The weltwärts partner conference organised by SAGE Net took place in Berlin between 1st and 13th September 2018. A total of 75 participants from 26 countries were present.
In accordance with the partnership cooperation between the programme actors, as laid down in the weltwärts programme, the conference equally strengthened the dialogue and networking between the partner organisations. This repeated exchange is important to maintain the dialogue and the dynamic of the weltwärts programme. Due to the large number of participants, a broad field of interest was also covered and jointly relevant topics were identified.
The conference documentation is available here.
The first partner conference of ventao took place between 18th and 21st June 2018 in Frankfurt. ventao is the association of development policy exchange organisations and sees itself as a quality and interest group of supporting organisations in the weltwärts programme. The members of ventao support the mutual exchange of people of development partnerships and thus the commitment of those involved for sustainable development.
More than 50 participants from a total of 20 countries came together to look back on “10 years weltwärts” and to exchange views on the design of partnerships for the future. Through the international representation it quickly became clear that the function of “weltwärts”, through the forming of partnerships and the exchange of competences, can contribute to the reduction of economic problems and the strengthening of diversity and is more than “just” one year in the life of an individual.
The challenges of the weltwärts programme were also discussed and compared in small groups. As an important component, the participants talked about the South-North component and the fact that weltwärts volunteers have different social backgrounds which must be taken into account. For all of them, however, equal rights and giving them the same opportunities as the North-South volunteers were particularly important, as this is the only way to make global learning and the concept of development policy visible.
Between 13 and 16 April 2016 the weltwärts Partner Conference for Southern Africa took place in Johannesburg. The conference was organised by SAGE Net and the Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation. The more than 70 participants connected to weltwärts travelled from countries of Southern Africa, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Lesotho.
The focus of the conference was on the South-North component and the resulting benefits as well as emerging crises of the general weltwärts programme. The speakers were mainly African volunteers who reported on their stay in Germany. In the course of this, the African-German Youth Initiative and the South African weltwärts network were presented. By splitting into smaller groups and the methodical approach of the organisers, new ideas for the management of crises and emergencies were worked out and experiences of the South-North and North-South components were exchanged.
The documentation of the conference is available here.
Between 12 and 15 November 2014 the weltwärts Partner Conference for Southern Africa took place in Port Elizabeth. The conference was again held for partner organisations in Southern Africa, with representatives from South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. It was carried out and financed on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and within the framework of the development policy voluntary service “weltwärts”.
Six further conferences of this kind have been held in Africa, Latin America and India in recent months. This will sustainably strengthen the dialogue between the joint weltwärts project and the partner organisations involved. The partners’ perspective on overarching issues of weltwärts programme development is one of the most important intentions of conferences of this kind. The focus was on the exchange on relevant topics and the development of methods for the overall quality improvement of the programme.
The large number of participants and presenters consisted of representatives of the projects and of those staff members who are actively involved in the process. These included mentors, host families and interns* who were able to report on their own experiences with the weltwärts programme, the volunteers and the sending organisations from Germany.
Some participants gave interviews during the conference.
Between 14 and 17 November 2012 the weltwärts Partner Conference for Southern Africa took place in Johannesburg. The conference was organised by SAGE Net and supported and thematically managed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. About 80 participants came together on this day and represented 4 nations, 41 partner organisations and 17 sending agencies. The weltwärts programme maintains contacts and outreach offices in all 4 southern African countries represented – Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa.
Due to different experiences of the organisations regarding the structure, goals and future of the weltwärts programme, a lively exchange of experiences took place. The introduction of the South-North component played a central role. Besides the extension of the own network relations and the establishment of new contacts, new impulses for the own work and the further development of the programme could be set. The participants rated the methodological-didactical organisation of the conference as positive, as well as the work in small working groups and the subsequent exchange in the larger group. Thus many points of view were shown and also discussed personally. Furthermore, there was a pronounced willingness among the participants to contribute their own resources and competences to the process beyond the conference.
We at SAGE Net consider a constant and equal involvement of the partners as indispensable to make chances and synergies for the further process fruitful. In order to reach the weltwärts partners of all continents, further regional conferences will be held in Africa, Asia and Latin America, which will also provide a platform for exchanging experiences and improving network structures.