A competition in Germany brought forward personal stories of how the ESF successfully helped people to become (re-)integrated into working life
155 individual stories were submitted in the frame of the national competition "The 2014 Face of the ESF". Via online voting a list of ten nominees was drawn up from which a jury of experts selected the five award winners.
Among the winners there is a paraplegic participant who found her way back to the labour market with the help of the ESF. After complicated surgery and an extended rehabilitation phase she was unemployed at first. But after having participated in the ESF Programme Civic Work for some months she was offered open-ended employment with her hometown city administration. Another participant managed to return to the labour market after 16 years of family leave and now works in in childcare - her actual dream job.
Drawing a positive balance of the ESF projects from the funding period 2007 to 2013, Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Ms Andrea Nahles commented "The European Social Fund is the most important labour market and social policy instrument of the European Union. With the help of the ESF we can reach out to the people in Europe and can provide practical help where it is most needed. This is also illustrated by the stories of our award winners today. The European Social Fund gives Europe a face!"