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Information and education work

Encounters for new perspectives – promoting the North-South dialogue


Visitors from Mozambique find out about training in a German vocational school. Copyright: Rainer MaehlEncounters between the North and the South, the developed and the de­vel­op­ing world, foster under­stand­ing – especially if par­ti­ci­pants are properly prepared. In Germany a variety of programmes are open to young people wishing to become in­volved in de­vel­op­ment work and to find out how people live in very different parts of the world. The programmes involve more than just sub­si­dis­ing the wander­lust of curious young people. Seminars prepare participants thoroughly for their encounter with a strange land. They come to realise the op­por­tu­nities they have to engage, but equally the limitations of their activities. And they take a critical look at expectations and hopes vested in their mission – their own and those of their partners in the host coun­try. Long before participants leave Germany plans are laid as to how they can pass on their experience on their return to Germany. The young people become multipliers of de­vel­op­ment education.

"Learning by serving" is the motto of the "weltwärts" de­vel­op­ment volunteer programme, which fosters North-South exchange. It addresses young people aged between 18 and 28. They are given the op­por­tu­nity to work for between 6 and 24 months in a de­vel­op­ing coun­try in any area covered by the wide spec­trum of current de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion. Participants are expressly expected to become involved in de­vel­op­ment information and education work on their return.

Two participants of the ASA-Programme. Copyright: Verena JaekelThe ASA programme ad­dresses students and young em­ployees who have com­plet­ed their pro­fes­sion­al but non-aca­dem­ic train­ing. It com­bines train­ing se­mi­nars in Germany with a three-month stay in Africa, Asia, Latin America or South-Eastern Europe. Following this stay abroad, par­ti­ci­pants meet to evaluate their ex­pe­rience together and devise ways of passing on their ex­pe­rience to interested parties in Germany.

The ENSA school exchange programme is designed to build a growing network of non-governmental organisations (NGO), teachers and school­children to work for global sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment. Any sort of German secondary school may participate. The young people involved should be aged between 15 and 24. ENSA works with NGOs to design the programme and sup­ports the sub­stan­tial and edu­ca­tion­al pre­pa­ra­tions and follow-up of projects. So far the ENSA programme has made possible more than 100 encounters between school­children from Germany and their opposite numbers in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries and transition states.

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