Schüler Helfen Leben Germany
Founded in 1998, Schüler Helfen Leben gives ca. 80 000 German students the chance to work for one day in the beginning of July. Together, they raise about 1 500 000 euros a year.
We have many slogans, usually campaign-bound including “Spende deine Hände”(Donate your hands) and “Hinterlasse deinen sozialen Fingerabdruck” ( Leave your social finger print)
The founding of SHL was closely connected to the civil wars in the countries of former Yugoslavia in the first half of the 1990s. After seeing coverage of the atrocities on TV, German high school students decided to load their parents’ cars with humanitarian aid items and to distribute them inside the countries directly suffering from war actions. After this, the development of SHL can be divided in three different phases:
1. Humanitarian aid at war times (1992-1996)
2. (Re-)Building schools and kindergartens (1996-2000)
3. Structural aid in poor and post-war societies (since 2000): focus on youth centers, youth employment, people with special needs, Roma population, democratization projects (e.g. youth press, students’ unions)
Since 2013, SHL also supports projects in Jordan for refugees of the terrible war in Syria war since 2013. In this area we are cooperating with “Save the Children” as they are very experienced in the field and know how to help children in these bad circumstances.
So far, around EUR 22 million have been invested in more than 120 youth projects in South Eastern Europe. Our event “Sozialer Tag” was firstly implemented in 1998, at first only in one federal state in the north and only every two years. Since 2006, schools and students from all over Germany have been able to take part every year. However, there are still big differences between both north and south and east and west in what share of students take part and how well-known the organization is.