World Shop Forum 2018

“The trip was so informative, I’ll definitely be there again next year,” enthuses one of the participants. For four days, around 30 active people from various world shops in Baden-Württemberg went on an information tour in Bavaria and Austria together with the SEZ World Shop Forum. The aim of the educational trip at the end of July was to find out more about fair trade in other regions and countries.

“Grias di” was the motto at the Fair Handelshaus Bayern in Haimhausen near Munich, the first stop on the trip. The cooperative sells fair trade goods and products from socially and ecologically responsible production. It promotes the networking of world shops and carries out social and development policy educational work.

The next stop was Zum Fairkauf Handelskontor eG in Munich. The wholesale company sells, among other things, handmade paper from India and mountain herbs from Austria.

On the way to Vienna, the group stopped in Köstendorf, Austria. EZA Fairer Handel is based there. The company is a pioneer of fair trade in Austria. The focus of the specialist program in Vienna was the tour of various world stores and the visit to the two sustainable fashion stores Anukoo and Anviel, which were complemented by sightseeing highlights.

For more than 25 years, the Weltladen Forum of the Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ) has offered interested Weltladen employees the opportunity to gain an insight into fair trade in various regions of Germany or neighboring European countries as part of a trip lasting several days . The forum serves for professional and personal exchange with like-minded people, to collect original ideas and to provide motivation for further world shop work. Destinations of the past Weltladen forums included Hamburg, Leipzig, Berlin, Gouda, Innsbruck, Zurich and Utrecht.

Next year the World Shop Forum will be back in the Netherlands. There will be more information about this in January 2019.


8th SEZ Youth Forum in Europa-Park

Voluntary service or would you prefer a work camp or internship? What impact does the waste we produce have on living and working conditions in the North and South? What alternatives are there to cheap clothes that end up in the trash?

These and other questions were addressed by around 120 young people who met in mid-July at Europa-Park Rust for the 8th Youth Forum on Development Policy. The motto was “We leave no one behind”!

Since 2011, the SEZ has been organizing the youth forum on development policy every year. Young people from all over Baden-Württemberg who are interested in development policy meet at the event to discuss global issues and their own options for action with like-minded people and recognized experts. In the various workshops, speakers and participants report on their own experiences and exchange information. The young people receive very practical tips for their own actions and learn about ways in which they can get involved themselves.

The 8th SEZ Youth Forum concluded with the awarding of the “WE for FAIR Change” prize. The prize is awarded by Baden-Württemberg Development Policy Association (DEAB). This year's first prize went to the Friedrich-von-Alberti-Gymnasium Bad Friedrichshall.

The youth forum is a cooperation event between the Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ), the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and Europa-Park.


10 years AFRICA IS COMING! SEZ celebrates with us

Ten years of AFRICA IS COMING! it was said in Berlin in mid-July. Augusta Muhimpundu and SEZ employee Astrid Saalbach celebrated with them.

Augusta Muhimpundu, who comes from Burundi, was a trainee for eight months as part of the AFRIKA KOMMT! program. worked at the SEZ.

Together with alumni of the program and representatives from politics and business, the participants of AFRIKA KOMMT celebrated! in Berlin the tenth birthday of the initiative. In 2008, leading German companies, including Robert Bosch GmbH, launched AFRIKA KOMMT! founded. This is an initiative of the German economy for young managers from sub-Saharan Africa. Young African managers are invited to Germany for a year, take part in management training and work in German companies.

Since 2008, 127 young African leaders from 22 countries have successfully completed the program. AFRICA IS COMING! from the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH.

Related Links:

Robert Bosch Foundation


German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH


“I felt like I was at home”

Augusta Muhimpundu from Burundi was at the SEZ from November 2017 to the end of June 2018 as a trainee as part of the AFRIKA COMES! program. We spoke to her about her work at the SEZ and her experiences with and in Germany.

You have now been a trainee at the SEZ for eight months. What have you learned during this time?

On the one hand, I learned German and on the other hand, I learned to work in an environment that was completely unfamiliar to me. So far I have lived and worked in Africa. In Germany, I worked for an organization that works closely with the state government.

Over the past eight months, I have learned to be a bridge between Burundi and Baden-Württemberg. Specifically, I conducted a study in Stuttgart with Burundian women on the topic of gender equality. The question was how can, or even better, how must, we incorporate Sustainable Development Goal 5, which is about gender equality, into partnership work so that we can achieve more gender equality in Burundi and Baden-Württemberg. For me it would be important to carry out such a survey among women in Baden-Württemberg so that both perspectives would be available.

The results from both surveys could then be implemented by the SEZ, for example.


What's next for you now? What are you planning to do next?

I would really like to gain more experience on the topic of development cooperation between Germany or Europe and Africa. Who are the actors and what can I do to make the collaboration work better?

But first I will finish the program. To do this, I am now going to Berlin, where I will complete various training courses together with the other scholarship holders, including management training. And of course we will also take a look at Berlin.


What do you do after you finish the program?

I'm flying back home to Burundi. I want to apply everything I learned here in Germany and put it into practice back home in Burundi. This is my greatest motivation to share everything I have learned with the people in my home country. Just as I shared my experiences and knowledge from Burundi with my German colleagues.


What will you personally take back to Burundi from your stay in Germany?

I felt as comfortable in Germany as if I were at home. The people I met were interested in me, they wanted to know who I was and where I came from.

What was interesting to me was how a landscape changes over the seasons. I experienced that here for the first time.

The German language partly irritated me. Especially the words that sound almost the same in German and my native language Kirundi, but have a completely different meaning. For example, the German word 'bitte'. In Kirundi there is a very similar word: 'bite'. Translated it means: 'how are you'. Or the word 'evil'. It is spelled the same in both languages ​​and is actually pronounced the same, but in Kirundi it means 'all people'. These similarities confused me a bit, especially at first.

Thanks to financial support from the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ) was able to provide the trainee place for Augusta Muhimpundu.

AFRICA IS COMING! is an initiative of leading German companies. The program is carried out by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH.

Related Links:

Robert Bosch Foundation


German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH

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