In Berlin, the German Minister of Home Affairs, Hans-Peter Friedrich, awarded prizes to three projects of the Order of Malta in Germany in the annual “Helfende Hand” (“Helping Hands”) competition for the best initiatives in the civil defence and voluntary service fields. With the world record for resuscitation – a tour de force in which nine volunteer rescuers alternated in giving cardiac massage to a dummy for over 40 hours – the volunteers of the Order of Malta Marburg won first place, together with a prize of 7500 euro, in the “Original Projects” category. In the same category, the second prize was won by the “Together for the town of Münster” project the Order of Malta is running with the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund, the German Red Cross and the Die Johanniter Öffentlichkeitsarbeit.
The Order’s Essen volunteers also mounted the podium to receive second prize in the “Developing Young People’s Talents” category, thanks to the idea of providing behaviour courses to secondary school pupils, also giving them the chance to perform voluntary activities. In the same category, the first-aid course offered by the Order’s volunteers to students in the Marienschule high school in Limburg was also singled out.
The “Original Projects” category also includes the Order’s emergency interventions in the town of Lohne with the “KIT-Teams”, providing psychological assistance to the relatives of victims of mortal accidents and young suicides and support to the victims of violence at school.
Malteser Hilfsdienst (the Order of Malta’s volunteers in Germany) presented a total of 176 projects for the Berlin competition. The Vice President of Malteser Hilfsdients, Edmund Baur, commented: “Thanks to the variety of the Order of Malta’s volunteer initiatives we have achieved excellent results and this year our association collected the most prizes”.