Contact person at dvv international Bonn:
The term globalization embraces not only the boundless flow of information and capital but also the convergence of cultures and joint responsibility for the future. At least since the UN Conference on the Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, it has been clear that the entire world is affected by diminishing resources, growing environmental problems and increasing inequality of opportunity, and that all states are therefore required to work towards sustainable development which does not imperil the future.
The Federal Republic of Germany is among the countries committing itself to this vision of a global and sustainable development. It thus recognises that its society is undergoing a learning process in which old ways of thinking about development and underdevelopment are losing their validity and education for sustainable development is becoming a priority.
Our project "Global Learning at Volkshochschulen (adult education centres)" serves the promotion of education for sustainable development, or global learning.
It receives financial support from the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is entitled “Promotion of Development Education in Volkshochschulen”.
The project is based at the Institute for International Cooperation, which is an institute of the German Adult Education Association. This provides two sound foundations for the work. Firstly, we have been working for 35 years with partner organizations in the field of adult education in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Central, Southeast and Eastern Europe and can make use of the specialist knowledge and experience gained for our work with the Volkshochschulen.
Secondly, our direct contact with the 16 Landesverbände (provincial adult education associations) enables us to have a real impact on the 1000 or so individual Volkshochschulen and to reach not only a considerable number of multipliers but also a sizeable proportion of the population.
Our project work and supply for the Volkshochschulen comprises three instruments:
Regularly we carry out a evaluation of our project work. These enable us not only to draw conclusions about our previous input into educational practice, but also self-critically to identify weaknesses and to respond to new trends and challenges.
We are guided by the following principles and objectives in promoting development education and global learning in Volkshochschulen:
- arouses interest in developing countries and countries in transition, clearly revealing global relationships and their impact on individuals,
- encourages consideration of the ideal image of sustainable development and its practical implementation,
- fosters active participation in a socially responsible society, and supports commitment to development.
Given the need for a change of awareness, global and lifelong learning are indissolubly linked. In the light of the global challenge, adult education must not be reduced to the updating of technological skills but must help individuals and society to find their way towards, and to shape, a future that is worth living in – including within the German Adult Education Association.