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GET TO KNOW : DEVRIM SAHIN EMRE FROM HEROES

Welcome to the newest “Get to know” round on the blog. First, I would like to thank you guys for the positive feedback about this new...

Welcome to the newest “Get to know” round on the blog. First, I would like to thank you guys for the positive feedback about this new project. You guys really inspired me to extend it to another level. Berlin is richly filled with terrifically talented young minds and I will try my best to capture some of them for you guys. Today, I would like to introduce you to the “all-round talent” Devrim Sahin Emre. I haven’t reported about the “Act Now Award” yet (more about that very soon) but that’s where I have heard about him and the organization -- > “Heroes”. The award was presented by Dr. Auma Obama who made it her personal business to honour promising young people all around Germany. Devrim, who won a prize in the category -“Inspiration”- accepted this award as a representative for his organization. Some of you guys might know (well, I admit that it is somehow obvious) that I am, although raised in Germany, coming from an ethnic background that didn't always accept the equality of the male and female sex. In reality, gender gaps are still an omnipresent topic in our modern society. That’s why I am really impressed by the voluntary work that is done by the Heroes organization. But enough said, here is the Interview. 

  • Who are you and what are you doing? My name is Devrim Sahin Emre and I am 18 years old. Currently, I am studying law at the University of Potsdam and of course I am part of the organization Heroes. What our organization does is that it arranges workshops in different schools all around Germany. We are trying to reach a variety of students starting from grade 8 upwards. We are talking with the kids/young teens about topics such as “pride” or their culture. 
  • What do you think is the most important aspect of your work? What are the aims of the group and what makes your work important for the community?Haha, good question. I think the most important aspect of our work is to become a role model for the different kinds of students. Many of them come from a similar culture or ethnical background as we are. We have similar roots and so of course it is easier for them to talk openly about their views. It’s always simpler to talk about controversial topics to somebody who’s parent’s -let’s say- are also from Turky or parts of Arabia. Our aims are actually quite simple. We just want to talk to young students and give them the opportunity to discuss different themes such as pride, their culture or politics. We don’t want to tell them what is right or what is wrong they are not supposed to leave the workshops with a firm new opinion but we definitely challenge them to question their motives. I also think that this is what’s making us quite special. Our project is unique in the way it is accomplished. I’ve never heard about an organization that really goes into the schools and discusses with the students directly. Often they come up to us after the workshops and it is always great to see how they start to reconsider their ways of thinking. 
  • What does “Pride” mean to you? Ok, that’s not a simple question. I’d rather say what pride doesn’t mean to me. I don’t believe that it has anything to do with the virginity of my sister. I mean, yes culture is a big part of our identity but pride has nothing to do with virginity or who I am going to marry one day. If I would have to describe it I would choose words such as love, friendship, personality or the environment. 
  • What have you done as an individual to win this honourable prize? I think that it is quite hard to determine what I have done (exactly) as an individual. I mean I am an active person, I wrote articles for the Tagesspiegel or I’ve been a bit more active in debates about homophobia but I think that it is important to say that “Heroes” works as an organization. We can’t say that one as an individual has done more work than the others. Of course some members are more active in planning the workshops while others rather perform them. I think you guys should see “Heroes” as a big project with a lot of people involved. I was honoured to accept the award as a representative of our group. 
  • What are your plans hereafter and what is Heroes planning for the future?Of course I am making some plans for the future. Right now as I study law, I might work as a lawyer or go into politics down the road, but to be honest I believe that the time will tell. Right now I am mainly focusing on the present | Our biggest dream, of course, is to be part of a community where discrimination or prejudices are no longer an issue. We know that we have achieved something when the children come up to talk to us after a workshop and often we can see the changes. As I already mentioned, our goal is to create a future with more peace and respect. 
  • Thank you very much for the interview Devrim ! Do you have a last subject that you want to tell us about? There is one thing that I can assure you of. Just go out and do something voluntary because even if you don’t have a whole lot of time it will teach you a lot. You are helping people and it usually doesn’t affect you in any way besides making you become more grateful/happy. 

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