Encounters and visits
Visits to the other country are one of the highlights of a school partnership. To experience the foreign culture and the other way of life, to discover similarities and to make new friends – all of this has a lasting effect on all participants.
Intercultural sensitivity, respect, openness and an interest in foreign ways of life are all essential prerequisites for the visits to be successful.
For example, during their visit to the Kisomachi Secondary School in January 2015, students from the "Europaschule Gladenbach" covered the topic of nutrition in joint German-African project groups. There were lively discussions – for example about malnutrition and obesity, about the causes of world hunger and about different international table manners. The students worked together successfully and were able to widen their horizons.
PROBONO supports the partner schools to plan their visits and provides advice when applying for ENSA funding.
From Kilimanjaro to Bavaria
We are particularly pleased when a German school invites a group from its African partner school to Germany. Gymnasium Lappersdorf, which has a lively school partnership with One World Secondary School in the Kilimajaro Region, welcomed a group of twelve from Tanzania to Lappersdorf in July 2022. In their travel report, they write to us about the encounter:
""Nutrition - sustainable and fair" - that was the theme of our exchange this year with our partner school in Tanzania, One World Secondary School Kilimanjaro. 10 students and two teachers took the long journey and visited us from 04.07.-25.07.2022 in Lappersdorf. The young people and also the teachers were accommodated in host families and were allowed to experience the everyday life in a German family, which was an enrichment for both sides. After getting to know each other over a leisurely breakfast followed by games, the first week included a three-day seminar by the development policy school exchange service (ENSA), which discussed and debated topics such as discrimination, racism, colonialism and the unequal distribution of goods around the world with the Tanzanian and German students of the Tanzania AG."Read more
"In the second week, a special highlight was on the program, as our former principal, Mr. Sellner, offered a workshop on "Fairtrade". During the week, the students were also able to visit the One World Shop Una Terra in Regensburg, plant and cultivate vegetables in the fields of the SoLaWi (Solidarity Farming) association, receive information on the cultivation of regional and organic products, and take part in a workshop on food security organized by Bread for the World. Creative workshops on the project theme produced great results. Of course, a sporting and cultural leisure program was also part of the program. We went canoeing together, learned Tanzanian dances and hiked in the surroundings of Regensburg. The trip to Munich with a city tour and a visit to the Allianz Arena was certainly a highlight for many Tanzanian guests. But also the active participation in the school Olympics as well as the school festival of the Gymnasium Lappersdorf were highlights of this exchange. But as entertaining and interesting as all these activities were, the most impressive thing was probably simply the daily being together with the young people from Tanzania and the similarities that could be found again and again despite cultural differences and that led to real friendships. We are all very much looking forward to seeing our friends again in the summer of 2023, when the return visit will take place and a group of German students from the Tanzania AG will be allowed to set off for Tanzania!"
PROBONO supported the exchange trip financially.
"We all would have liked to stay longer"
Since 2014, the Andreae-Gymnasium in Herrenberg has maintained a school partnership with St. Michael's Secondary School in Uganda, which is accompanied and supported by PROBONO. After the Baden-Württemberg high school invited the Ugandan principal and another teacher to their school in Germany in 2015, a return visit to Uganda was on the agenda in October 2017. An important goal of the trip was to get to know the Ugandan way of life and to consolidate the school partnership. But there was also a guiding theme for the exchange trip: Garbage and nutrition.Read more
Ugandan and German students worked together on topics such as recycling in Germany (including the problem of plastic bags, plastic in fish), malnutrition and undernourishment, vegetarian and vegan food, factory farming versus organic farming. A wide range of topics, which were well suited to look together for solutions to global problems and to learn a lot from each other.
All eleven students and one of the two accompanying teachers were in Africa for the first time. In their trip report, they write, "After landing in Frankfurt, Liam said loudly, "Come on, we're flying back!" Gladly we all would have stayed longer. We experienced warm hospitality, friendships were deepened or newly made and we experienced a lot, marveled, but a lot also worried us..."
PROBONO advised the two teachers in the planning and preparation of the trip and supported the encounter trip financially.