22.11.2012

AWO International’s South Asian partners visit Germany


It has been a hectic but very rewarding time for AWO International’s South Asian partners during their one-week visit cum work programme to Germany. From fourth to tenth of November, altogether six representatives of AWO International’s local partner organisations from India and Nepal visited various AWO service facilities, presented their projects and held discussions with a diverse range of AWO International and AWO stakeholders in Germany.

 

Arriving in Berlin, they met with the staff of AWO International’s ‘Aktionsbüro’ (Head Office) and informed them about their respective projects; they also discussed the up-coming evaluation of AWO International’s South Asia programme and met with members of AWO International’s Board of Directors. A couple of AWO service facilities were visited such as the Migration Meeting Centre in the multi-cultural town quarter of Kreuzberg or the AWO restaurant ‘s…cultur’ which is run mainly by people with disabilities.

 

In addition, the South Asian visitors had a chance to explore the history and working of the ‘Bundestag’ (German Parliament). Moving further to the city of Dortmund in the ‘Ruhrgebiet’ (Ruhr area), a heartland of the AWO in Germany, the schedule included discussions at and interactions with representatives from the District (Westphalen) and Sub-District (Dortmund) Headquarters of the AWO, visits to an AWO senior citizen home in Lünen (inclusive of a small press conference), to the ‘Schultenhof’, an organic farm run by people with disabilities, to a workshop for people with disabilities and to the ‘Clearinghouse’, a residential and counselling place for juvenile refugees coming to Germany.

 

The work programme in Dortmund was complemented by a visit to the ‘Zeche Zollverein’ in Essen, a former coal pit turned museum and cultural centre, where the South Asian visitors learned a lot about structural change in Germany – from agricultural production to the industrial revolution to the post-industrial (service) era. The final stop of the one-week visit cum work programme was Frankfurt, where an interesting discussion on impact oriented monitoring and evaluation took place with representatives from the AWO affiliated ‘Institut für Soziale Arbeit und Sozialpädagogik’ (Institute for Social Work and Social Education).

 

Finally, the South Asian partners had another opportunity to present and discuss their projects in a panel discussion on ‘Rural Development through Social Mobilisation’ jointly organised by AWO International and the Frankfurt based NGO ‘Deutsch-Indische Zusammenarbeit e.V.’ (Indo-German Cooperation) before heading back to India and Nepal respectively.

At the 'Bundestag' (German Parliament)

At an AWO Senior citizen home in the city of Luenen

Panel discussion on rural development in Frankfurt