AWE opens for online donations

Donate!Forty years work for World Education must continue. This is why the Association for World Education has decided to open for online donations.


It has become much easier for the world’s well-wishers and donors to support the AWE and its work. A secure link has now been added to the AWE website. Those who choose to donate are also invited to earmark their donations for the specific activities they prefer.

“Our core values are still the same as when we began working for globalization via World Education,” stresses AWE President Jakob Erle and adds:
“And it is still crucial to grasp that our version of globalization comes with concepts like human rights and universal identity, just as it did forty years ago when we started using the term.”

According to Erle, globalization with a human face will depend on donations – also in next forty years.

Photo by Judson Dunn

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Honoring 10 December

Human Rights Days 2010The struggle for the respect of human rights transcends all frontiers, stresses Rene Wadlow* viagra professional in this December 10 reminder. Wadlow also reminds of the importance of human rights education.


10 December – Human Rights Day – marks the anniversary of 10 December 1948 when the UN General Assembly proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.

Since that day, as world citizens, we can take pride that we have contributed to the growth of a universal human rights movement. In all walks of life, brave individuals are standing up for their sisters and brothers who have been reduced to silence by oppression, poverty or injustice.

This struggle for the respect of human rights transcends all frontiers. The struggle is based on non-violence. Our only weapons are knowledge and the life force of conviction. Human dignity must be protected by the power of knowledge.

Therefore we are devoted to education for human rights. The aim of human rights education is to create a universal culture in which there is understanding, respect, and friendship among all peoples.

Human rights education is an important tool to break the cycle of humiliation, abuses of power and violence in which too many people are caught. There is still much to be done in all countries to develop this culture based on human rights.

There is a need to overcome racial discrimination, xenophobia, gender-based discrimination, and negative stereotypes. Schools have an important role to play, but education is broader than schools. We must use all the instruments we have available through media, informal education centers, cultural activities, and non-governmental action to develop these new positive attitudes and values.

Defending human rights requires an objective analysis of a situation, an analysis which is not colored by political motivations or ethnic or religious prejudices. Once such an objective analysis is made, then we must speak out to governments and other holders of power to bring their policies and practices in line with high universal standards.

Speaking out requires courage and occasionally even heroism. Human rights are at a cross road. No longer just a reference to violations of specific rights, they are becoming a way of life, a social contract that fulfils people’s aspirations to life in dignity and democracy. People want to know that they are in full control of their lives and that their society embodies their uniqueness as individuals.

In human history, there have been periods when there is a collective response to new challenges and thus new ways of organizing thought and society. Most of the world’s great religious and philosophical systems were formulated at about the same time: Confucianism and Taoism in China, Hinduism-Buddhism-Jainism in India, Zoroastrianism in Persia, the Prophetic impulse in Judaism, Socrates-Plato and the mystery schools in Greece, and the Druid teachings among the Celts.

We are in such a period today as we face the challenges of a world society and a globalized economic system. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights gives us a base for a universalistic ethic, one that includes all of humanity. The Declaration recognizes that each individual is a member of the same human family and is linked in harmony with each other. We share a common destiny. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights gives us a common vision for a just and cooperative future.

* Rene Wadlow, Representative to the United Nations, Geneva, Association for World Education.

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AWE Council approves many new members

Thumbs UpThe AWE International Council has approved eight new institutional members. Global Director for Capacity, Noël Bonam, believes it witnesses a growing interest in World Education.


Eight new institutional members and also a number of individual members, were approved in November when the AWE International Council met in Elsinore, Denmark. The new institutional members that span over five continents are:

Fundació Carta de la Pau diriga a l’ONU (Spain)
Bradford Education Consultancy (Nepal)
The International University (USA)
Volunteer for Africa (Kenya)
Cobscook Community Learning Center (USA)
International Academy for Education and Democracy (Denmark)
People’s Initiative for learning and Community Development (Philippines)
Institute for Learning Philosophy and Education at Aalborg University (Denmark)

According to Global Director for Capacity, Noël Bonam, there is an increasing number of inquiries from potential members from across the world:
“The world is realizing that dialogue, inter-transparency and collaboration are critical for the future of World Education, and that AWE offers the ideal platform for such engagement” guesses Bonam.

New members will usually have to be approved by the AWE International Council. However, since Council convenes only every third year, the presidency may give provisional approval to applications.

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First AWE News compilation issued

AWE NewsOn November 22nd the first issue of AWE News was distributed. World Education stakeholders do now have the possibility to follow how AWE and its members perform and advocate for World Education.


To subscribe to the AWE News from issue number one, fill in and submit the subscription form. Subscribers get a compilation of AWE News forwarded to their email addresses two-three times a year.

AWE News are interesting for those who teach, learn about or researcher in world issues, those who are looking for world educators, write or think about the world, or people who miss a vision or educative inspiration about world issues.

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Jakob Erle is new DEDI director in Cairo

AWE president Jakob Erle is going to be the next director of the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI). The position is based in Cairo. Erle continues as AWE president.


When Jakob Erle takes seat in Cairo on January 15th, it is in the DEDI director’s chair. Erle hopes for positive consequences for AWE and for world education visions in general.

There is good reason to believe in a fruitful exchange of experiences and ideas between DEDI and AWE.
“AWE’s world education visions will probably inspire the work of DEDI, just as AWE can expect to be exposed to ideas the other way round,” says Erle.

Erle’s visions for DEDI

“My leading stars are two and they count at DEDI too,” declares Erle:
“I wish to contribute to the development of common global norms for people’s interaction in this world, and I wish to be part of developing intercultural understanding.”

The Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI) is an independent institution established in Cairo in 2004 with the strategic aim of enhancing political life in Europe and in the Arab World. The Institute has a Danish-Egyptian Executive Board and is fully funded by the Danish Development Agency (DANIDA). DEDI works for inclusion and democracy on all levels, promotes social change and gender equality and supports the development of strong media and education.

IAED will need a new director

Erle comes from a position as director of the International Academy for Education and Democracy (IAED). Erle will leave this position. The future plans of the IAED are not yet settled, but it will need a new director.

The Erle family plans to move from Copenhagen to Cairo shortly after January 15th.

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AWE and Bibliotheca Alexandrina sign Memorandum of Understanding

The Association for World Education (AWE) and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina of Egypt signed a Memorandum of Understanding on October 10th. The intention is to strengthen the professional relations between the two parties.


The memorandum that was signed between AWE and Bibliotheca Alexandrina is strategically important to AWE’s work explains president Jakob Erle, who visited Bibliotheca Alexandrina in October together with Global Capacity Director Noël Bonam.

“The Bibliotheca Alexandrina means an opening to new contacts, new networks and hopefully to new cooperation partners,” says Erle.

On the other hand AWE has obliged itself to “promote cooperation in the fields of training and internships provided to the staff of Bibliotheca Alexandrina,” says the memorandum. And moreover, the AWE will “provide internships and training for the Bibliotheca Alexandrina staff in the fields of education and dialogue.” The Memorandum is valid for three years.

Bibliotheca Alexandria is more than a library

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina that is dedicated to recapture the spirit of openness and scholarship of the original Bibliotheca Alexandrina is an impressive institution that contains much more than a library. It contains as well an internet archive, six specialized libraries, four museums, planetarium, research centers, exhibitions and a lot more.

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New UNESCO publication shows learning examples for sustainable development

“Tomorrow Today” gives examples of learning for sustainable development from all over the world. The publication was issued at the occasion of the UN ten years anniversary of learning for sustainable development. The publication is downloadable.

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Earth is Our Common Home: The U.N. Desert Decade

The for the start of the new UN Decade. Rene Wadlow is the AWE representative to the UN in Geneva. 2010 to 2020 is the UN International Decade of Deserts and Desertification.

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Millennium Development Goals bring World Education into the classroom

millenium-development-goals-in-vejle“Millennium Development Goals are easy to understand, they are measurable and they tie the world together without reducing complexity,” wrap up AWE teachers.


Five schools in Vejle, Denmark, had visiting guest teachers from AWE in India and Tanzania this week. About 300 students in grade seven to nine had the opportunity to learn about the situation in India and Tanzania in relation to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The AWE teachers are happily concluding that the MDGs are easily understood in the classrooms.

The guest teachers Dr. Sujit Kumar Paul and Livingstone Beykwaso were in Denmark due to an exchange program by Association for World Education (AWE).

Pupils introduced to third world living conditions

Through figures, pictures and dilemma stories the pupils were introduced to living conditions in the third world and to programs that are meant to lead people out of extreme poverty and illiteracy.
Better housing, better education and better health care among the poorest are important steps in this direction. Self help groups are now implemented in both countries.

MDG facts from Tanzania and India

Among the many Tanzanian and Indian facts and opinions presented by Livingstone Beykwaso and Dr. Sujit Kumar Paul were the following:

  • In Tanzania a great effort is done to organize elderly people and to give the access to resources, so they can assist orphans that have lost their parents due to Aids/HIV.
  • In India women are supported to form self help groups. Women empowerment improves the economy of the families, motivates to send the children to school and help to reduce domestic violence.
  • The only goal that both India and Tanzania are expecting to achieve before 2015 is goal number two about education. Both countries are very close to a situation, where all children between six and 14 years will attend school.
  • However, one optimistic guess is that the eight goals can be reached before 2025 if the right political decisions are made.
  • To support a sustainable development it is important, that resources from the developed world are distributed through local organizations.
  • It is also important that the national governments support the local work. Both in India and Tanzania there should be more joint obligations between the government, the local administration and the NGOs to reach the Millennium Development Goals.

Dr. Sujit Kumar Paul is a professor at Shantiniketan, India
Livingstone Beykwaso is a board member of the Local Radio of Karakwe, Tanzania

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Anthology bridges folk, people’s and world education

“Lifted by the Heart” is an anthology edited by AWE vice-president Chris Spicer. It presents North-America’s folk and people’s education and links to a future possible refocusing on world education.


Already the Grundtvig inspired title reveals what is considered the beginning of North-America’s folk and people’s education. It all begins with Scandinavian immigrating Grundtvig followers. However, generations of educators in North America are described in the anthology.

And the future is as well touched upon. Chris Spicer and Alan Furth (Cobscook Community Learning Center) are examples of the current generation. Both are active in the Association for World Education and according to Spicer it may very well point forward: “[C]onnecting local people’s education to an international conversation about globalization and democracy” is Spicer’s expressed hope for the future.

“However, the purpose is to tell the folk education story in America,“ explains Spicer. “It is an eclectic story of stories to be learned from in adapting Grundtvig, also in different cultures within North-America.”

The anthology articles are – with one exception- previously issued in Option that was the Journal of the Folk Education Association of America (FEAA) that is also known as the Institute for People’s Education and Action (IPEA). The FEAA/IPEA is a chapter of AWE.

From the contents of “Lifted by the heart”:
Selected editorials (Kay Parke)
Life’s Education (N.F.S. Grundtvig)
Sing Appalachia (Johannes Knudsen)
The Hodja and the Pulpit (Traditional)
Between the Poets and the People (John Ramsay)
Peace-Clay (John Ramsay)
Grundtvig in My Experience (Johannes Knudsen)
How I became a Folk High School Teacher (Christen Kold)
Det Folkelighe (Albert Haugesund)
On Firing the Smoke-toned Pot (Naoma Powell)
An Open Letter to the Poets of America (Leonard Randolph)
Folk College Initiatives by Danish Immigrants in America (Otto Hoiberg)
In Debt to Heritage (Elise Hermansen Olsen)
Farmin’ Land (Chuck Floro)
Adapting the Danish Folk High School Idea to the United States (Chester A. Graham)
The Clearing (Patricia A. Takemoto)
Highlander Folk School (Myles Horton)
Mountain Heritage (Don West)
Culture: The Roots of Community Spirit (Jane Sapp)
John & Olive Campbell, Pioneer Educators (Loyal Jones)
Arthur E. Morgan, Grundtvig, and Education for Life (Griscom Morgan)
Royce Pitkin: Founder of Goddard College (Evalyn Bates)
Testimony (Don West)
Residential Adult Education: A Canadian Memoir (R. Alex Sims)
The Antigonish Movement and Its team (Kay Parke)
A Call for Diversity (Jonie Kristensen)
The Story of Audubon Expedition Institute (Coleen O´Connell & Louie Carl)
The Story of Plaza Resolana (Kathleen Jimenez)
To Be a Folk School Teacher (Frederik Christensen)
From Ideas to Everyday Practice (Johan Norbeck)
The Folk College in America (Kay Parke)
Folk Education: A Historical Perspective on FEAA (John Ramsay)
Folk Education in the United States Today (Chris Spicer)
Folk, Folkelighed and Folk Education (Peter Siegle)
N.F.S. Grundtvig’s International Influence on Education (Per Himmelstrup)
The Archer and the Arrow (Traditional)

The book is available via Chris Spicer whose contact coordinates are at the FEAA/IPEA website.

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