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  • Mitraniketan Group couples Enlightenment and AWE

    Posted on February 25th, 2012 John Petersen 1 comment

    Mitraneketan seminar February 2012A group of AWE members gathered primo February in Mitraniketan, India, suggests rediscovering the concept of Enlightenment for the 21st century.


    According to a set of recommendations that was released yesterday, a group within Association for World Education (AWE) wishes to revitalize the concept of Enlightenment for the 21st century and within AWE.

    The recommendations imply that the AWE network could be strengthened by organizing events on Enlightenment throughout the world and among AWE’s chapters and members.

    The Mitraniketan group also foresees that its Enlightenment ideas should be further developed.

    The AWE Enlightenment Seminar in Mitraniketan took place from January 31-February 4, 2012. A steering group pushed forward by AWE vice-president Chris Spicer organized the seminar. The group gathered in India was originally formed through the AWE International Council that took place at IPC, Elsinore, in 2010.

  • Association for World Education @ A World Worth Living In

    Posted on June 14th, 2011 admin No comments

    Turning Torso is the landmark of Malmö, SwedenAdult educators from 80 nations are gathering in Sweden at this very moment. The headline of their gathering is A World Worth Living In, and AWE is there to share.


    The International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) World Assembly is the main event that brings together adult educators and learners from around the world every four years. This time, the assembly is accompanied by a range of different side events. The assembly and the side events have together the title A World Worth Living In.

    By now, most of the participants have checked in for the VIII World Assembly in Malmö, Sweden, and they are preparing for the informal welcome session at 9 pm (CET). Among the participants are several AWE members representing different organisations.

    AWE is there to share

    “We are here to get inspiration and to share views on how to bring World Education into the 21st century,” says Rikke Schultz. She is representing AWE in Malmö together with AWE vice president Chris Spicer. Another AWE vice president Edicio de la Torre is present as well, representing the Education for Life Foundation.

    “Concretely, I will do my best to share impressions from the conference. Tell members and others to go to our Facebook Fansite,” stresses Schultz from Malmö. “I hope we are connected from the assembly hall.”

    “Particularly, we hope to find inspiration for our reflection journey on challenges and learning methodologies,” says Schultz and reminds of the next AWE meeting at Mitraniketan in Kerala, India, in 2012.

    There is an option to watch A World Worth Living In by on-line live streaming, just as the organisers has opened a Flickr account for photos. The programme, list of organisers and co-organisers and more social media options are to find at the conference website. The conference ends on the 17th.

  • 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.

  • BRIC is the theme of the new Journal of World Education

    Posted on September 9th, 2010 admin 3 comments

    journal-of-world-educationThe new issue of Journal of World Education is out. This Journal sets spotligt on how the BRIC countries handle educational challenges in a rapidly changing world.

    The contributions in the new issue of Journal of World Education – on Brazil, Russia, India and Africa – deal with the more specific conditions, policies and room for work on World Education.

    The articles reflect the perceived challenges in each area and ways of using education to deal with the challenges.

    The detailed descriptions give the much needed opportunity to understand the workings of each society and makes possible the move to a nuanced perception of other countries, which according to AWE is much needed to avoid the stereotypes that we often tend to use in relation to other cultures.

    Theme contributors and titles of this issue of the Journal are Jørn Boye Nielsen (AWE DK), A New Multipolar World Order is emerging, Rikke Schultz (AWE DK), Brazil – Challenges, Institutions and Social Movements, Lidia Shkorkina (AWE Russia), Russia – Changes and Challenges in Higher Education, and Dr. Sujit Kumar Paul (AWE India) Regional and National Development in India. Dr. Sujit Kumar Paul is as well the editor in cheif of the issue.

    An expected article about China has been postponed to one next issue of the Journal, while fortunately Dr. Theophilus Tefe offered his very interesting article African Perspective.

    The Journal has a foreword by AWE President Jakob Erle. It contains as well a reflection about AWE organisational matters by Noël Bonam, Global Director – Capacity Development, Building Global Networks – going back to our roots.

    Get the Journal of World Education

  • 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

  • Revisiting Belem

    Posted on November 24th, 2009 Rikke Schultz No comments

    Preparing Confintea VI in Belem

    Our mission: To get closer to the social movements in Para State – Brazil

    Ana Maria interviewing Teofila Nunes and Mercedes from MST

    Ana Maria interviewing Teofila Nunes and Mercedes from MST

    MST are present in 24/27 states in Brazil.

    They have given land to 350.000 families in Brazil. The next five year, they will figth for Land reforms leading to social justice and popular sovereingty.

    Teofila in her house in Icoaraci

    Black Movement

    Leila Magalhães and Kirsten Bruun - Belem Soft Hotel

    Leila Magalhães and Kirsten Bruun - Belem Soft Hotel

    “Is is about beeing black – to retrieve your black soul”

  • Kirsten and Rikke are back in Denmark

    Posted on May 25th, 2009 Rikke Schultz No comments
    Kirsten and Rikke in Rio

    Kirsten and Rikke in Rio

    After 3 hectic days around Belim and 30 hours of travel Kirsten and Rikke is back in Denmark.

    Thanks to all our new friends for some incredible days. And stay on this channel. The next couple of days we will upload stories and pictures about our experiences and challenges.

  • Jakob left for Rio

    Posted on May 25th, 2009 Rikke Schultz No comments
    Jakob is leaving

    Jakob is leaving

    Wedensday afternoon the group visited Poema an institute on Federal University of Para State.

    After the visit Jakob left us to go the Rio.

    The rest of the group continuied in a programme arranged by Salomaô Hage. We visited schools in the city and on the River nearby Saô Domingos do Capim and we visited MST in Icoaraci, a movement for people without land (Sem Terra).

    Jorn continues his visit in Brazil in Pôrto Alegre together with Ana Maria

  • Public employees at strike in Belem

    Posted on May 21st, 2009 Rikke Schultz No comments

    Public employees at strike in Belem

    We heard about the strike first time at the Sunday marked in Belem.  And we have heard about the closed public schools. Wednesday morning we meet with Mrs. Fatima – one of the speakers from the Sunday marked manifestation.

    The strike is about the salary and it involves teachers, health care workers and other groups of public employees. She explains, that one of the problems is, that no public employee can survive unless you have 2 or 3 jobs. She herself has a full time job as educator in the health sector and a part time job as nurse.  All together she earns about 740 R$ pr. month – equivalent to 370 US$. And furthermore, prices have raised 20 % within the last 2 years without any wage compensation.

    Mrs. Fatima has no clear idea of the result of the strike, but she knows that State Government needs to take action, because it is no longer possible to live a decent life as public servant. And also private employees suffer from underpayment. The only beneficiary of development seems to be the very rich people.


  • Selected pictures from Belem

    Posted on May 20th, 2009 Rikke Schultz 1 comment
    Kirsten amusing schoolchildren at Forte do Castello

    Kirsten amusing schoolchildren at Forte do Castello

    Belem from the seaside

    Belem from the seaside

    Dusk in Belem

    Sunrise in Belem

    The Center of Belem

    The Center of Belem

    Sunday and marked in Belem

    Sunday and marked in Belem