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Soccer mentor gives future stars plan B

Angelo Daut loves soccer so much, he’s willing to get up early on a Saturday morning to stand on the sidelines in the rain and watch teenagers kick the ball. Some of those teens, however, may go on to become Germany’s next biggest stars.

Angelo, however, doesn’t work with young footballer players for the fame and glory. Rather, he’s focused on developing their character and encouraging them to continue their education. He wants to make sure they have plenty of opportunities – even after their soccer career.

Listen to the report by Daniel Heinrich in Bielefeld:

Watch Daniel Heinrich’s video to see Angelo Daut in action:

 

 

 

 

 

Date

Tuesday 15.07.2014 | 12:07

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Selling Afghan stitchery in Germany

Afghanistan has seen violence for years and many of the women and children in the war-stricken country lack the education to get good jobs and put enough food on the table. That’s where Zhora Comes in, a young Afghan woman living in Germany. Her plan to help the women in her home country is making Germany’s fashion more colorful.

Listen to the report by Falk Steinborn in Siegen, Germany:

Many children in Afghanistan are working rather than going to school (Photo: Zohra Soori-Nurzad)

Many children in Afghanistan are working rather than going to school (Photo: Zohra Soori-Nurzad)

That's where Zohra comes in. She is selling colorful scarves in Germany that were stitched by Afghan women to send the revenues back to the Afghan families (Photo: Falk Steinborn)

That’s where Zohra comes in. She is selling colorful scarves in Germany that were stitched by Afghan women to send the revenues back to the Afghan families (Photo: Falk Steinborn)

Zohra also goes to German schools and talks to the children about the Kind of life women and their children in Afghanistan are facing (Photo: Falk Steinborn)

Zohra also goes to German schools and talks to the children about the kind of life women and their children in Afghanistan are facing (Photo: Falk Steinborn)

Date

Wednesday 09.07.2014 | 13:50

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Saving Germany’s midwives

Going into labor can be an anxious time, especially for first time mothers. In Germany, it’s often the midwife who provides support and helps young women get through the ordeal.

Bianca Kasting, 32, knows this well enough. Last year, when she gave birth to her first child, a midwife was there to hold her hand.

In Germany there are around 21,000 midwives. And although the work they do is vital, they are often underpaid, and have to pay high insurance premiums. The situation has become so bad, that many midwives have joined protests around the country, or left the profession entirely.

Bianca wanted to do something to help, so she launched an online petition, and even cycled around Germany – her baby in tow – to raise awareness about the plight of midwives.

Listen to the report from Michael Hartlep, Germany:

Bianca Kasting has launched an online petition to rescue midwives. (Photo: Jennifer Fraczek)

Bianca Kasting has launched an online campaign to rescue midwives. (Photo: Jennifer Fraczek)

Date

Tuesday 20.05.2014 | 13:49

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Inventor’s deposit ring puts change in a bottle

Germany is known for its strong social system. Still, it’s not uncommon to see people in need of some extra cash rummaging through public trash cans for old bottles that carry a deposit.

Beer bottles are worth just 8 cents, but most plastic bottles can be redeemed for 25 cents. For some people, it’s not worth the trouble of taking them back to the store to get their deposit. But for others, a bag full of bottles can mean one more warm meal.

Paul Ketz in Cologne was bothered by all the deposit bottles he saw being thrown away, knowing that they were valuable to the less fortunate – not to mention the damage excess waste causes the environment.

So the 25-year-old came up with a brilliant idea that’s been catching on, not only in Cologne, but across Germany. Watch the video by Carl Nasman for a glimpse into Paul Ketz’s workshop:

Listen to Carl Nasman’s full report from Cologne for the whole story:

Cologne was the first city in Germany to order the rings (Copyright: 2013 Pawn Ring by Paul Ketz / Photo: Markus Diefenbacher)

Cologne was the first city in Germany to order the rings (Copyright: 2013 Pawn Ring by Paul Ketz / Photo: Markus Diefenbacher)

Most plastic bottles are worth 25 cents, glass are worth only 8 cents (Copyright: 2013 Pawn Ring by Paul Ketz / Photo: Markus Diefenbacher)

Most plastic bottles are worth 25 cents, glass are worth only 8 cents (Copyright: 2013 Pawn Ring by Paul Ketz / Photo: Markus Diefenbacher)

The rings are starting to catch on across Germany (Copyright: 2013 Pawn Ring by Paul Ketz / Photo: Markus Diefenbacher)

The rings are starting to catch on across Germany (Copyright: 2013 Pawn Ring by Paul Ketz / Photo: Markus Diefenbacher)

Date

Tuesday 29.04.2014 | 14:32

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Germany’s bureaucracy buddy on the paper trail

In Germany, official paperwork like filing for unemployment benefits can be complicated. Diana Lantzen from Cologne gave up a well-paying job to help others navigate German bureaucracy – and even started advertising her services on eBay. She works with the organization Wir gehen mit (We’ll go along) and accompanies those who need it to important appointments, like at the unemployment or foreigners’ office.

Beyond that, also she’s using the IT knowledge she gained in her former job to develop web-based assistance programs in the social sector.

Listen to the report by Marcus Costello in Cologne:

Diana Lantzen

Diana used to work in IT, but found that money isn’t the most important thing in life (Photo: Diana Lantzen)

Diana (second from right) has found a way to implement her specific skill set when it comes to helping others ( Photo: M. Costello)

Diana (second from right) has found a way to implement her specific skill set when it comes to helping others ( Photo: M. Costello)

 

 

 

 

 

Date

Tuesday 25.03.2014 | 12:38

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Asking life’s tough questions, guerilla style

What do you live for? Fifteen-year-old Melis Omalar wants more people to think about that question. So she posts tiny written reminders – in the form of yellow post-its – all around town. It’s a guerilla movment – with a difference.

Listen to the report by Natalie Muller in Cologne:

Melis Omalar takes to the streets, armed with a pile of stickers (Photo: N. Muller)

Melis Omalar takes to the streets, armed with a pile of stickers (Photo: N. Muller)

"Is what you're doing good?" (Photo: N. Muller)

“Is what you’re doing good?” (Photo: N. Muller)

Melis orders her stickers online before she heads out (Photo: N. Muller)

Melis orders her stickers online before she heads out (Photo: N. Muller)

"When does your heart sing?" (Photo: N. Muller)

“When does your heart sing?” (Photo: N. Muller)

 

 

 

Date

Tuesday 04.02.2014 | 12:55

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Express yourself with color

Graffiti has a bad name. It’s often associated with vandalism, out-of-control youth and illegal tags in seedy places.

But for 23-year-old Daria Andert, graffiti can also be an important way for young people to express themselves and connect with their “inner artist.”

The art student from Cologne volunteers with a graffiti project called MittwochsMaler (Wednesday Painters), which holds drawing workshops, and helps aspiring sprayers practice graffiti on a legal wall.

Daria is hoping to deter illegal tagging, and show society graffiti artists shouldn’t be painted with the same brush as vandals.

Listen to the report by Natalie Muller in Cologne:

Daria Andert see street art as a way to make a difference

Daria Andert see street art as a way to make a difference  (Photo: N. Muller)

Here, spraying is legal

Here, spraying is legal (Photo: N. Muller)

Daria is considering a career as a teacher (Photo: N. Muller)

Daria is considering a career as a teacher (Photo: N. Muller)

It's all about the freedom to express yourself (Photo: N. Muller)

It’s all about the freedom to express yourself (Photo: N. Muller)

Mittwochs Maler is a colorful break from Daria's art studies

Mittwochs Maler is a break from Daria’s art studies (Photo: N. Muller)

 

 

 

 

 

Date

Tuesday 07.01.2014 | 13:52

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A heart for the homeless

Kevin Hofmann, 22, spends a lot of time in cafes, where he likes to read books. When he noticed how much food his regular cafe was throwing away after closing time, he felt he had to take action. Now he regularly collects the unsold sandwiches and cookies and passes them out to the homeless people in his city, Bonn.

Germany has plenty of soup kitchens and shelters. But Kevin says why leave the work to other people? Instead, he’s taking responsibility himself – and breaking out of the apathetic stereotype of his generation.

Listen to the report by Nuradin Abdi in Bonn:

A heart for the homeless

Kevin Hofmann

Kevin was tired of seeing so much waste at his favorite cafés. (Photo: N. Abdi)

Alexandra and Kevin

It’s taken a while for Kevin to gain the trust of the homeless people he distributes food too, but now Alexandra (left) is one of the people he meets regularly in downtown Bonn. (Photo: N. Abdi)

Kevin Hofmann in a cafe

Kevin has always enjoyed reading in cafes. (Photo: N. Abdi)

 

Date

Tuesday 19.11.2013 | 13:49

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German teen tackles racial stereotypes on YouTube

High school student Sidney Frenz’s mother was German while his father came from Ghana. Tired of being asked about his dark skin color, he’s made a clever YouTube video aimed at promoting tolerance.

Watch the video from DW’s Germany Today.

Sidney Frenz

Date

Friday 05.07.2013 | 08:50

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Cake and coffee for an hour and an ear

Instead of surfing the web or playing soccer, 15-year-old Nicholas spends each Wednesday afternoon with an elderly widow. He lends his time and an ear – but gains in turn a completely new perspective on life.

Listen to the report by Li Fern Ong:

Coffee and cake for an hour and an ear

Nicholas Kessler and Hertha Belau

Hertha Belau (right) says Nicholas prefers marble cake when he comes to visit her each week (Photo: Li Fern Ong)

Date

Tuesday 04.06.2013 | 11:59

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