The Commitment Award
The Commitment Awards 2022 for outstanding social and sustainable project ideas all over the world went to three empowering projects in India, Nigeria, and Ghana on July 7, 2022, at the Collegium Maius in Erfurt.
During the 2022 Commitment Award ceremony three prizes were awarded to the following projects:
Chukwudi Okolo and Ebele Odinachi “Go-Women – Preneurs Initiative” (Nigeria)
The project aims at empowering Nigerian women, especially mothers who are the breadwinners of their families. They are to be supported in their business ideas and provided with small loans to get started. Because: 100 euros are enough to start a small business in Nigeria. A laudation speech for the project was held by Prof. Dr. Solveig Richter, Heisenberg Professor for International Relations and Transnational Politics at Leipzig University and former Brandt School professor. She praised: “The project is small, but very practical, it is ambitious but not overwhelming, and it is concrete but still very visionary.”.
Pius Fozan, Shuma Banik and Souvik Bandhapadhyay “Happy Periods” (India)
The project aims to raise awareness about menstruation in India and to facilitate access to menstrual hygiene. The project initiators plan to work with affected persons, public institutions, and teachers to sensitize political decision-makers to the issue and to combat menstrual poverty. The laudation for the project “Happy Periods” was held by Simon Vaut, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. He addressed the winners by saying: “You showed awareness to a very relevant social problem, you proved great teamwork in coming up with a convincing solution and you have the audacity to deal with a topic that is often being ignored.”.
Priscilla Appiah “Ed-Tech for the Special Child” (Ghana)
With her project, Priscilla Appiah wants to support primary education for children with special learning needs in Ghana. The initiative will provide ed-tech toolkits with tablets, headsets and customized apps and software for children with learning disabilities. The laudation for the project “Ed-Tech for the Special Child” was held by Robert Burdy, a journalist, author, and coach. He states “what you are proposing for Ghana is a beautiful thing. […] It’s about creating opportunities, it’s about creating chances for individuals.”.
At the 2022 Commitment Award ceremony, Dr. Anna-Maija Mertens, Managing Director of Transparency International Germany, held an inspiring keynote speech on social entrepreneurship, power and transparency.
The Commitment Awards 2021 for outstanding social and sustainable project ideas all over the world went to three empowering projects in Ecuador, Pakistan and Brazil on June 17, 2021.
Mercedes Bustán "Education for Future" (Ecuador)
One of the 2021 award winners was the project “Education for Future” by Brandt School student Mercedes Bustan: In the first five years of schooling, children who study at public schools in Ecuador do not receive English language education. Most of these children cannot afford private lessons or extracurricular English classes. This harsh reality is reflected in the rankings that place Ecuador in the last place among the 19 Latin American countries according to the English Proficiency Index of Education First. “Education for Future” proposes an eight-month English program where children aged six to12 years learn a new language and develop reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills and at the same time, enhance their talents through painting, dancing, drawing, reading, and acting. The project is offered to disadvantaged children to help them develop an early motivation to learn a new language and strengthen their talents through art. Participation in the Education for Future program will result in creating better academic and professional opportunities for many children who lack comprehensive education.
Athar Farooq and Nafisa Islam Fariba "Right Skills - Bright Future" (Pakistan)
One of the 2021 award winners was the the project “Right Skills – Bright Future” by Brandt School students Athar Farooq and Nafisa Islam Fariba. The project is an initiative to upskill women through digital education, so they can be self-employed and self-dependent. The aim is to build a bridge between the challenges and opportunities of acquiring and utilizing digital education in Pakistan in the disputed territory of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The freelancing market provides immense opportunity for females of Pakistan, a country with the lowest women employment rate in the world. If provided the right tools and education, college students more prone to dropouts could work self-employed from home. The aim is to pilot with a certain number of female students in collaboration with Read Foundation, an NGO with 390 local schools and colleges all over Pakistan. The project plans to provide the female students a starting point with digital skills, so that going forward they can participate in the digital labor force and achieve financial independence.
Dayane Rodrigues and Natália Koto "You Got This!" (Brazil)
One of the 2021 award winners was the project “You Got This!” by Brandt School students Dayane Rodrigues and Natália Koto, which shall be implemented in cooperation with the Associacao Estudo e Trabalho (AET). The AET is an NGO that provides free extra classes to support students from low-income families to pass an admission test, which enables access to a public-funded technical high school program in São Paulo (ETEC). You got this! aims to complementarily empower these students, helping them to build the necessary resilience to persist in their studies and to enter the formal labor market, regardless of their standardized test results. It is a unique initiative, given the technical knowledge, soft skills development, and tools offered. The students can benefit from such skills throughout their lives, whether they choose an academic or a technical path. Therefore, You got this! consists of a mentoring program with the potential of breaking the intergenerational poverty cycle by increasing their abilities to low-income students succeed in life.