The Bulletin Podcast – Episode 05 – Commitment Award 2018’s Projects (2/2)

Dear readers and listeners,

We are very proud to bring you the fourth episode of The Bulletin Podcast.
The podcast’s goal is to interview the fascinating students and researchers of the Brandt School and hear experiences and voices from all over the world.

In this fifth episode, our host Maria Brackin and co-host Raphael Robiatti interview four project applicants to 2018’s Commitment Award.



Below you can find a short description of the projects we have interviewed in this episode:


Kanishka Mirwais – “The Orange Uniform” (Afghanistan)

Workers of Kabul Municipality, known for their orange uniforms, perform hard labor to keep the city of Kabul clean, while receiving the lowest government salary and little recognition for the work they do. Brandt School alumn Kanishka Mirwais and his project “The Orange Uniform” aim to promote the social inclusion of these workers and their interaction with the general public by bringing together people, regardless of their socio-economic situation, to increase social awareness about the poor working class.

Steve Wakhu Khaemba – “Brufut Primary Schools Children Football League” (The Gambia)

Brandt School alumn and Ph.D. student Steve Wakhu Khaemba plans to support the “Brufut Primary Schools Children Football League” in The Gambia. The project seeks to integrate sports and co-curricular activities into formal learning for primary school students in Brufut and to increase school attendance by doing so. Steve also aims to use his knowledge from his previous project, “Adopt-a-Girl”, to integrate sexual and reproductive health education for girls’ teams.

Rubén I. González Tinoco and Celene P. Mujica Alfonzo
 – “Cuidando a Mami (Taking care of Mommy)” (Venezuela)

The project “Cuidando a Mami (Taking care of Mommy)”, created by Celene P. Mujica Alfonzo and alum Rubén I. González Tinoco, seeks to help those who are especially vulnerable after the collapse of the Venezuelan public health system: pregnant women and infants. To reduce the dependency on hospitals, their project aims to train local midwives and to provide them with basic medical equipment so that they can support the pregnant women of their community.

Rubén León, Aaron Sandoval, Hendrik Hebel, Maria Brackin and Richard Henahan – “Sharing Living Project” (Germany)

First-year students Maria Brackin and Richard Henahan and their “Sharing Living Project” aim to promote intergenerational interaction through shared living in Erfurt. The project seeks to bring together students struggling to find affordable housing and elderly people who face challenges living alone by creating a centralized online platform to match needs with capabilities.




In close cooperation, the Engagementpreis Foundation and the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, have together been organizing the Commitment Award since 2012.

Willy Brandt himself represented social change, reflected in his social and political reforms. He believed that policies served no purpose if the policymakers did not have a specific goal in mind when creating it. Thus, in the multicultural and diverse settings 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 in Erfurt (where the Brandt School is based, and around the world. Starting in 2014, the Brandt School is accepting applications not only from current students but also from alumni. 

Three winning projects will be chosen at the annual award ceremony in July, after careful evaluation of the applications by a jury of experts. This jury thereby considers 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?

Want to learn more about the Commitment Award? Visit the website


We will be thrilled to hear your feedback, as well as to receive suggestions for the next episodes!

Follow Maria Brackin:

Maria Brackin is an MPP candidate at the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, specializing in Political Economy and International Relations. Prior to this, she was Investment Administrator for fund managers Amati Global Investors in Edinburgh. Her previous policy experience includes a position as Development Worker for Communication Forum Scotland, in collaboration with the Centre for Scottish Public Policy. Maria gained a BA with honors in Philosophy from Northwestern University and an MSc in Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh. Her previous research, generously funded by the Saint Andrews Society of the State of New York, focused on the epistemology of testimony and organizational applications of social epistemology. She holds the Investment Management Certificate (IMC) from the CFA Institute UK.