Our objective to improve the living conditions in the Kilimanjaro region through development support by promoting education and by motivating German students in a joint effort with their teachers and parents to get engaged in activities has had a great impact on the school life at the Humboldt School, a UNESCO-Project School. PROBONO helped the Humboldt School by providing both financial support as well as advice, thus contributing substantially to the success of the partnership.
Ulrich Nolte, former headmaster at the Humboldt School in Bad Homburg
Why North-South school partnerships?
School partnerships between the North and the South bring together children and youths from completely different cultural environments. Our vision of "One World" becomes reality as we come together, transcending borders between the rich and the poor countries and overcoming differences in culture, religion, education and tradition.
Since 2004 PROBONO has initiated and supported partnerships between schools in Germany and Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. PROBONO school partnerships between the schools from the North and the South are based on mutual respect and tolerance. We believe in a working relationship between equal partners both willing to learn from one another.
What are the benefits of North-South school partnerships?
A school partnership between a school in Germany and one in East Africa supported by PROBONO...
- Promotes intercultural dialogue and provides opportunities for young people from different cultural backgrounds to meet and develop personal relationships to learn from one another,
- Enables participants to experience foreign living conditions, encourages them to think in the global context and motivates them to engage in social activities,
- Provides opportunities for children and youths to contribute to the sustainable development of the South,
- Enables participants to better understand foreign value systems, promotes intercultural understanding and makes it easier to overcome prejudices.
A wonderful example of what can arise from a North-South school partnership is the engagement against racism of the Ukuleles-in-Uganda-team from Ostfildern. After the school-partnership-group of the Heinrich-Heine-Gymnasium had visited a Black lives matter demonstration during their vacations, the committed student Constanza developed an anti-racism action plan for her school. She created a presentation and presented her ideas at a teacher conference - due to the Corona pandemic in a video.
Her engagement has already made a difference: The topic of racism will be covered in 9th grade civics classes in the future.
How does PROBONO support school partnerships between the North and the South?
Together with our local staff and partners in Tanzania and Uganda we bring together German schools and African schools.
PROBONO not only facilitates school partnerships, we also support both schools of a partnership on a long-term basis.
PROBONO provides advice and support:
- In setting up and developing the school partnership,
- To development and implementation of dialogue projects,
- When planning trips to the partner school.
As a recognised organisation in the area of development cooperation work we also initiate and carry out projects to improve the learning and living conditions at the African partner schools. These projects include, for example, providing school books, building class rooms or drilling wells on the school premises. All projects are planned and carried out together with the African schools.
The extent to which the German partner schools are involved in the projects depends on their possibilities, capacity and commitment. PROBONO advises the German partner schools regarding the fundraising for the projects at the African partner schools and contributes funds themselves by initiating its own fundraising activities.
PROBONO facilitates exchange of ideas and experiences between German partner schools and provides them with opportunities to network amongst one another.
How can we become a PROBONO partner school?
It is important to us that a school partnership is not focused merely on sending money from Germany to Africa. We greatly emphasise that the support of the partner schools in the South goes beyond financial support. One of our main objectives is to encourage intercultural dialogue between the two schools.
Based on our experience, we believe that one of the most important criteria for a successful partnership is to build up a long-term relationship between the two schools. And the more people get involved – students, teachers and parents – the better and more diverse the relationship will become.
Are you interested in getting involved in developing and carrying out joint learning projects and exchanging your experiences with teachers and students from the Southern hemisphere? Would you like to get engaged in your school in order to improve the learning and living conditions in Eastern Africa? Are you seeking a long-term partnership with a school in Tanzania or in Uganda? If your answers to these questions are yes, we are the organisation that can help you realise your ideas.
If you would like to learn more about our organisation and the work we do, please do not hesitate to send us an email or call us – we look forward to hearing from you!
School Partnerships: Finding a balance between development aid and a partnership of equals
A review of PROBONO's intercultural seminar held on November 19th 2016
Around forty teachers, headmasters, students and PROBONO staff members met for one day to exchange views on the ambivalence of construction projects, to talk about fried potatoes and chagga cake, and to discuss the challenges of intercultural communication.
It was a special bonus that Eliet Senkoro and Denis Kalyango, our colleagues from Tanzania and Uganda respectively, were able to participate and make valuable contributions to the seminar. In their presentation they talked about the challenges of a school partnership between the North and the South from the perspective of a partner from the South.
Looking at the partnerships from the viewpoint of the African partner schools, they explained the difficulty of meeting the objective of building a partnership of equals whilst the funding is coming from one side only. The focus of the presentation was to raise the awareness of the participants on the issue of this inequality in the relationship between the schools as well as emphasising the importance of sensitive intercultural communication. "The contributions of our partners regarding some of the sensitive issues of partnerships was an eye-opener for all of us; of that I am sure," one of the participants wrote to us after the event.Read more
During the many workshops held in the afternoon, our African colleagues were again able to make valuable contributions to the discussions by representing the viewpoint of the partners from the South. Based on specific dialogue projects and joint workshops involving students from Germany and Tanzania, criteria for a successful dialogue were developed. The participants also took the opportunity of talking with representatives from other schools about their school partnerships.
PROBONO thanks all teachers and participating students for their contributions to this successful seminar and "Engagement Global" for sponsoring the event!