The initiative was initially presented to the Brandt School in January 2012 by Markus Pins, a lecturer at the Brandt School. Mr. Pins, along with Brandt School staff and a team of four students, spent six months organizing the award, from designing the application and recruiting jury members, to organizing the presentation of the award.
The award aims to promote social, charitable projects. A jury of experts carefully evaluated applications while considering the following criteria:
- 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 consisted of Prof. Dr. Rita Süssmuth, who was Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and former President of the Bundestag (German Parliament), Prof. Dr. Gert Weisskirchen, a former member of the Bundestag, Dr. Martin Borowsky, a judge at the Regional Court of Erfurt, Dr. Kenan Šehović, who works at the Thuringian Ministry of Economics, Labor and Technology, and Rüdiger Bender, a lecturer at the Brandt School and local social activist.
The award ceremony took place at Erfurt’s famous Kaisersaal in the heart of the city. The keynote speaker, CEO of Germany’s Transparancy International, Dr. Christian Humborg, also presented the awards to the winners.
The Winning Projects
This winners of the first ever Commitment Award at the Brandt School represent the commitment to development and the diversity at the Brandt School. The Brandt School is proud to congratulate and announce the following students as winners of the Commitment Award 2012.
1) First Prize went to Marufa Akter, a student from Bangladesh, for her initiative of the Open Sky School for Dhaka’s Street Children.
Open-sky schooling is an innovative and cost-effective method for street children who do not have proper shelter and/or family and cannot afford the cost of formal education. Secondly, the project will introduce a “micro-savings” plan among the students that will enable them to receive an amount of money at the end of their schooling. The graduated children will utilize their savings as their first investment against future income-generating activities.
The initial phase is to set up an open-sky school structure with a curriculum for both the students and volunteers. The project aims to enroll about 200 street children and plans to provide them education in the two years of 2013-2014. The project will take place in three different places of Dhaka city, which is one of the largest concentrations of street children in the world. Finally, the project will engage undergraduate volunteers from the local universities as intern teaching faculties.
After two years of implementation, the project plans to extend the schooling project to other regions. Implementation of the project will be in collaboration with Ekmattra, a local NGO for underprivileged children in Bangladesh, by using its infrastructure along with the assistance of its volunteers.
2) Second Prize went to Yudy Andra Novea Lopez from Colombia for the Nation-Network Foundation, PROACTIV.
The principal purpose of the Nation-Network Foundation (Fundación Red-Nación) is to offer free legal assistance to victims of forced displacement in Colombia, along with training to leaders of these populations in social control and leadership.
Most of leaders who work with us are women heads of households. Our work takes place in the capital city of Colombia, Bogotá, and in the municipality of Soacha, Cundinamarca, where the presence of Internal Displaced Populations (IDPs) is large. The Foundation’s members respond to their legal requirements, informing them about the rights they have as victims of violence. Additionally, within our work we will carry out celebrations for holidays such as Christmas, children’s day, women’s day and mother’s day in order to enhance the links of solidarity between communities. The Foundation has accomplished medical care days as well, by providing free assistance to people who have no medical service.
Among further developments of this project are: training about Victim’s Law, issued in 2011, promotion and support of productive projects of members of these populations and to transform this organization in an academic center able to make research, formulation and evaluation of policies addressed to IDPs in Colombia.
3) Third prize went to Laura Dadomo from Argentina for her initiative “Prevention and Healthcare for Women”.
The project “Prevention and Health Care for Women” focuses on women’s health care promotion and prevention, an issue especially relevant – although generally left aside – for vulnerable members of society. The project is located in Buenos Aires province, Argentina, and it offers women who live in poverty the possibility to attend a workshop on prevention and primary health care, as well as an annual gynecological checkup free of charge.
It is designed to complement the microcredits program of the Argentinean non-profit organization Mujeres 2000, which offers loans and assistance for microenterprises to women living in impoverished neighborhoods that want to start or improve their businesses. A preliminary poll conducted among the target group shows that the average frequency of a gynecological checkup is two years, while the recommended is once a year. The project intends to tackle this by means of a workshop and a free annual checkup.
Contact: If you have any questions about the individual projects, funding, or questions directly for the project organizers, contact the Commitment Award team at: firstname.lastname@example.org.