Ismar Poric (26)
Main and Sponsored Prize
Ismar Poric (26), from Srebrenica, Bosnia, runs the "House of Good Sounds", a music school in Srebenica, which gained fame in 1995 due to the genocide.
Thanks to Ismar Poric's good musical and organizational skills and his great personal commitment, however, the city of Srebrenica can be given a new perspective with the founding of the music school. The children did not know music lessons there, they had never had the experience that despite mixed ethnicities, one can pursue a goal together with much fun and joy.
Meanwhile, the success of the music school reaches far beyond the borders of Bosnia. There were large appearances in Switzerland and Austria, for example on the occasion of the Europa Nostra Congress 2014 in Vienna, where the children even delighted Plácido Domingo with their skills and charm. Currently, 120 children from different ethnic groups attend the school. In 2014, when a terrible flood hit Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia, Ismar Poric also uses his abilities as a composer to help.
The "Superar" choir, founded by him, records a CD with his songs, and the proceeds are donated to rebuild other flood-affected music schools. "This is the first time that help comes from and not to Srebrenica," says Doraja Eberle. Thanks to Ismar Poric and the music school he leads, it is possible to create a basis for the multicultural coexistence of a new generation.
Kosovare Selimi (28)
Kosovare Selimi (28), from Duisburg, has been involved with SOLWODI Germany since 2009 (SOLidarity with WOmen in DIstress), an organisation founded in 1987 by Sister Dr. Lea Ackermann.
There are now 18 counseling centers, one contact point and seven shelters for foreign women and girls in need here. They are victims of human trafficking, forced prostitution and relational violence, of forced marriage threatened or forced marriages fled by forced marriages with legal problems or integration difficulties.
Sr. Lea describes Kosovare as an extraordinary young woman who exemplifies solidarity with women and children in need. Their commitment is unrestricted to women and children in need. Through her friendly openness she conveys new vitality. Her positive attitude is motivating and contagious. But Kosovare also uses handy cleaning buckets and paintbrushes when it comes to making the rooms of a sheltered apartment hospitable. With much patience and empathy, she takes care of the residents, gives orientation to the women, regardless of their origin, skin color and religion, and accompanies their development with heart and soul. Even in everyday situations, she is interested in the well-being of women and girls, asks questions, exchanges views with employees and seeks solutions.
With that, she has already become an "angel" for many women, according to Sr. Lea.
Marisa Schroth (25)
Marisa Schroth (25) from Wolfschlugen near Stuttgart, was nominated for the award by Rocco Unbescheidt, one of the founders of "Govinda e.V." and the first winner of Filippas Engel.
Govinda Entwicklungshilfe e. V. was founded in 1998 by five nurses in Aalen, Germany, and four years later a partner association was established in Switzerland. Today, about 8,000 people are supported in eight projects in Nepal, 80 Nepalese employees help on site.
Since 2011, Marisa Schroth supports the Govinda action group in Stuttgart and took over the leadership in 2013. She organizes countless events and fundraising campaigns together with the action group, but the desire to help people directly prompted her to go to Nepal in 2014 for 5 months to work as a volunteer in the orphanage and school of Govinda Entwicklungshilfe e.V.. Through her knowledge gained studying Nutritional Sciences and Organic Agriculture & Food Systems, Marisa is able to analyze and optimize the menu for the children, which also feeds into her research work "Evalutation and improvement of the nutrition in the Shangrila Orphanage Home". The motivated team in Nepal, the sustainable way of working and her self-reflection quickly convince the young woman that she is in the right place. The devastating earthquake in 2015 requires quick and concrete help. Here, Marisa uses her organizational talent to,set up an exemplary fundraising campaign and ensure that the donations reach the right place together with Govinda's activists.
After her return from Nepal, Marisa Schroth now founds the sustainability department at Govinda to support and advise the Nepalese teams in the important topics of agriculture, nutrition and waste. For years, Govinda and all its volunteers have been showing that everyone can do something!
José Otaola (28)
José Otaola (28), Madrid, Spain, has lead the non-profit organization Bokatas in Madrid since 2012. In 2004, when the non-profit was established, a group of six students and young people in the municipality of San Jorge in Madrid decided to take care of homeless people and distribute sandwiches (bocatas) to them. Since then, students in 7 different project groups have been caring for homeless people, taking them to the doctor or accompanying them when they go to the authorities. They offer recreational programs such as mountain hiking and playing soccer, entertain them, listen to music with them, go to the movies together and help them reintegrate into society. Most important, however, is friendly conversation, listening and attention, something homeless people are not used to and do not expect.
Bokatas gives a "voice" to people who are isolated from society and builds bridges between the homeless and the social services of the city of Madrid, with which they work closely. Bokatas now works with a network of professional associations throughout Spain and in 2012, Bokatas Navarra was founded. The association has 200 volunteers across Spain.
José Otaola has been active with Bokatas since 2005. The young, successful lawyer is described in the application as a good listener, knowing every single case, never giving up, motivating his colleagues, combative and humorous, and using his good contacts to the media and authorities to help the association. His goal is to end the social exclusion of the homeless. For him and all the helpers, dealing with the needy, as they say, is also a source of happiness that gives them a completely new, social attitude towards life.
The team of SensAbility e.V. 2015 with its chairman Sebastian Block is awarded for the preparation and organization of the SensAbility Social Enterprise Conference 2015 at the WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar. SensAbility e.V., founded by students at WHU, the internationally renowned business school with campuses in Vallendar near Koblenz and Düsseldorf, has been organizing what is now Germany's largest social enterprise conference for several years.
The 300 or so participants are shown concrete ways of tackling social and ecological issues in an entrepreneurial way and shaping their professional lives in the spirit of social responsibility. The conference is aimed at students of all disciplines, young professionals and founders who are interested in combining social and entrepreneurship. Exciting speeches, crash courses, workshops and a social investor pitch are designed to inspire participants and motivate them to take action.
The small group of team members, who change every year, put together the 2-day congress that shows young participants how to start businesses in the social sector. Entrepreneurs from all over the world who are exemplary and successful in the social and ecological sector are invited to the conference. A "market of opportunities" where various social projects can present themselves - including Filippa's Engel - offers a variety of ideas.
Each year the team, of whom most have already worked as helpers in the previous year, takes full responsibility. The students organize the entire event, look for sponsors, address the question of design, find suitable speakers, invite potential participants, provide food and accommodation, and take care of all aspects of the event. The active members of SensAbility enthusiastically demonstrate that they, as a young "elite", do not live far away from reality, but want to give something back to the world and society. They are among the people who will have a positive influence on the way our world interacts in the near future.
Verena Walther (23)
Honour and Sponsored Prize
At the beginning of 2013, Verena Walther (23) from Munich and three other students founded the non-profit organization AIAS e.V., with the aim of educating young university students about blood cancer and enabling them to register as potential stem cell donors "between lectures".
Already in the first year, more than 3,500 students registered in Munich, thus becoming potential life savers. The unbelievably positive response to these campaigns, resulting in 12 actual donors, shows that young people in particular can make an important contribution in the fight against blood cancer, as they remain in the international donor file for decades to come.
Due to the new students arriving at the universities every year, it is possible to recruit new stem cell donors consistently. Verena Walther, with AIAS München e.V., invited other universities in Berlin, Hamburg, Regensburg, Stuttgart, Jena, Leipzig, Dresden, Frankfurt and Cologne to participate in May 2015. The responses were overwhelmingly positive. Since 2009, Verena has also been supporting the association Children for a better world on a voluntary basis as a JUGEND HILFT! - mentor and campaign ambassador of the nationwide competition and support program for young people that are socially engaged.
Honour and Sponsored Prize
Sofia Valente (28), Natalie Eimertenbrink (28) and Katharina Schepelmann (24), Germersheim, represent Cross Borders, an initiative by students at the Gemrmersheim site of Gutenberg University Mainz.
The non-profit project aims to integrate refugees and asylum seekers into society. Approximately 300 refugees from Eritrea, Somalia, Pakistan or Syria in the Germersheim area without the right to state-subsidized German courses encouraged the students to improve the prevailing situation. With 35 students, they are able to start the project at the beginning of 2014. In the meantime, many more helpers have joined.
Courses on foreign language didactics are offered, focusing on natural learning without writing, and instead through repetition and images like a child would learn a language. Since refugees from various countries do not have a common language in which they can be taught in, this is the best way to teach them the German language. Sensitivity and creativity are needed here.
In the "Café One World" organized by the students, the students and asylum seekers can meet and interact. Everyone helps out, each according to his or her abilities. The students are in constant contact with other individuals and local organizations worrking with refugees. The students want no one has to live isolated in society and instead to create a feeling of togetherness for all.
Peter Wilhelm (28)
Honour and Sponsored Prize
Peter Wilhelm (28), Offenburg, represents Be Japy e.V.. Together with the students Andreas Zimmermann, Julian Wagner, Lukas Schömig and Yannik Grewe, he was concerned with the question "How social are social networks really, is the opportunity being used effectively to transport ideas, content and projects to the other end of the world via mouse click?".
The students came to the conclusion that really social topics are hardly dealt with in social networks. Here they want to break new ground, provide creative food for thought that motivates, inspires and activates.
One project of "Be Japy" is the JAPY STREET section with the video project "Music for the Homeless", which is carried out in several German cities. Each homeless person for whom music is played receives more than just a special "care package", since the focus is much more on the sustainable exchange with those in need of help.
The second project, "Knitting for the Homeless," is carried out together with a nursing home and knitting-enthusiastic friends and acquaintances in Offenburg and Freiburg. The resulting hats and scarves are creatively packaged and sent to homeless people throughout Germany. The JAPY INSPIRATION section includes activities such as JAPYDAY and JAPYMOMENT - campaigns with which the students want to activate the network community to work together to make the world a better place. They call JAPY INSPIRATION their living room, where everyone is welcome who wants to participate.
Laura Gorriahn (28)
Honour and Sponsored Prize
Laura Gorriahn (28), Freiburg, founded the Initiative Schlüsselmensch e.V. in 2012 to arrange for students to become the godparents of children from a municipal refugee hostel in Freiburg. The name Initiative Schlüsselmensch e.V. expresses that the volunteer godparents want to take on a key position in the children's lives and help them as a contact person, role model, teacher and friend with homework help, but also in sports and games. Each helper invests between three and six hours a week for this purpose.
The initiative has developed impressively, with more than 50 tandems in Freiburg alone. The Schlüsselmensch initiative now advises similar initiatives throughout Germany and is regarded as an example of how integration can be a success.
For the children, these experiences are invaluable. They give them greater self-confidence and make the stigma of "refugee" fade into the background. Often coming from Roma families from the Balkans, the students take them by the hand and introduce them to society from which they are otherwise excluded in terms of space, finances and other barriers such as language, education and prejudice. The aim is to introduce the children to life in the community, so that they have a real chance to master their lives in the future.
Ninon Demuth (25)
Honour and Sponsored Prize
Ninon Demuth (25) from Berlin, is founder and chairwoman of the organization "Über den Tellerrand kochen," which aims to integrate refugees in Germany. She wants to create awareness for the individuals behind the concepts of asylum and flight, and enable encounters at "eye level". By cooking together, now a very accepted medium of cultural exchange, the organization succeeds in lowering barriers and involving the wider community in the integration process. "We work towards ensuring that integration is actively shaped by a large part of society and that refugees are valued in their individuality and for their competencies," is one of the organization's motivations.
This includes the popular cooking classes, each led by one of the refugees, where 10 to 15 participants prepare a menu from their home country, as well as the regular open community meetings for refugees and locals in Berlin with over 200 participants. The community is made up of 50% Germans and 50% refugees. Sports activities, such as playing soccer, are also offered and financed with the club funds. Many friendships are formed in this way.
The organization has published a cookbook that presents dishes from refugees and portrays these people. This reduces prejudices and fears and gives the refugees and asylum seekers a face, the face of a person like you and me.
Schülerinnen, Schüler der Kl. 4a, 4b der Margaretengrundschule
The students of today's classes 4a and 4b of the Margareten Primary School in Heimbach-Weis / Neuwied receive the award on behalf of many elementary school classes that are working to improve the living conditions of other children. They are doing their part to make the world a little better. They used the Advent season of the past year to earn money for children who are not as well off as they are. To do this, they went from house to house reciting Christmas poems. They donated the donations they received to a small village in South Africa. The money will be used to enable the children there to attend the school in the neighboring village. Their village school was closed because they could no longer pay the electricity bill.
Since the average income of an adult in the village is about €80 per month, it is hardly possible for the family to pay the school fees and the school uniforms needed for the new school while covering living expenses. So the donation of the two classes came just at the right time. The girls and boys of the former 3a and 3b have used a lot of energy, creativity and perseverance to give children of the same age in Africa access to education. They have also ensured that the funds arrive locally via a recognized organization - the German-African Youth Office - and are used for the intended purpose. With their commitment, the German children are setting a great example. They have understood how important solidarity is.