Global learning – from vison to reality: the south – north component
Weltwärts came up to enable global learning processes worldwide. The vision was to send young Germans to countries of the global south in order to learn and to participate in the work surroundings of the partner organizations. The south – north component was added to meet the challenge of multidirectional global learning processes.
The weltwärts start as learning program for young Germans
For committed participants a full year of experiences is building the frame to open up new perspectives on global development and world-wide relations. Conceptualized as a learning scheme the program was accompanied from the beginning with seminars and reflection phases. To guarantee effects on global learning it is central to focus on the returnee phase. With final closing seminar offers as well as with post volunteer service support and seminars the individual learning processes should flow into social learning processes intended in Germany. Soon after their return to Germany a part of the former volunteers will be decision makers in the society and with their experiences gained with the weltwärts year they should be able to decide in a different way than without having received the impulses with the weltwärts partner organizations.
From the start of the weltwärts program the civil society, sending organizations , NGOs in the north – south context and returnee associations were forwarding the idea that global learning cannot be a one way street.
Sending every year 3000 young Germans to countries of the global south should consequently comprehend a sending scheme which is enabling young participants from the south to share in a learning program in Germany gaining similar impulses to bring home to their countries.
Linking both directions north – south and south –north will create a meeting place were global visions can be shaped out.
2008 the north – south sending started with options for young Germans to volunteer in more than 60 countries in the global south. The master plan with the vision of multidirectional learning processes had to cope with a lot of obstacles to step forward. Finally it took more than 5 years to implement a south – north component to the successful weltwärts program. 2014 the first young participants from Africa , Asia and South America started as weltwärts volunteers in Germany.
Weltwärts multidirectional – the South – North component
2016 , in the third year of the pilot phase up to 800 volunteers will start their work under the umbrella of the weltwärts program. A variety of work fields enable participants to contribute with intercultural perspectives and to learn about work practice in Germany. It is expected that the program will grow within the next years. More than 50 organizations are taking part in Germany. Together with south partner sending organization they are building a strong network to develop the new component. In May 2016 a partner conference in Berlin brought the perspectives of different actors from 21 countries together. With the weltwärts south – north component committed civil society actors , former volunteers, sending organizations from the south and german governmental representatives are working together to make weltwärts a better place.