We support Children
“Wir stärken Kinder” (We support children): Sportdeutschland.TV, ProSiebenSat.1 Group’s digital sports channel, partnered with the charity SOS Children’s Village to set up this initiative that gets athletes involved for a good cause. The kids get to train with the pros, in the process learning the value of engagement and team spirit.
Martial arts with the elites of women’s judo, swimming with former freestyle world champ Paul Biedermann, paddling with Olympic champion canoeist Sebastian Brendel, throwing the pigskin around with football coach Patrick Esume – the list of activities run by top-ranking athletes as part of the “Wir stärken Kinder” (We support children) initiative goes on and on. “This partnership is very dear to our hearts,” says Zeljko Karajica, CEO of 7Sports, ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE’s sports-related business company, which sparked the idea for the project. “We are thrilled with the fantastic commitment of these top athletes, who bring great enthusiasm to the project from day one.”
Many of the pros involved in the initiative themselves learned the meaning of motivation, willpower, team spirit, and responsibility through sports. And also how to deal with setbacks. That was the case for soccer player Tobias Strobl of Borussia Mönchengladbach, whose father died early: “That blow made me lose my direction,” he says, recalling the time immediately after his father’s death. But sports helped him get back on his feet. Today, he plays in the German Bundesliga with appearances even at top European level.
Things are rough at many German schools. Psychological and physical abuse are often the order of the day, according to the recently published special volume of the 2015 PISA study on students’ well-being throughout the world. In Germany, nearly one in six 15-year-olds experiences bullying on a regular basis at school. And that’s not the only place. In this era of social media such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, Twitter, and others, insults, threats, humiliation, and isolation have spread far beyond the classroom and schoolyard.
“Serves you right, how could you be so naive and careless?” That’s often the initial reaction, especially when the bullying involves nude photos. “At first, these pictures are a sign of love and trust, and then …,” is sexting victim Amal’s description in the SAT.1 movie. Once they’re in circulation, whether motivated by revenge, jealousy, or adolescent power plays, they trigger a cycle of suffering that runs the gamut from shame, fear, and self-doubt, all the way to suicidal thoughts. The victims, usually girls and women, can’t count on much empathy. That’s because in cyberbullying – far more than the traditional variety – onlookers and malicious accomplices are part of the system.
Red nose DAy
Here, at a location about an hour’s drive north of Berlin, the Ark’s founder Bernd Siggelkow has realized his dream. Set in the heart of nature, his farm is teeming with animals and welcomes children, many from difficult backgrounds, offering them positive experiences. The pastor’s idea is to use animals as therapy to help build children’s self-confidence and encourage them to feel closeness. “It’s not just about giving the kids a good time, they also have to learn to take responsibility. That’s why we get them to help out around the farm,” explains Siggelkow.
Today, there are 22 centers across Germany. Some 180 staff members and interns in addition to roughly the same number of volunteers serve 4,000 children and teens warm meals, help with their homework, and encourage them to participate in sports and music as well as other beneficial recreational activities. The Ark’s offerings also extend to vacation camps, parent liaisons, and assistance finding training positions. The aim is to help boys and girls – often from difficult backgrounds – to not only gain self-confidence and social skills but also reach their full potential and broaden their educational horizons.
In 2016, ProSiebenSat.1 Group once again significantly expanded its offerings for people with hearing loss. ProSieben subtitles popular series such as The Simpsons, The Big Bang Theory, and Grey’s Anatomy. In addition to Germany’s next Topmodel, the TV station added Deutschland tanzt to its major shows that are aired in an accessible format. Compared to 2015 when 7,000 minutes of series were broadcast with subtitles each month, a total of nearly 30,000 minutes per month is now available.
Online overviews of all programming featuring subtitles can be found at www.sat1.de/Untertitel (in German only) and www.ProSieben.de/Untertitel (in German only). Among commercial TV broadcasters, the Group is a pioneer in accessibility and is continually expanding its quality and quantity. ProSieben began its subtitling initiatives as far back as 2000 and has exceeded the minimum requirements for media providers since 2013.
While many socially minded entrepreneurs have great ideas for community projects, they often run into practical problems when attempting to implement their plans. The startsocial competition lends helpers a hand. Some 500 experts from business, the public sector, and social institutions advise on selected social projects during a four-month coaching period.
DAY OF HEROINES
For ProSiebenSat.1 Group’s station sixx, all women are heroines who deserve to be celebrated on International Women’s Day. This is why the station inaugurated Day of Heroines on March 8, 2016 with the aim of highlighting the topic in its programming. The edition of Like Us dubbed Unsere 30 größten Heldinnen (Our 30 Greatest Heroines) featured a countdown of 30 heroic women in film, music, and politics as well as remarkable individuals who are not in the limelight.
The purpose of TV magazine show Challenge is to combat prejudice and hearten those affected. Produced under the aegis of Arbeitsgemeinschaft Behinderung und Medien e.V., a work group that champions inclusion in the media, Challenge offers a peek into the lives of people with disabilities. While inspiring those with disabilities to actively participate in society on their own terms, the show also aims to give the rest of the population a better understanding of what it means to live with a disability.
ProSiebenSat.1 is putting its weight behind young filmmakers in German-speaking countries with numerous projects. As part of its Young Lions initiative, the Group supports graduates of the Baden-Württemberg Film Academy, giving them an opportunity to run with offbeat topics and exceptional projects. Support comes in the shape of financial backing, expertise, and coveted broadcast slots on ProSiebenSat.1 channels. What’s more, the broadcasting Group singles out the cream of the talent crop with the Young Lions awards.
Outstanding thesis projects by film school graduates are eligible for the FIRST STEPS award conferred annually by ProSiebenSat.1 and its partners. In this way, we promote young creative blood, helping up-and-coming filmmakers find their feet in the industry. Endowed with a purse of 102,000 euros, the award was presented for the 17th time on September 19, 2016 at a gala event hosted at the Berlin Stage Theater des Westens.