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Südafrika in Deutschland, Topnews

08. November 2017

Empowering Sowetan Students at ENSA Conference in Berlin

Marion Kowal of Koordinationsstelle Fanprojekte (KOS) tells us that after being invited to a stakeholder conference in Johannesburg in July, they have been chosen to attend Environmental South Africa (ENSA)’s international symposium and evaluation conference “School Exchange Now & Then – 2030 and beyond,” in Berlin, Germany, to present their exchange programme to its full extent. Sowetan participants were Thozama Mrwetyana (Principal of Orlando Highschool),  Khensani Mugabe and Kulani Mongwe, learners at OHS, Jabulani Nzimande, who attended through an NGO in partnership with ENSA, and Kwepile Lukhanyo, a former learner at OHS and an alumni of ENSA. This is what Kweps writes:

“Greetings. First of all, let me take this opportunity to thank ENSA for the invitation. Well planned event since from day 1 to day 3. i personal (one of the learners in the first group to go Germany) find the workshop as a fruitful beneficiary, as a after follow up after a long time , not mention the discussions we had , inter-acting with other people sharing of ideas ,  getting to meet other participants from different organisation having the same goal or aim which is to improve or giving platform to all participants in giving views and suggestions on how we can find a way forward for future.  in closing , It is said and believed that  "YOUTH WILL ALWAYS BE YOUTH , WITH SO MUCH ENERGY STORED READY TO BE UNLEASHED TO MAKE CHANGE IN COMMUNITIES AROUND THEM" by those words i kindly , grateful for support ENSA is giving us , as youth , believing and investing in us . hopefully they will keep it that way . Thank you. Yours faithfully Lukhanyo kwepile ”

Thus the conference has successfully brought together students, teachers, actors from NGOs and partner organizations of the African-German Youth Initiative (AGYI) in Berlin from 5-8 November to jointly work on an inclusive vision for international school exchange. The conference focused on school exchanges, in particular on partnerships with African countries, the evaluation of the developing teacher exchange program as well as the role of the participants. Furthermore, the conference ensured to rank and intensively discuss key aspects and challenges that disturb the running of the school's exchange, for example, when it comes to visa applications and the support from various African countries (South) as compared to support from European countries (North). The young people were debating issues affecting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)s, shared ideas, got to know diverse cultures and languages, moved towards understanding each other, that is, the southern and the northern continent. The conference concluded with the VISION of the school's programme now and beyond 2030.

This programme has empowered these committed students, provided them with better access to educational opportunities and inspired them to actively working on shaping their own future.

The conference started off with a keynote by Dr Boniface Mabanza (Kirchliche Arbeitsstelle Südliches Afrika, KASA), continued with intensive dialogue, experience exchange and networking during a great variety of themed workshops and fruitful evaluations seminars as we as entertaining activities such as improvisation theatre entitled “Welcome to the world of ENSA – at a glance,” and music by That Effing Sara, Sofa Queen & Phil Flash and a post-colonial Berlin city tour.





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