nick Falkner (28)
Nick Falkner (28) from Grafschaft, with his group "Flood in AW-volunteers", is representative of thousands of volunteers who spontaneously came from all over Germany to help after the flood disaster in the valleys of the Aar and Erft rivers.
Nick Falkner, a young lieutenant in the German Armed Forces, took charge of the situation on site himself and, together with his helpers, built a huge distribution center. In the first three weeks, six 40-ton trucks of donations were distributed by the volunteer team - water, food, shovels, diapers and much more.
Falkner, who is also district chairman of the Junge Union in Ahrweiler and has a large network, launched an appeal via Facebook the day after the flood. Just two weeks later, his group already had over 40,000 members and was continuing to grow.
AID pioneers e.v.
Main and Sponsored Prize
The Aid. Pioneers e.V., represented by Benedikt Leidner (22), Marcel Schanz, Martina Niesyto and others, were founded in Munich in 2020.
The young adults of the association create functional logistics networks to bring relief supplies for children to disaster areas. The trigger was the explosion in the port of Beirut in August 2020, when there was a sudden lack of everything. It particularly affected children. So they collected stuffed animals and toys under "AidProject Beirut" and convinced an airline to take the boxes in the bellies of their planes. This was followed by school supplies.
In the meantime, the small group has grown to 40 "pioneers" and regularly transports several tons of aid supplies to Lebanon, Greece, northern Iraq and Sierra Leone.
Tommy nicht allein
Main and Sponsored Prize
The project "Tommy Nicht Allein - Die Klinik Nannys" is a student initiative that emerged in 2015 at the University Medical Center Rostock. The volunteer effort of now 113 students from various departments is led by an organizational team consisting of Luisa Grabe (21), Lynn Beckert (20), Marie Wappler (22), Teonaa Mona (20) and Christa Bartels (25).
"Tommy Nicht Allein" has made it its mission to care for children who are alone in the hospital for various reasons. More than 120 children have already been helped by the project, not only to ease the hospital stay and positively influence the recovery process, but also to counteract psychological damage caused by a lack of care.
A near-term goal is a dedicated playroom in the hospital. In the long term, there are plans to expand the initiative to other hospitals throughout Germany.
Between the lines
The non-profit association "Between The Lines", represented by Luise Kummer (28) from Solingen, is concerned with the digitalization of German youth welfare. It offers young people with psychological and/or social problems low-threshold and free digital access to existing help systems.
The members of the association, which was founded in 2016, know from their own experience or from family and friends how crucial the right contacts are for mental or physical health, social participation, educational pathways and professional success.
"between The Lines" offers those affected a digital solution: via a website, social media channels and an app, users have access to validated information, hero stories and various help centers.
For the future, they plan to attract new users through a video in collaboration with their team of doctors and therapists a promotional video "What's it all about?" in which young people are asked anonymously about their experiences. State Minister Dorothee Bär already credits it with playing a "pioneering role in digital youth services."
Jan Heinemann (18)
Jan Heinemann (18) from Andernach has developed the Extinguishing Hedgehog, an extinguishing device that increases the safety of emergency personnel fighting fires by helping to avoid entering dangerous areas. The physically and mentally stressful firefighting under protective clothing with a high personal health risk can thus be mitigated.
Jan's commitment as a water rescuer in the DLRG, especially in the risk areas of current rescue and diving, but also in the medical service, made the dilemma clear to him: Everyone is burning to help other people as best as possible, but everyone also wants to return to their loved ones afterwards. Thus, the search for the greatest risk reduction gave rise to the idea for the firefighting hedgehog.
Currently, the young man is working on certification so that the Löschigel can be officially used in the field. This would bring him one step closer to series production.