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  • Journal of World Education revives CONFINTEA

    Posted on March 5th, 2011 admin No comments

    In the new Journal of World Education the Association for World Education reports from CONFINTEA VI and FISC. The conferences took place in late 2009 in Belém do Pará, Brazil.


    What is the meaning of acronyms like CONFINTEA and FISC? The answers are likely to slip out of the memory of professionals even. Not to mention, what actually is the recurring “CONference INTernationale de Education des Adultes” all about? Or, what do they do at the Fórum Internacional da Sociedade Civil (FISC)?

    The new issue of Journal of World Education offers a glimpse into it. In a series of articles, AWE participants of FISC and CONFINTEA introduce their experiences with and knowledge about the conferences and their topics.

    Moreover, the Belém Framework for Action is reprinted in the Journal with the purpose “…to go to our governments and use their official agreement to promote and support lifelong learning from cradle to grave…”, as the AWE President Jakob Erle explains it.

    Theme contributors and titles of the new issue of the Journal are Jakob Erle (AWE), CONFINTEA from Hamburg to Belém, Noël Bonam (AWE), An Experience of the Global Agenda, Kirsten Bruun (AWE DK), Meeting a Strong Brazilian Woman, Rikke Schultz (AWE DK), People and Social Movements we met in Brazil, and Ana Maria Barros Pinto (AWE Brazil), CONFINTEA in Retrospect & Interview with Salomão Hage. Ana Maria Barros Pinto is also the editor in chief of the issue.

  • Happy New Year from AWE Denmark

    Posted on December 30th, 2009 Rikke Schultz No comments

    December 2009


    As year 2009 is running out, and I have this strong feeling that 2010 will be the first year, where many people in the West will realize, that a new world order is here and that we in the West cannot consider ourselves as the leading centre of the world any more.

    Emerging economies

    Why do I believe that? First of all this became very obvious during the COP15 climate conference that just ended here in Copenhagen. Though I have only been following it through TV, the discussions and the interpretation of the conference makes it visible, that emerging economies such as China, Brasil, India, South Africa and Mexico have a very strong voice and that they have learned the lesson from the West: To speak up and take care of their own interests. New green or clean technologies is not only a matter of decline of CO2 emission, it is also a matter of being able to breathe in cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Rio, Mexico City, and Beijing.  Development of new and cleaner technologies will come – with or without help from the West. And if we in the West don’t jump on the train, we will be the ones left behind.

    South – South Corporation is here as a part of the globalization process, and thanks god for that, because this is the only way to lift millions of people out of poverty. People in the emerging economies need to fight for an equal share of a balanced economic development. In this sense the West (EU) can still be a role model. Enlightenment and social movements must go hand in hand to achieve this very important goal.

    I saw this very clearly in Brazil. I saw the South – South Corporation, the need for social reforms and the importance of social movements.                                                                                                     

    How to become black inside

    Leila Magalhães and Kirsten Bruun - Belem Soft Hotel

    Leila Magalhães and Kirsten Bruun - Belem Soft Hotel

    “it is about becoming black” said Laila, when she tried to explain the ideas behind black movement.  You need to have a black soul and to be proud of what you are. You need to dress like a black woman, to dress your hair in a black manner and to prepare the African food.  This is the only way to reclaim your soul.


    Identity is a strong and necessary driver in the personal process of development, and education within social movements is very much about identity.


    Enjoy a moment of community

    brazilien-2009-2-191“I am here, because I need to know more about the society and how issues are connected, but the school is also a refuge, where you can enjoy a moment of community, a place where someone are wise and everybody can participate”.

    Jaô is working voluntarily with alphabetization in the rainforest in Brazil. Serge and Maria are part of a research team at Para state university. The research team is supporting the work of alphabetization by educating teachers and providing teaching methods and material in the spirit of Paulo Freire.  They work together with different social movements: in the rainforest, among fishermen, peasants, black communities, among the river people, and in the poor areas in the cities.

    Decolonialisation of peoples mind and legal rights

    Self-confidence and enthusiasm are important drivers in development. But realism is also important. Adult education and personal – and economical development are important partners.  Production is an important issue.  In the Amazon region in Brazil, where we were – eco-agriculture was a big issue among the social movement. A good idea but difficult to deal with, especially as a substitute for the agrobusiness industry, when 6,7 billion people in this world need food every day.

    But there is a desperate need of knowledge about, how the rainforest can be an income generating resource for people in the Amazon region in a sustainable way with focus on the triple bottom-line:  ecological, economical and social development.


    But sustainable is not a plus-word for MST (Movement Sem Terre). In their opinion sustainability smells of capitalism, it is built of the idea, that it is possible to restore the capitalistic idea. MST is a revolutionary movement. “La Luta continua” (the struggle continues) is still a one-liner here, but “a united people” is not what we heard as part of the agenda any more.  Each social movement seems to have its own agenda, their own lobbyists in the senate and Their own donors. MST’s agenda is a very important one. They fight for legal rights for land to the people. Lack of land reforms and lack of legal rights to land and property is maybe the biggest challenge in Brazil. Not only in remote areas as the rainforest and the countryside. Also in the cities, property rights are a big issue, and an important tool to bring people out of poorness and a criminal way of life.

    The decolonialisation of peoples mind is a matter of gaining self-confidence.  Legal rights and knowledge about ones legal rights is maybe the most important tool. N.F.S Grundtvig  - the Danish philosopher and educator – stressed that more than 150 years ago in Denmark.  And he also stressed that people don’t need to be able to read and write to know their rights. Spoken words are for everybody – and public enlightenment and dialog is a precondition for a human society.

    Democracy and South – South Corporation

    In AWE we have worked with the idea of democracy for quite some time. Very concrete we have supported the idea of an Edu-game about multilayered democracy, and we have taken part in the development of the game, and we have tested this game many places together with our chapters. Most lately we have presented it in Brazil: At Para University at FISC (Forum International Societé Civile) and at Confintea VI. Professor Salomaô Hage said after the workshop at the university: “A game that make people angry and encourage them to invent new types of institutions is maybe not so bad”.

    But anyway – something is wrong, because we receive more and more messages from the South: Stop talking so much about democracy. We do not believe in your talk about democracy.  AWE’s president Jakob Erle presents a very nice definition of democracy, when he presents the EDU-game:

    Democracy is to deal with common challenges through political institutions that are controlled by the citizens through political participation

    But in the world of reality, democracy has in the South and the East got a bias as a new cultural imperialistic mission from the West.  The reality is that democracy has many faces, and not all of them are pretty.  Jakobs definition is just one of these faces, and an idealistic one.  One of the things we need to discuss in AWE, when we meet again to the next International Council Meeting – hopefully in October in Denmark:

    What does globalization, good governance and human rights mean in an emerging South – South perspective and what is World Education about. Which values do we want to fight for in AWE in the next decade – the 2010s.

    Up till the next International Council meeting we are preparing two issues of Journal. One issue is edited in India by Sujit Kumar Paul and it will be about the emerging countries with focus on development in Brazil, India, Russia and China – the BRIC-countries.

    The other issue is edited by Ana Maria Barros Pinto in Brazil. This issue will focus on the Confintea meeting in Belem and the Paulo Freire inspired pedagogical approach.

    The best wishes for future corporation in 2010 from Rikke Schultz, AWE-Denmark

  • Interview with Salomao Hage

    Posted on May 20th, 2009 Rikke Schultz No comments
    Salomau Hage is organizing our next days in Belem

    Salomau Hage is organizing our next days in Belem

    Interview with Salomao Hage, Federal university of Pará

    Salomao Hage works at the university, and with the Chamber of the State Government of Pará responsible for Adult Education, Culture and Sports. The chamber is also responsible for coordination of activities in remote areas.

    He explains the challenges related to a diverse cultural population, where 40 % of the population above 15 years haven’t finish 4 years of primary education. Brasil is an emergent  economy, and the country is rich in resources, but social inequality is manifest. The problems are not simple, they appear in one way in an urban area, another in rural areas – and also in different forms in the great variety of cultural backgrounds present in the society in Brazil.

    Popular Education

    Salomao stresses that adult education in the Para region is popular education based on the ideas of Paulo Freire. Popular education should meet the needs of the specific groups of people involved.

    His identification of different groups with different kind of problems include The river people, descended slaves, the indigoes people,  Landless people, mining workers, unskilled workers in out-skirt areas and criminals. He offers to organize the next couple of days for us, so we can visit different programs.


    Salomao is very engaged in the FISC conference, and the exchange of experiences in literacy and other programs between the NGO’s. But CONFINTEA’s importance has to do with the necessity of committing all governments to support popular education and the social work of the NGO’s .