In cooperation with the local groups of Viva con Agua and the Ingenieuren ohne Grenzen we organised a series of lectures on the world water day in 2017.
Prof. Dr. Haarstrick, working at the Institut for Sanitary Environmental Engineering of the TU Braunschweig talked about the availablity and future of water as a resource. He also informed the listeners about the project „Sustainable water management in developing countries“. He focused on the water stress in especially populous areas in the world.
Afterwards, Prof. Dr. Dockhorn, working at the same institute spoke about growing plants with the help of sewage (HypoWave). Hydroponik is introduced as a well working system to use the low nutrient level of treated wastewater. This water can help to produce plants/food very environmentally friendly.
Julian Cordes, leading the project „Weltwunder“ of the „Verband für Entwicklungspolitik in Niedersachsen“, talked about the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. In detail, he explained the history oft he SDGs and the implementation in Lower Saxony.
Adam Rybszleger, a member of „Ingenieure ohne Grenzen“ talked about their waterproject in Balanka, Togo. The projects aim is to provide access to water especially for children in order for them to be able to attend school. Normally, children and women have to look for water several hours a day which makes school attendence nearly impossible. They also want to help all the others in the village and are preparing to broaden the project in regard to additional water projects.
We planned to show the documentation „Thirsty for Justice – the struggle tot he human right of water“ but because of the time we weren’t able to.
At this point, we would like to thank all the participants for their time and are happy to announce that there have been about 60 people listening.
During our field trip to Turkey we visited Istanbul from Friday to Sunday and afterwards from Monday to Friday we were in Şile which is about 80 km away from Istanbul. Two project participants are now reporting about their experiences:
During the seminar “Environmental Education in Turkey” students of the Technische Universität Braunschweig developed environmental education lessons, led by Marian Präger. These were tested in a 5th grade from the Hoffmann-von-Fallersleben-school in Germany and then further optimized. In spring 2015 a students group from our university flew to Istanbul with these projects and conducted them together with students from Şile in a Turkish primary school.
Istanbul is very important for the country because it has the most inhabitants and is shaped by two thousand years of history. It forms the core of the Turkish culture, commerce and the media. In addition, it is the only city on earth, which is located on two continents.
We were welcomed by our Turkish partner group that brought us to several cultural and historical sites and made us familiar with their traditions. With a boat we had an impressive ride across the Bosphorus, the strait that separates Europe and Asia.
Already on the first evening the students from Şile allowed us to participate in a traditional Turkish night with lots of delicious food and a lively music insert with violin, clarinet and percussion. This meeting was a new experience for us and ideal as a team building event. Despite the language barriers at the beginning many interesting discussions arose about cultural and political issues.
During the day they showed us historic buildings like the Hagia Sopia , the Blue Mosque and the magnificent Dolmabahce Palace, where we were also given a guided tour.
Very impressive were the various bazaars of the city. The local colorful, loud and lively atmosphere was impressive. At the port in the fish stalls or the Spice Bazaar many exotic smells joined the atmosphere.
During the three days in the former Constantinople we received a comprehensive impression of the diversity and cultural peculiarity of this city. During these days we could form a bond with the Turkish student group. This was a good basis for the forthcoming teamwork which is essential for the realization of the environmental education projects in the primary schools of Şile.
After our visit in Istanbul we began the second part of our field trip by editing our environmental education projects in Şile. As mentioned in the GATE and EBY projects the concepts for school lessons on site were completed with the Turkish students.
Concepts of the environmental education projects:
Forest: The pupils are supposed to learn the importance of forests for ecosystems and mankind hands on. Furthermore it will be referred to the impact of forestry. This project was realized in a first grade. Download (.pdf)!
Black Sea: The pupils are supposed to learn the danger to the black sea because of pollution. This was the only project that was completely hands on without any parts being ex-cathedra teaching. It was realized in a third grade. Download (.pdf)!
Recycling: The pupils are supposed to learn the necessity of re-use and using resources economically. The Turkish waste industry is completely different in comparison to the german one. Hence the project offered a great platform for intercultural communication. The preparations for the project took a lot of time. It was realized on a second grade. Download (.pdf)!
Water: The main focus was on water pollution and the treatment of waste water. The pupils could learn a lot by experimenting. It surprised us a lot how much the Turkish pupils already knew about the topic. This project was realized in a fourth grade. Download (.pdf)!
Our field trip to Sile was a very good experience for us, especially but not only because of the school projects. Communication with the Turkish group was limited to English. Therefore we could practice our language skills quite a bit. But we could also learn a few words in Turkish which was a lot of fun. Apart from our school projects we cooked together and talked about our experiences with the Turkish culture. We are already talking about a new project with the group.
On November 5th, 2015 we organized a fundraising with the motto “Trink bunt für mehr Vielfalt“ (equivalent to drink colourful for more diversity).
At the party people could buy a variety of different drinks. Furthermore we offered linen bags, t-shirts and buttons made by us during former projects.
We are happy to tell you that we collected a total amount of 715 €!
These are far more donations then we received in the years before. Thats why we thought about donating the money to several projects which are mainly focusing on refugee support.
We already startet to evaluate different local projects and will decide which ones are eligible for our purpose. Because of the great support our guests will be given the opportunity to vote.
The StAgEz Team
The EU- Youth in Action -project ‘Turkish Culture and Tradition’ (short: T-Cat), took place in Braunschweig from January 30th until February 8th 2014. German and Turkish students – in total 20 – worked together to realize our goal – informing German students about Turkish culture, and to fight prejudices and bias. Therefore we developed 3 education programs. Follow the link below each project for detailed information and description of the programs. Feel free to use them! Further material is available on request.
- Turkish Wedding
The aim of this educational program called “Turkish Wedding” is to inform the students’ of Turkish wedding traditions. Moreover we wanted to give them an example that Turkey is also moving forward and develops to be a more democratic country – with all its facets. Therefore we included a lot of examples in regard to old compared to new traditions. Especially the importance of the woman’s freedom in choosing their partner has been very important for both of our groups. This has been one of the main things our groups have been talking about in the meetings prior to developing the projects. That’s why we included the woman’s point of view every step of the way in the role play.Turkish Traditions are important for their life but nowadays they are also interpreted in a new, more opener way. But this is not common for all families and regions of Turkey. Especially the Istanbul region is more open for the western lifestyle. There is a big contrast between cities and countryside. Download! (.pdf)
- Turkish cuisine and dances
The aim of this educational program called “Turkish cuisine and dances” is to strengthen the students’ knowledge about the connections between the cultural traditions and the region where they are conducted in Turkey. Therefore each unit clarifies a single aspect concerning the cultural background, maintains the just gained knowledge and expands the conviction and decreases prejudices. The topic of culture and tradition is of high importance for our daily life and that a negative influence on one of them also affects the other, is one of the main topics of the program and found throughout every unit.While they are preparing and eating food, which they view as a part of their culture, they are taking they are together with friends and family. TCAT experiences made clear, that preparing and consuming food is done with a lot more devotion than in today’s German traditions. Download! (.pdf)
- Atatürk and Turkish National Days
The aim of this educational program called “Atatürk and Turkish National Days” is to teach the student about the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Atatürk, and thus learn about the foundations of today’s Turkish Culture and Traditions.During this class the main focus lies on the life and work of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. As a turkish hero and revolutionist Atatürk is still a role model to many turks in these days and marks the foundation of turkish culture. It is vital for the understanding of today’s relations in Turkey to learn about the political and social influences of Kemal Atatürk in the past. In addition the class also approaches the most important national days. These and their background show different historic and social aspects important to Turkish culture. Download! (.pdf)
Normally, it is said that good things are coming always in pairs. StAgEz e.V. was more than happy to follow the advice of this saying and organised, for the summer semester 2013, the second round of the seminar “Environmental education in Turkey”.
Eleven students took part in the seminar, guided again by the biologist Antonio Speranza; this time the topic chosen was “Energy”.
The first half of the lessons of the seminar, funded by the Technical University of Braunschweig, was centered on the energy situation in Turkey: namely, it was seen which energy sources Turkey uses and which energy problems Turkey has, in comparison to Germany.
The second half of the lessons focused on the pedagogical techniques used to bring environmental education ideas to children. Also in this case, an excursion to the Regional Centre for environmental Education – Dowesee and the help of a local teacher, Frau Willenberg, and a pedagogue, Herr Jatho, were extremely useful.
The students, divided in groups, developed three projects: Energy and Rubbish, Energy in the Household, Biogas.
The students set up their projects in the Hoffmann-von-Fallersleben Schule. As the students of the summer semester did not take part to the project during the winter semester, it was for them an unforgettable experience. “It was really nice to see how the children were involved in the experiments we proposed them” says Henrike, Geoecology student; “I was also really surprised to see some of the pupils really experienced in the topics we offered them, answering the questions with such a knowledge!” are the words of Martin, Biology student.
Also the teacher, Mrs Willenberg, spent positive words: “To be the first time for them to work with children, they did a good job.”
As for the first seminar, an experience abroad was foreseen. Thanks again to the economic support of EU and of the agency “Youth in Action”, it was possible for six German students to fly to Turkey, guided by their teacher Mr Speranza and the coach Petra Wiesinger, from the 19th until the 28th of September.
As the first round was really successful, our Turkish partners were always the members of the student association “Çevre Koruma Gönüllüleri” from ISIK University – Şile/Istanbul.
Istanbul was again the beginning of the Turkish experience: it is impossible to get to know Turkish culture without being enchanted by the Bosphorus’ Pearl. “As soon as I stepped out from the metro, I was literary surrounded by people who wanted to help me carrying my luggage and showing me the way to the hostel… I have never met so friendly people”, says Lisa, one of the participants.
After enjoying the beauties of Istanbul, its bazars, skyline, tastes, aromas, sounds, the students were ready to face the following week, during which the projects were set up in two local schools, for a total of about 20 classes.
Also in this case, the procedure was similar to the one of the previous semester. Mr Speranza says: “This time we have been really good at organising everything until the smallest detail, as we had done the experience one semester before and we were perfectly aware of our strengths and weaknesses and we knew were we had to act to improve our results. We worked very hard, as Germany and Turkey represents two different realities and have different environmental priorities – just think that, for example, biogas is very well known in Germany, but barely heard of in Turkey. The teams worked perfectly in accord, the Germans explaining the ideas behind their concepts and the Turkish helping them in adapting the projects to their school and cultural reality. I am very proud of them, as, again, the results have been excellent.”
We got also positive feedbacks from the schools; in one of them we had already set up projects the previous semester and the headmaster and teachers were very pleased to work with us again. A deep esteem relationship has been established and we are sure that also in the future it will bring long-lasting results. We do hope that the pupils will act as mouthpiece, bringing the messages they learnt (saving energy is important and how we can do it; alternative energy sources are possible; rubbish can be also a source of energy and it is important that we separate it correctly) to their family and friends, planting the seeds for environmental awareness.
“The choice of the second school has not been casual” say Idil and Kadir, two of the Turkish students “We knew that this school is located in a small village of the inland, and consequently, already the exchanges with other Turkish people happen very seldom if ever. Imagine what a shock for the pupils to see in one day both youngs Turkish from Istanbul, who, of course, have a different way of living to theirs, and also Germans! For them it was the first time, they were very shy and silent at the beginning, but, by the end of the day, the curiosity was stronger and they started to talk to us and enjoyed the projects a lot!”.
To add good mood to the atmosphere of the project was also the fact that the local community welcomed the German participants in a very warm and welcoming way, making them feeling at home.
The coach of the project spent only good words: “I was sure that also this time everything would have gone perfectly. All the students were very motivated and anyone gave its best. To me it was also important that, beyond the setting up of the projects in a school, the deep meaning of an EU project became clear to the participants. Here we are speaking of different cultures working together to reach a common purpose, to understand and accept how people live in a country which is not our home, to defeat prejudices and stereotypes, to learn from mistakes in order to get better. Without this in mind, any project would be otherwise senseless.”
StAgEz informs that also for the winter semester 2013-2014 the project will be proposed again and that it is possible to find the projects on our website.
In the recipe to build the citizens of tomorrow, two ingredients, in our vision, are essential: environmental awareness and knowledge of other cultures. To combine these two factors, during the winter semester 2012-2013, our student association StAgEz e.V. organized a seminar about the topic “Environmental education in Turkey”.
The project was split in two parts. The first one, funded by the TU, was arranged in Braunschweig. Twenty-eight students, coming from various paths of studies (from Geoecology to Social Sciences) attended the lessons of the seminar, guided by the biologist Antonio Speranza, dealing with diverse aspects related to water.
To help the students to get some knowledge in teaching methods, an excursion to the Regional Centre for environmental Education – Dowesee and the help of two local teachers, Frau Wanzelius and Frau Willenberg, were crucial.
The students, divided in groups, developed different projects: water pollution, water use, water purification, water availability, water cycle, dams.
At the end of the semester, the students set up their projects in the Ricarda-Huch-Schule and in the Hoffmann-von-Fallersleben Schule. They developed really interesting projects, bearing in mind an important principle of education: teaching through playing. “It was my first time to work with children” says Steffen, Social Sciences student; “At the beginning I was pretty nervous, but I felt the pupils liked our project and took actively part in all the activities we proposed”. “It took us several weeks to develop our ideas, but I was proud of our work and of the involvement the children showed” affirms Elena, engineering student.
Also for the teachers it was a positive experience, and they were happy to invite again the students for the next semester.
The second part of the project was realized thanks to the economic support of EU, the agency “Youth in Action” and the collaboration of the Turkish student association “Çevre Koruma Gönüllüleri” from ISIK University – Şile/Istanbul. Aim of the second part was to realize the projects, developed in Germany, in two schools in the municipality of Şile, namely the “75.yil Ilkogretim Okulu” and the “Balıbey İöo”.
During the semester, our students kept contacts with twelve students from Turkey, in order to try to develop the projects together. From the 7th until the 16th of March, eleven German students, accompanied by their teacher Mr Speranza and the coach Petra Wiesinger, flew to Istanbul.
The first three days were dedicated to the discovery of the city. The students, guided by their new Turkish friends, explored the magic of Istanbul. “It was a cultural shock, I have been travelling quite a bit, but I have never seen something like this” are the words of Daria: “Their hospitality, friendship and food were great!”
This impact charged the students to face the following week, during which they had to realize the projects in the school.
But how did the whole procedure go? Mr Speranza says: “Our students had to translate their projects in English, explaining in detail each step. Every afternoon, the German and the Turkish students met to discuss the ideas and to try the projects for the next day. In any class of the schools, two Turkishes and two Germans were busy in working: the former translated all the lessons in Turkish, the latter offered their help and support. The projects were set up in more than twenty-five classes, from the 1st to the 5th grade, quite a bunch of work!”
The feedback was really positive. First of all, the teachers felt engaged with the projects, providing explanations to the pupils and giving active support in the organisation of the work. Then, the pupils liked a lot the practical activities -like games, experiments, discussions- behind each project and were curious about “these foreigners with blue eyes” coming from a far away country to teach them how to protect water resources. And it was really positive also the feeling of being immediately accepted as members of the local community, located on the Black Sea.
The project was such a success that the headmasters of the two schools invited the participants to come again next year.
What has this experience left? Mrs Wiesinger is proud when saying: “It was first of all an important cultural experience for all the students involved. They learnt how to deal with an other culture and with people with personal and professional know-hows different to theirs. It was not always easy, but seeing them working together to reach a common aim indicates that it is possible to overcome difficulties and collaborate with each other to make our world a better place to live in”.
Isn’t it what we all are aiming at?
StAgEz informs that also for the summer semester 2013 the project will be proposed again.
directed to the governments of the donor countries
|1.||Given the disappointing results of development policies up to now, we call on you to make a fundamental change in direction.|
|2.||Give up the idea that more money means more development. Abandon the 0,7% donor goal, because it is based on this false premise.|
|3.||Change over, within 10 years, to providing aid principally in the form of loans. Insure that all people in developing countries have access to loans.|
|4.||Focus aid on strengthening the efforts of individuals and society, especially through promoting education and better conditions for private economic initiative.|
|5.||Finance infrastructure projects only in countries where previously built installations are consistently maintained. Design these projects in such a way as to create jobs for as many people as possible.|
|6.||End the wasteful competition between and among the EU and its member states with regard to developing countries. Recognizing its own interest, Europe must react more decisively to the growing importance of developing countries.|
|7.||End development aid to countries such as China and India that can help themselves.|
|8.||Do not give further aid to countries that are not willing to disclose their revenues, especially from natural resources.|
|9.||Give budgetary aid only to countries in which an independent and effective parliament, that serves the common good, controls the use of these funds in a transparent way.|
|10.||Refuse development aid to the five countries that are the most corrupt according to the index of Transparency International.|
On the 5th of July in 2007 we organized a benefit concert for Romania. Even if the event day was quite stressful the concert was an enormous success. At this point we want to thank all the active participants, particularly the bands, the B58, Gerrit and of course all the guests! The 320euros we earned were used to buy 200 reflectors incl. equipment for horse-drawn vehicles in Baia Mare. The Sinti and Roma inhabitating this region make their living by agricultural work and scrap dealings. Every night they look for scrap metals with their horse-drawn vehicles. These vehicles had no safety precaution for the nights. With the new reflectors they have, at least, a minimum of security.
In February/ March of 2008 we organized an Ebay selling campaign. We created this project because normally everyone has got some things at home which are not in use anymore but are still suitable for other people. We made an appeal for material donations, and auctioned these objects on Ebay. The proceed was donated to the association “Pinocchio für Afrikas Kinder e.V.”. We are in direct contact and started a cooperation with them. We hereby thank everyone who supported us. The project was very successful and we hope we will be able to something like this again in the near future.
The ideas and first beginnings
During the winter semester of 2010/2011 and also during the summer semester 2011 the seminars “Umweltbildung in Rumänien” took place at the Technische Universität Braunschweig. These seminars have been initiated by a students association for development assistance “StAgEz e.V.”. This association was founded by Brunswick geoecology students. Due to contacts to Romania StAgEz had the idea of organizing an environmental education program in a rural school for one week. The program should be lead by German and Romanian students. But the big question was how to deal with the financial support.
The in 2006 established college tuitions was the answer to this question. The request for financial support in order to establish the seminar, which was back then innovative for the Technische Universität Braunschweig, was approved from the decision makers. With the purpose of not only creating the concept but also implementing it, there had to be organized some money to enable a field trip to Romania. Therefore, it was brought forward a motion to the European Union, which thanks to the program “Youth in action” supported such ideas. This request was also granted immediately.
Successful implementation on site
The goal of the seminar in winter semester 2010/2011 was to create a concept, in which environmental educational programs with topics of soil, water, air and garbage/recycling could be developed. The aim was to bring the Romanian children closer to the topics in a playful but also scientific way. For this reason the Romanian students and the teacher of the school were involved in the creation of the concepts. It was easier for them to transfer the knowledge to the children. It was also a very new experience for the leader of the seminar Christine Székely, but she mastered it brilliantly. Because at the end of the semester there was an entire concept for each topic written in English. The concepts have been realized in a German school to be able to optimize them later. Now, we were ready to start the realization in Romania.
Between March 23rd and April 1st 2011 twelve German and eight Romanian students met in Maureni. It is a little village in the historical region of Banat. There has been an entire week in which the students worked every morning with the pupils from grade one to four. In that time we installed a school garden, built a compost und realized experiments. During the weekends the students were able to make field trips, because that’s a part of the “Youth in Action” program. That is the only way to support intercultural experiences – next to working on the environmental educational programs. The trip was a big success for everyone involved – the students, the seminar leader, the pupils, the teachers and of course, the village.
To be continued with new ideas
Because of the huge success we were sure that this is not supposed to be done with one trip. Right after the realization we handed in an additional application for a second seminar in the summer semester 2011. It was granted without any trouble. Christine Székely could be allured a second time as seminar leader. As a consequence of new seminar participants, we could create a lot of new input. This time we concentrated on “renewable energy”. For this topic we created the subtopics of “solar energy”, “biomass”, “wind energy” and “hydro energy”. We took the trip from September 21st to September 30th 2011 and worked with students from grade five to eight of the same school as before. Together we built a windmill, produced biogas, experimented with solar panels and played games. At last we enjoyed a week filled with new impressions and experiences.
All in all, we can say that the project was really successful. After the projects ended, a partnership between the school in Maureni and an elementary school in Braunschweig has been initiated. The Romanian students are now working together to develop their own project. Additionally we should not forget the development of every participant’s cultural experience. Because of the positive feedback we could establish a new environmental seminar in the winter semester 2012/13. But this time we will be working with Turkish students and pupils.