26. November 2021 | Magazine:

WeCare honored for social commitment Support platform of the TU Braunschweig receives "honorable mention"

As part of the “Hochschulen mittendrin” (“Universities in the Middle”) prize for social commitment, which is awarded by the German Rectors’ Conference, ZEIT Verlag and the Robert Bosch Stiftung, an “honorable mention” goes to WeCare, the support platform of the TU Braunschweig during the Corona crisis. The main prize goes to the University of Applied Sciences Munich with the project “KonTEXT reading project as a transfer format”. Four other honorable mentions go to universities in Berlin, Dresden, Neubrandenburg and Bochum.

WeCare launched in spring 2020 and coordinates requests and offers of assistance in the Corona pandemic. Picture credit: Markus Hörster/TU Braunschweig, Claudia Hurtig/TU Braunschweig

Flashback to March 2020: The Corona pandemic is turning operations upside down worldwide. Media reports from the international crisis centers show what will soon be urgently needed here as well: Personnel, masks, oxygen, certain skills, scientific explanations. The TU Braunschweig can provide much of this. The first requests for support reach the university. Employees and students of the TU Braunschweig start the first aid projects together with partners from the region. In this situation, the WeCare project is created on the initiative of the Executive Board. It is intended to bundle, communicate and legally secure the individual initiatives. Within a month, the WeCare online platform is launched.

The spectrum of projects planned and implemented by members of the university and brought together under the WeCare umbrella is broad: hospitals in the region are supplied with 3D printed face shields and supported in carrying out SARS-CoV-2 tests, “Study Buddies” accompany students through the pandemic, “Hey Alter!” provides support with recycled laptops, citizens donate for scholarships, sports videos inspire exercise-hungry people of all ages. There are news channels (for listening and reading) to cheer everyone up, educational videos for children and shopping aids for seniors. In total, more than 400 active people are involved in the aid projects and more than 30 individual projects are supported by WeCare.

Towards the end of 2020, the requests to WeCare and TU Braunschweig are less numerous. Some projects have become more permanent and continue to grow. “Hey Alter!” has now delivered nearly 1600 computers in Braunschweig alone. The “Study Buddies” continue to be in high demand as support for and with students. WeCare’s online platform continues to be active. The experience gained from this project and the feeling of being active together even in these difficult times and of being able to achieve something for the region beyond the boundaries of the TU Braunschweig campus have a lasting effect on many of those involved.

In addition to WeCare, four other university projects received an “honorable mention”: Hochschule.mittendrin.im Dorf – Sustainable Development of Rural Areas ( Hochschule Neubrandenburg), BeuthBonus+ – Supplementary Qualification for Immigrant Academics (Berlin University of Applied Sciences), University School Dresden (Dresden University of Technology) and Social Engagement for Healthy Communities (Hochschule für Gesundheit Bochum).

All projects selected by the jury will be presented in the coming weeks in short videos on the website of the German Rectors’ Conference and in podcasts of the series “ZEIT für WissKomm”.

More information on the “Hochschulen mittendrin” award and the projects honored: