TwoWings supports education programs by enhancing capacities through all programs worldwide. Education is the key to success. TwoWings focuses on empowering communities to decide about their spiritual and material development themselves.
Releasing Human Potential for Sustainable Development
There is a thought which shapes all the activities and runs like a red thread through all programs which TwoWings supports. People who are supported, are not dependent on TwoWings in the long run. This support is an impulse for people and societies to enable them to realize their full potential and improve their situation sustainably on their own.
The Genesis of TwoWings
Between 1980 and 1995 the married couple, Bahia and Dr. Faramarz Ettehadieh, travelled to more than 70 countries and regions where tourists are usually not found. They saw things in each spot which they could no longer get rid of. Depressing poverty, a lack of education, poor hygiene, and especially the oppression of women, pushed both of them to engage in action. They were inspired by the quote: “Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom.”
As a result, the TwoWings Network was founded in 1996 in the form of a non-partisan, non-denominational, non-profit association for development programs based on the Austrian Law on Associations. A board of trustees of personalities with an interest in education and development was appointed. New development strategies based on mutuality and local initiatives were forward-looking. The concept of reciprocity was realized by the North-South Advisory Council, where people from all parts of the world work together to provide the best possible support for development programs.
In 1997, a solid basis for the implementation of the TwoWings idea was laid. It took a little time until the association base was expanded, the network was consolidated, concrete development programs were selected and donations were collected for the first three programs: “The Masethla” Institute in Zambia, “Barli” in India, and “FUNDAEC” in Colombia. All three programs were still small initiatives at that time but now they have established their own educational institutes.
In about 25 years, TwoWings has been able to promote promising sustainable programs in 12 countries with the support of generous donations, and for 16 years has awarded the TwoWings Award to people who have made special contributions to improve the world, an example of which are Prof. Yunus and Jane Goodall. Furthermore, TwoWings has actively held seminars for university students in Austria in cooperation with AIESEC to deepen the understanding of development work.
Our Guiding Principles
“The world of humanity possesses two wings – the male and the female. As long as these two wings are not equally strong, the bird will not fly.”
In development cooperation, the southern hemisphere and their disadvantaged population stratum are not regarded merely as passive recipients, solicitants, or almsmen. The cooperation with the local partners is characterized by effective consultation and mutual respect.
Avoid Preconceived Solutions
Development should not be a process of imitation of the so-called “developed” countries. A program is not implemented as a prefabricated plan; rather jointly set goals are to be achieved with new solutions and flexibility. Together with the local people, problems are addressed and a strategy for their solution is developed.
The main focus of the selected programs is on the potentials and resources that can be promoted and developed, not the deficits that need to be overcome. Cooperation of local people in this process and their efforts are with the aim of increasing their capacity to control resources and implement activities.
Development processes are dynamic. To select a program some criteria such as the sustainability and effectiveness of the program, the impact on the participants as well as the concerned population group are in the foreground.
Openness as a Motto
TwoWings is non-partisan and non-denominational. The supported programs are open to people of all races, ethnicities, religions, with no restrictions on these matters.
TwoWings values the importance of voluntary works. Volunteers and competent co-workers enable an effective approach to donations and as a result, cost-increasing bureaucracy is avoided in every field of activity. TwoWings is audited by a.m. Wirtschaftstreuhand, an audit firm and tax consulting company that documents financial history.