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Archive for May, 2009

tasche

… crammed with a ten-pack soccer oufit for Adrien’s soccer players: shoes, pants, tricots, shoes and gaiters.

Anja, a friend of mine, who also donated for our Benin tour, connected me with Peter Martin, who is collecting sport stuff since four years now. This is how he bag came to WEbenin. I’ve met Peter 2 days ago and talked to him – I am sure there is more to come. WE share a vision!

Thank you Peter !

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… yesterday Alexander and I hosted 12 friends who were supporting our Benin activities. It was a great evening – we showed our pictures and some movies. To the “n-onliners” among them we had to explain over and over again our idea of an open Beninois network. There was always this “Yes, but …” coming up, which showed us, that there are still many, many people out there who are afraid of the internet and who are afraid of things they simply don’t know …

Over the weekend we were also re-thinking our Benin strategy and we came to the conclusion to focus on these things next:

- offering audio files for the African people for important websites
– find volunteers who support African analphabets in using the web
– supporting the technical infrastructure in Benin
– starting a music program
– finding a print medium who is willing to publish our Benin story
– checking solar energy for powering computers

So, we definitely will continue our work and we are more than happy if you continue to support us.
Thanks!

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Our visit at Massi school made us think about how to support “education” in Benin. Of course there is always the possibility of fundraising to build new schools and set up an infrastructure or donate school materials. But WE are asking: Is this the best WE can do?

We clearly argue: NO, it is not!

Let´s look at US here in Germany. Do WE have confidence in our education system? Again another clear NO! WE are pretty much aware of the fact, that we have to restructure our existing system (see all the initiatives on open education, edu-hacking, self organization) in order to handle the complexity and challenges we are facing. We are practicing a system which is a 150 years old! Long live Humboldt ! But does this system still fit our needs? Many surveys and research studies come to the conclusion: NO!

Therefore we seriously ask: Why are we “exporting” an old system which does no longer fit the current needs and requirements? Why aren’t we “exporting” systems which could suit the current needs and requirements? We should support Third World Countries (education at all) in the best way WE can! This means that children should be educated – besides basic things like reading and writing – in self organization (helping to help themselves), in open education, in sharing, collaboration and networking!

One could argue that people in Third World Countries like Benin might have other needs and requirements than we have. Yes, that’s true. But anyhow – there is no argument to exclude them any longer from our progress!

So what can WE do? Here are some of our thoughts:

  • learning, working, living becomes one for all of us!
  • take them as partners (if they do well, we do even be better!)
  • start to think about the consequences if we don’t change our strategy ( If they fail, we fail even harder!)
  • let them participate in our connected world !
  • give them the chance NOT to make the same mistakes we’ve already made!
  • give them space to unfold their own skills and creativity!
  • let them define their own ideas, needs and requirements and then help them to succeed!
  • let them experimentize

All this sums up to something which WE haven’t achieve yet!

But why don’t WE learn and succeed together?

WE are one world!

Of course there are very basic problems waiting to be solved. Problems like electricity, technical infrastructure and equipment. But these problems can be solved easily, if WE want to solve them. Worldwide WE have enough of these resources! WE just have to share them wisely!

This is what WE are heading for!

This is our way to achieve progress in the education system.

Therefore WE stand!

(Thanks to Ulrike for translating. Hopefully my english becomes better soon!)

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