Commitment Award Projects 2017

Every year, the diverse Willy Brandt School student body has the unique opportunity of participating in the Commitment Award competition. The Engagementpreis-Stiftung gUG, annually funds the top three project proposals, awarding the winners the financial means to execute their innovative ideas. They award the first prize winner with 2,500 euros, the second place prize is 1,500 euros and the third prize winner receives 1,000 euros. This year, seven projects are competing for the top three prizes and below you will find the project descriptions.

Project 1: Florencia Aquirre and Juan Cruz Moroni “Financial Education for a Better Future”

The project, “Financial Education for a Better Future”, invented by two first-year students, Florencia Aquirre and Juan Cruz Moroni, seeks to boost the financial literacy of low and middle-class credit users in Uruguay. Because most credit users, within these income ranges, tend to fall victim to the debt trap, this project seeks to create two workshops, which will provide information on financial planning and effective alternatives to consumer credit.

Project 2: Haytham Mones “Akhbar Meter”

Haytham Mones, a second-year student, has created a project called “Akhbar Meter”, which intends to bring filtered, non-partisan and verified news sources to Egypt. Because the general population in Egypt struggles to understand and find news sources that are not saturated with manipulated and false information, Haytham’s project will not only offer education on media literacy, but it also provides an online platform with verified and rated news articles.

Project 3: Johny Hilaire and Margarette Pierre-Louis “Goat Breeding For Entrepreneurship” 

Johny Hilaire and Margarette Pierre-Louis plan to empower young residents of Vialet, Haiti through their project “Goat Breeding for Entrepreneurship”, which will give out 50 goats to the local community, with the aim of reducing poverty. These goats will be able to reproduce, creating a sustainable impact. A committee of five overseers, who will be nominated from the local residents, will manage the project.

Project 4: Lazar Nikolovski and Zulfi Ismaili “Linkor- Connecting the Civil Society”

Within the Western Balkans, communication and cooperation between civil society institutions is extremely weak or non-existent. Lazar Nikolovski and Zulfi Ismaili seek to address this problem through an online platform, “Linkor”, which will represent an online meeting point for all existing NGOs in the Western Balkans. Linkor will provide the tools for interaction and interconnection between key stakeholders, increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of civil society institutions.

Project 5: Matenjay Sheriff “The Ballon Dieu Youth Football Club” 

Matenjay Sheriff and Abraham Keita, in March 2017, founded the “Ballon Dieu Youth Football Club” in Gbanjor, Liberia. This club aspires to foster participation in sports among men and women of all ages and encourage community building and healthy living. The football club aims to boost the moral and community spirit in the community of Gbanjor.

Project 6: Muhammed Usman Khan “Mera Vote- Mera Mustaqbil”

Without the progress and equality of women, a society cannot progress. Usman’s project, “Mera Vote- Mera Mustaqbil” seeks to empower women within the village of Gagh of District Khushab, Pakistan by advocating the right for women to vote. According to Usman, women cannot vote due to illiteracy, lack of awareness, patriarchal norms and lack of civic engagement programs.

Project 7: Sylvia Ruvimbo Matiska “Rightfully Mine (RIMI)”

Affected greatly by this injustice herself, after the passing of her Monther, Sylvia Ruvimbo Matsika’s project, “Rightfully Mine”, seeks to provide legal assistance to families and children who are facing difficulties obtaining family inheritances. Under Zimbabwe’s traditional and cultural law, upon the death of a married man, the man’s brother would take over his role and inherit his wife, children and possessions as well. Although that customary practice has since been abolished and inheritance laws have been set up, there is still some residual practice of this tradition, mostly towards children. This project will provide pro bono legal aid to victims, especially children, who are facing inheritance problems.

For more information, visit the Commitment Award website at: There you can also find videos, material and information on previous winning projects.

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Kaitlyn McKay is a second year Master of Public Policy student at the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from San Diego State University. Her specializations are International Affairs and Public and Nonprofit Management. As a part of the blog editing team, she is responsible for proofreading and editing as well as coordinating the contributions.