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Apprentices attend "Social Day" at the peace village

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On 21 October, almost 30 apprentices from Evonik and Borussia Dortmund visited the Friedensdorf (peace village) in Oberhausen to volunteer there as part of the "Social Day" for children from areas affected by wars and crises. 

They brought plenty of ideas and materials with them to ensure the children at the peace village had an exciting day. In addition, BVB legend Wolfgang "Teddy" de Beer was a special guest for the visit.

For almost half a year, the young people had been planning and organising as part of their project management training. The results were plain for all to see, as the children enjoyed a day full of activities such as crafting bracelets, painting BVB shirts, planting flowers, playing football, a petting zoo, a giant memory game and much more. At the end of the day, the apprentices and the children all came together and released balloons.

"I think it's great that Evonik help us to see the bigger picture. I was deeply moved to experience the joy of life the children radiate despite all the bad experiences they have been through," said Koray Erdem, apprentice at Evonik.

The day also made a big impression on Lennart Lonken, an apprentice at Borussia Dortmund. "I think it is very good and important that Evonik and Borussia Dortmund are working together on this project. I was very proud to have been part of the whole thing and it really touched me to have put a smile on the children's faces."

A long-term connection

It was not by chance that the peace village was chosen for the "Social Day". For years, Evonik has been supporting the children's aid organisation with donations as part of the annual employee survey. For each employee participating, the amount of the donation is increased. In 2021, some €27,500 were raised.

"Responsible business and social commitment go hand in hand: That is why we have been supporting the important and challenging work of Friedensdorf International for some time – and are proud of the remarkable voluntary commitment of our employees," said Thomas Wessel, head of the Head of Human Resources Division at Evonik.

"For Borussia Dortmund, it is important that the young people can already learn during their training that social commitment is important and that they can make a real difference on their own. The cooperation between the apprentices at Evonik and Borussia Dortmund worked brilliantly and plenty of very good ideas from both companies were incorporated into the project," said Jasmin Heuermann, deputy head of HR at BVB.

Evonik and the BVB Foundation "leuchte auf" also contributed a large selection of prizes for the tombola at this year's village festival in September. In addition, in late August, 16 employees of both companies helped with the gardening work in preparation for the village festival. The peace village thanked all involved for the wide range of support provided.

Friedensdorf International

Since 1967, Friedensdorf International have been helping injured and sick children from areas affected by wars and crises. Children are brought to Europe for urgent medical treatment, while global projects improve medical and humanitarian care in their home countries. The education work of the peace village to promote peace also boosts social awareness and commitment. This work is financed almost exclusively by donations and membership fees – it is recognised as charitable and bears the DZI seal of approval for donations. For more information, visit