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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)

First published on April 29, 2014

Date

Tuesday 23.09.2014 | 15:01

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Selfie addict helps others cope with tech overdose

Danny Bowman, 19, from the UK became one of the world’s first self confessed “selfie addicts” after posting 200 pictures of himself every day on Facebook and other social media platforms.

He was seeking admiration and adoration but was never satisfied with the way he looked. He lost weight and eventually even attempted suicide. He soon received therapy for technology addiction, OCD and body dysmorphic disorder – an excessive anxiety about personal appearance.

Now he devotes his spare time to raising awareness of mental health and technology related addictions and helps others with similar problems to get through their ordeal.

Listen to the report by Ashley Byrne in Northeast England:

Danny was never satisfied with his look ans was seeking admiration and adoration online (Photo: Fixers)

Danny was never satisfied with his looks and was seeking admiration and adoration online (Photo: Fixers)

After an attempted suicide, Danny received help and was treated for technology addiction, OCD, and body dysmorphic disorder (Photo: Fixers)

After an attempted suicide, Danny received help and was treated for technology addiction, OCD, and body dysmorphic disorder (Photo: Fixers)

After overcoming his addiction, Danny turned his attention to raising awareness of how technology can affect mental health and started a campaign with the charity Fixers UK. He is now traveling and talking about what he's been through himself to help others in a similar situation (Photo: Fixers)

After overcoming his addiction, Danny turned his attention to raising awareness of how technology can affect mental health and started a campaign with the charity Fixers UK. He is now traveling and talking about what he’s been through himself to help others in a similar situation (Photo: Fixers)

For more information regarding Danny’s campaign go to www.fixers.org.uk.

Date

Tuesday 09.09.2014 | 14:54

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Schooling meets soccer in Mumbai’s slums

India is a country of cricket-lovers, so can soccer catch on?

Ashok Rathod is convinced that soccer is the best way to give kids growing up in the slums a second lease on life. Teamwork, leadership, respect and communication come out of the game for 22 players.

Having grown up in a Mumbai slum himself, Ashok knows exactly which problem the kids there face. Many start drinking and gambling as young as 10, he says, then get married early and drop out of school.

Committed to make a difference, Ashok founded the Oscar Foundation in 2006. The team organizes soccer practices and matches for young people – but also provides an education program aimed at giving school drop-outs basic literacy skills.

Listen to the report by Sanjay Fernandes in Mumbai:

It was a challenge convincing parents to let their girls play soccer (Photo: S. Fernandes)

It was a challenge convincing parents to let their girls play soccer (Photo: S. Fernandes)

Suraj (right) is Oscar's associate director and Kumar (left) participated in the Oscar program and now works as a coach (Photo: S. Fernandes)

Suraj (right) is Oscar’s associate director and Kumar (left) participated in the Oscar program and now works as a coach (Photo: S. Fernandes)

The Oscar Foundation focuses not only on soccer - but also on education programs (Photo: S. Fernandes)

The Oscar Foundation focuses not only on soccer – but also on education programs (Photo: S. Fernandes)

Ashok Rathod knows first-hand what it's like to grow up in a Mumbai slum (Photo: S. Fernandes)

Ashok Rathod knows first-hand what it’s like to grow up in a Mumbai slum (Photo: S. Fernandes)

 

First published on February 26, 2014.

Date

Tuesday 02.09.2014 | 12:10

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Standing up to everyday sexism

She was sick and tired of rude comments on the bus and inappropriate groping in crowds, so one young Londoner has been sending a clear message to other women: You don’t have to tolerate sexism.

Listen to the report by Joanna Impey in London:

Laura Bates

Laura Bates even took on Facebook – with success (Photo: J. Impey)

Mobile phone
Laura has used Twitter to encourage women to share their experiences (Photo: J. Impey)

Underground station in the UK

The underground can be an uncomfortable experience (Photo: J. Impey)

Laura Bates with MP Caroline Lucas

Laura (second from left) has gotten support from British MP Caroline Lucas (second from right) (Photo: J. Impey)

 

More about the Everyday Sexism Project on their Website.

Follow the Everyday Sexism Project on Twitter.

 

First published on 25 June 2013

Date

Tuesday 26.08.2014 | 16:23

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Skating towards a brighter future

If you grow up in a place plagued by crime and unemployment, like the inner city of Johannesburg, you might think your fate is already mapped out for you. But, a skateboarding crew is aiming to change all that.

Ayanda Mnyandu wants to change the way young people in his neighborhood think about themselves – by introducing them to skateboarding.

Since the beginning of the year he has been the operation manager for Skateistan – an international skateboarding NGO.

Besides entertaining children and teenagers and keeping them off the streets, the free skateboarding lessons organized by Skateistan motivate the local youth and help boost their self-confidence.

DW’s Gaia Manco went to meet Ayanda at the Troyeville skate park in Johannesburg, to discover what skateboarding is able to teach about life in a challenging environment.

Listen to the report by Gaia Manco in Johannesburg, South Africa:

Skating

Date

Tuesday 19.08.2014 | 16:36

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Cleaning up Latvia’s coastline

The Baltic is one of the most polluted seas in the world. There’s litter strewn along many of the beaches on Latvia’s Baltic coast, and waste from industry and agriculture seep into the water.

But despite the pollution problem, local environmentalist Uldis Mors is determined to remind people of the beauty of the 500 kilometer shore. The 25-year-old has organized a special group expedition along the stretch of coast as part of a campaign called “Mana jūra,” or “My Sea” in English.

He’s hoping the trek will raise awareness about the fragile ecosystem, and persuade participants the shore is worth protecting.

Listen to the report by Gederts Gelzis in Riga, Latvia:

Uldis wants to show people the beauty of the Baltic Sea coast (Photo: G. Gelzis)

Uldis wants to show people the beauty of the Baltic Sea coast (Photo: G. Gelzis)

Date

Wednesday 13.08.2014 | 07:41

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Music keeps California teens off the streets

Richmond, a small city in Northern California just outside of San Francisco, is known for two things: rap music and gang violence, which often leads to drive-by shootings and homicides.

But on Richmond’s southern edge, there’s a building called the RYSE Youth Center. The center was opened to give youth a safe haven from the realities of the streets.

Twenty-year-old Xavier Polk has taken full advantage of the opportunity and introduced a free music production class where he helps teenagers develop their musical talents – and stay off the streets and out of trouble.

Listen to the report by Anne Hofmann and Aaron Mendelson in Richmond, California:

Xavier Polk teaches a free beatmaking class at the RYSE Youth Center to inspire teenagers musically and help them to stay out of trouble (Photo: A. Mendelson)

Xavier Polk teaches a free beatmaking class at the RYSE Youth Center (Photo: A. Mendelson)

15-year-old Janelle Thomas is working on her own track in Xavier's class

Fiften-year-old Janelle Thomas is working on her own track in Xavier’s class (Photo: A. Mendelson)

Student Emandre Winston uses the keyboard connected to the music production software at RYSE to work on his own track (Photo: A. Mendelson)

Student Emandre Winston uses the keyboard connected to the music production software to work on his own track in Xavier’s class (Photo: A. Mendelson)

The mural on the outside of the RYSE Youth Center in Richmond, California (Photo: A. Mendelson)

The mural on the outside of the RYSE Youth Center in Richmond, California, where Xavier teaches his beatmaking class to give teenagers a safe haven (Photo: A. Mendelson)

 

Date

Wednesday 06.08.2014 | 08:59

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Direct democracy via smartphone

You can do just about everything on your smartphone – so why can’t you use it to engage in politics?

For Pia Mancini in Buenos Aires, it’s not just a far-fetched idea. The young activist has developed what she calls a Democracy Operating System – or DemocracyOS -, an open-source platform for political debate. Political parties and organizations and download the system and repurpose it to suit their own program – like a lot of people do with WordPress blogging software.

The idea is that voters all over the world can easily find out what each party stands for and inform themselves properly.

Pia is also a politician herself and co-founder of Argentina’s tech-savvy Net Party.

Listen to Michael Scaturro’s report from Buenos Aires:

Pia Mancini is convinced that technology and democracy can work together (Photo: M. Scaturro)

Pia Mancini is convinced that technology and democracy can work together (Photo: M. Scaturro)

 

 

Date

Wednesday 30.07.2014 | 06:51

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Young Chilean architect builds houses to last

Earlier this year, fires tore through Chile’s port city of Valparaíso, killing 15 people and burning nearly 3,000 homes to the ground.

Since then, 28-year-old Carolina Moraes, an architect who specializes in social and sustainable housing, has been volunteering her time to help some of the families who lost their homes.

She’s not settling for short-term solutions, but is teaching the locals to help themselves.

Listen to the report by Eilís O’Neill from Valparaíso, Chile:

Carolina Moraes is building houses that are better than what local residents live in before the fire (Photo: E. O'Neill)

Carolina Moraes is building houses that are better than what local residents live in before the fire (Photo: E. O’Neill)

Cerro Merced is a hill in Valparaíso that was hit particularly hard by the fire (Photo: E. O'Neill)

Cerro Merced is a hill in Valparaíso that was hit particularly hard by the fire (Photo: E. O’Neill)

Many of the families affected by the fire had no legal title to the land they were living on (Photo: E. O'Neill)

Many of the families affected by the fire had no legal title to the land they were living on (Photo: E. O’Neill)

Adobe and stucco are essential materials (Photo: E. O'Neill)

Adobe and stucco are essential materials for volunteer Per Johansson (Photo: E. O’Neill)

 

Date

Tuesday 22.07.2014 | 12:42

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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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