cameroon and Ghana respectively.
The 2014 Commitment Awards were presented to the students by Ambassador Burton and Mr. Markus Pins. Although all of the 2014 Commitment Award applicants submitted impressive project ideas, the jury had to narrow down the 9 project proposals to the top three winners. First prize went to second-year student Julia Oestreich for her project “Weaving for Independence” based in Sri Lanka, working 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. Second Prize went to first-year student Krishna Giri for his project aiming to provide safe drinking water for school children in Nepal. Third prize went to Steve Wakhu for his Kenyan-based project “Adopt a Girl”, aiming 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 end of the evening closed with a farewell party for the Class of 2014. Student representatives Moritz Borchardt and Magno Karl held speeches. The end of the evening concluded with music, dancing and lots of picture taking.
The Brandt School congratulates the 2014 Commitment Award winners and wishes them success in implementing their projects. All the best to the winners and for the Class of 2014 in their future endeavors!
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.
With roots in Erfurt, Germany, Brandt School students are positively impacting rural villages in The Gambia, Cameroon and Ghana with their initiatives.
On the evening of Saturday, July 20th, over 100 students, staff and friends of the Brandt School gathered at Kaisersaal in Erfurt to attend the second annual Commitment Award Ceremony. The Commitment Award aims to give current Brandt School students the chance to implement charitable projects around the world, with the goal of bringing about sustainable social change via these student-led initiatives. Furthermore, the Commitment Award offers a chance for MPP students to utilize skills they learn at the Brandt School to administer practical projects with the award money received from the prize.