How it started...
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 phase.
- Humanitarian aid at war times (1992-1996)
- (Re-)Building schools and kindergartens (1996-2000)
- 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.
As young people they develop, decide and take solidly responsibility and their actions overcome borders. Education is a big priority for them. They sensitise people of different ages for social and political subjects in context with their work. Engagements and voluntary-work with Schüler*innen Helfen Leben allow intensive learning experience, personal exchange, and networking. Through partnerships with the civil society, politics, economy, media and especially with students they build a setting that appreciates youthful engagement.
Schüler*innen Helfen Leben helps people to get experts in their own interest. As young people we develop, decide and take solidly responsibility and our actions overcome borders. Education is a big priority for us. Actions like the Action Day motivate students and safe our financial base. We support projects with their engagement locally and develop long lasting partnerships. We sensitise people of different ages for social and political subjects in context with our work. Engagements and voluntary-work with Schüler*innen Helfen Leben allow intensive learning experience, personal exchange, and networking. Through partnerships with the civil society, politics, economy, media and especially with students we build a setting that appreciates youthful engagement. We are a learning and continuously developing organisation.
Solidarity Action Day
So far, around EUR 22 million have been invested in more than 120 youth projects in South Eastern Europe. Their Solidarity Action Day was firstly implemented in 1998, at first only in one federal state – Schleswig-Holstein – in the north of Germany and only every two years. Since 2006, schools and students from all over Germany have been able to take part. In 2023, roughly 60000 students took part in the Action Day and managed to raise around 1 million euros.
The projects of SHL are located in South East Europe and Jordan. All of these deal with different societal issues. While organisations like ONAuBiH stand for youth enlightenment and empowerment, others, e.g. ARSIS offer education to children from Roma communities and give them a chance at integration into society. However, although the organisations are, at first glance, very different, all of them stand for democracy and peace.