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A prerequisite for the eradication of poverty in the world is the education of girls and women, because poverty is passed on over generations. At present, 58 million children of primary school age worldwide cannot attend school and an estimated 781 million people aged 15 or over cannot read or write. The majority of these people live in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

Educating girls and women means more than just going to school. It means, among other things, that they learn the knowledge and skills that enable them to assert themselves in the labour market, generate income for themselves and their families, make decisions about their own lives, pass on what they have learned to their children and contribute to progress in their communities and villages.

Two Wings has therefore been supporting sustainable education projects in the southern hemisphere for over 20 years, each of which has been developed locally. Above all, it is important that girls and women have access to education and that what is learned can also be applied in practice and contributes to the well-being of the entire community.

Thanks to many volunteers and competent supporters who contribute to the world’s betterment through their time, skills and financial means, thousands of people were able to receive an education during this period.

On the occasion of the Two Wings award ceremony in 2002: “Many cynics say development cooperation is like a drop in the ocean. For me, development work is always a drop in the ocean.”

Sir Peter Ustinov
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“TwoWings is a wonderful initiative!”

Jane Goodall • of the TwoWings Award 2008

Current Projects

2018 and 2019 Two Wings supports projects in Colombia and Papua New Guinea

Fundaec

FORMATION CREATES A NEW LIVING ROOM

Training programme helps the rural population of Colombia with target-oriented teaching units

Colombia is characterised by high levels of crime, poverty, rural exodus and lack of education. Great difficulties were encountered in developing suitable training programmes. In 1974, professors and students from the University del Valle in Cali tested a different way of imparting knowledge on a group of 20 young people. The NGO Fundaec, Foundación para la Aplicación y Ensenanza de las Ciencias (Foundation for the Application and Teaching of Science) was founded. The aim was to develop, together with the rural population, a knowledge transfer system designed for the local conditions, which imparted skills to the people that would enable them to make a difference in their village or urban environment as “promoters of community well-being”.

Customised education programme

Fundaec combines the knowledge of the local people with the potential of modern science and education. On this basis it conducts research, trains and promotes projects. Its fields of research and action include agriculture, education, technology, business start-ups and community development.

Example project

Fundaec was praised by Prof. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker as one of the “best educational projects” and is a worldwide EXPO 2000 project. It is based on a positive image of man. The basic prerequisite is the conviction that man himself is the key to the way out of his hopelessness. The state-approved school education comprises three stages. The completion of the third stage is of equal rank with the Abitur.

Teaching and learning without hierarchies

A network of around 40,000 students assumes a decentralized training system that enables them to build local projects and structures to improve community life. If there is a need for a school group in a locality, a person with a school-leaving certificate is first chosen who is willing to train a group of 10 to 25 tutors. These tutors receive training, teach later and create a learning atmosphere without hierarchies. The teaching material is interdisciplinary. The students can stay in their home community during the training and use their knowledge in their daily work. In order to integrate the experience of the village community into the project, group counselling was introduced.

Fundaec has a future

Fundaec has also developed in over 30 years. Today there are three branches. In addition to the school programme, a university with a six-year course of study was established in 1990. As the third branch, Fundaec has established agricultural production facilities. In special courses, the population learns to process local products and sell them on the market.

Education for progress and well-being of the community

A programme supports development in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

The Rays of Light Foundation was established to address the educational needs of young people in the sparsely populated, remote regions of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. The lack of school places for all who want to attend secondary school means that many eighth grade students have no choice but to continue their education. The lack of secondary schools, inadequate financial resources and poor school performance can prevent pupils in rural areas from continuing their education. These circumstances limit the future of young people in rural areas and lead to a premature end to their education at such a crucial stage in their intellectual and spiritual development. The Preparation for Social Action Program (PSA) is divided into three study levels. Those who have gone through the first stage are called “Promoters of Community Welfare”. This qualification corresponds to the first two years of secondary school, which in some systems is even the last phase of the basic training. The programme is intended both for those who do not have access to any other form of secondary education and for those who are already in higher education in another context. The main motivation for enrolling in the programme should be the desire to become an effective force for change. It is expected that upon completion of this introductory study course, participants will have developed a strong sense of purpose to take responsibility for their own intellectual and spiritual growth and to contribute to positive change in society. The Preparation for Social Action curriculum is academically challenging and, according to many assessments, comparable to the best programs in the world. What the PSA learned from the distinguishing most other educational programs, is the emphasis on both intellectual and moral empowerment. Through a research-action learning approach, participants apply their newly acquired knowledge in the areas of ministry that relate to the needs of their community and are actively involved in individual and collective transformation, working for the material and spiritual progress of the community, and becoming true protagonists of their own development.

Community service

is a central feature of the PSA curriculum and the section of the PSA programme “Promoters of Community Welfare” contains 26 learning units. Rather than dividing knowledge into traditional subject areas, the program focuses on teaching different skills that integrate relevant elements from the overall knowledge to provide educational material that prepares students to work for the transformation of today’s society. For practical reasons, the 26 units are generally divided into five areas – including mathematics, language, science, technology and service to the community – but each unit takes into account knowledge from other subjects, incorporating relevant concepts, information and skills in order to draw on skills in the students that they have learned on a

Path of service

As a tutoring course, the PSA programme is conducted in small groups in a local setting with the help of a tutor. The tutor is a trained teacher who knows more than the students. However, the teacher is also a learner. Tutors guide through the textbooks, raise questions and help to find answers, explain facts, encourage reflection on practical experience and supervise experiments and social action. They do not lecture or dictate, but are not mere moderators of group discussions. Participants benefit from being “true protagonists” of their own development and learn from their own reflection and conversation with others. Over the next few years, the Rays of Light Foundation will support hundreds of students in completing the PSA program and thus providing them with education for the future. The PSA program was developed by FUNDAEC, a Colombian development organization. FUNDAEC has more than 30 years of experience in training young people in village environments. More than 30000 young people were thus enabled to complete their schooling. The PSA programme developed by FUNDAEC is already being used successfully not only in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, but also in Zambia, Kenya, Uganda and Cameroon. It is adapted to the respective cultural and social conditions with great sensitivity.
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