“Establish real partnerships”

​Selina Diaby has been studying “International Security” in Paris since the winter semester 2019/2020 with a focus on peace and conflict research. Before that, she did an internship lasting several months at the Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ). In an interview with Burundi Nouvelles, she talks about her experiences at the foundation and her motivation to get involved in socio-political matters.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Oh, that's a difficult question that isn't easy to answer. I would say I am interested, human and goal-oriented.

You have submitted an unsolicited application directly to the SEZ’s Burundi Competence Center. How did that happen?

By chance, while doing an internet search about the relationship between Germany and Burundi, I came across the SEZ homepage. That was during my semester abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. When I arrived back in Tübingen, it turned out that my roommate Hannah was currently doing an internship with you. And then I decided, I'll just give it a try and bang, it worked. I was very happy about that. At the same time, the SEZ appealed to me because of its approach to development cooperation; It's about establishing real partnerships and not, as is so often the case, helping.

How did you experience your internship at SEZ?
I found my internship to be very varied and educational in many ways. In addition to my work in the Burundi Competence Center, I also had the opportunity to get to know other areas of the SEZ and gained various insights. I liked that very much. In particular, the internship gave me access to places and experiences that would otherwise have been closed to me. I also felt very welcomed in the SEZ team and had the feeling that I was valued right from the start.

Was there anything that particularly surprised you or that you didn't expect? If so, what was that?

What surprised me most was how much work the SEZ team handles alone and within such a wide range of activities; whether in the area of ​​global learning, the Burundi Competence Center, project funding in general or through the “My. Your. One World. During my internship, I also became aware once again of how much politics ultimately lies behind development policy work and how important it is to develop the ability to classify the actions of the various actors and their interests.

You are active in the group Black Visions and Voices in Tübingen. What motivates you to get involved socially and politically?

I've actually always been committed; as a child in the riding club, in my youth at the soup kitchen, in the retirement home and at the university, first in the student council and then in the student council. For me, this is part of life, because supporting each other is only human.
I'll be completely honest; Social or political engagement can also take up a lot of energy, strength and time, but you get it all back to the same extent or usually even more when you see what positive effects your own actions can have. As part of my involvement with Black Visions and Voices, an empowerment group run by black people for black people in Tübingen, I organized a panel discussion in mid-July. That evening, in the presence of around 60 guests, the question of what value we give to black lives in Europe, Germany and Tübingen was discussed. The event was incredibly great because it offered space for perspectives that would otherwise not be taken into account and also represented a place for exchange between those affected and those interested.

What do you personally take away from your internship?

Definitely a deeper understanding of development cooperation in practice and development policy in general. After graduating from high school, I completed a one-year voluntary service in Ghana and was able to pick up fragments in this area through my work in and especially with the final broadcasting organization. However, the internship at the SEZ gave me a more intensive picture due to the direct involvement, but of course also one from the perspective of the German side.

Selina also made a music video with her group. “This is Germany” is a film that aims to make everyday experiences of discrimination visible. More info:


35th Burundi Meeting: Conditions for Peace

“Prerequisites for peace: coming to terms with the past and looking into the future!” was the theme of the 35th Burundi meeting of the Burundi Competence Center of the Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ).

The meeting was opened by State Secretary Dr. Gisela Splett, Ministry of Finance, was concluded by the Burundian Ambassador Else Nizigama Ntamagiro. She signaled that the speakers' words were being listened to, welcomed the efforts within the partnership and thanked those involved.

Guests at this second Burundi meeting of 2019 were people who are involved in peace work, who live and understand it in different ways. Father Dr. Deogratias Maruhukiro, who has been involved in the partnership for a long time, presented parts of his doctoral thesis, which scientifically deals with the topic of peace building and the church's opportunities to contribute to peace. He also presented the peace work for Burundi that is taking place in Baden-Württemberg and also within the framework of the partnership. Dr. Maruhukiro the following theses:

  1. Without good governance or democratization, without the fight against poverty and without a commitment to justice through a well-functioning legal system, all efforts towards peace and reconciliation are doomed to failure.
  2. Due to the various violations and crimes committed in the past, promoting peace and reconciliation requires therapy from society.
  3. Through education, a cultural change can be created and a culture of peace and reconciliation can be sustainably promoted.

The organization RAPRED Girubuntu not only implements projects in the field of peace, but also strives to support and evaluate them scientifically.

At the 35th Burundi meeting we were also able to welcome Aline Ndenzako, who is the human rights officer in the opposition alliance and who is committed to peace and reconciliation work with her organization “memoires communes, avenir commun”. Aline Ndenzako is the granddaughter of the last Burundian king Mwambutsa - Burundi was a monarchy for about 500 years - and the niece of independence hero Prince Louis Rwagasor. She firmly believes that a peaceful future is only possible when peace can be made with the past. Allowing the memories and perceptions of different communities and groups plays a central role. On the podium discussed Dr. Déogratias Maruhukiro and Aline Ndenzako with Prof. Rainer Bendel from the University of Tübingen, who conducts research on displaced people in the post-war period. The question of what is necessary for a return or re-encounter was the focus of the discussion. It was emphasized that 'forgive' does not mean 'forget' but rather 'remember'. In addition, every single person can make a preventative contribution to peace by not tolerating injustice, even or especially if they themselves are not affected.


Mine. Your. One World. 2019 – The winners have been announced

The winners are Dornstadt, Fellbach, Gerlingen, Lahr, Leonberg, Mannheim, Möglingen, Neckarbischofsheim and Schwäbisch Gmünd. Dornstadt and Fellbach received first prizes, the first prizes awarded for a newcomer and a classic car went to Neckarbischofsheim and Schwäbisch Gmünd.

The nine award-winning municipalities received prize money totaling 30.000 euros. You have taken part in the nationwide initiative My. Your. One World. recognized for its special commitment to sustainable development. Your citizens have proven that everyone can do something for a fairer and more sustainable world. The prizes awarded recognize this commitment.

The celebratory award ceremony in the New Palace in Stuttgart marked the conclusion of the eighth nationwide initiative Meine. Your. One World. 2019 of the Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ). It took place under the patronage and in the presence of State Minister Theresa Schopper: “My. Your. One World. is a great initiative. At 400 events, cities, communities and civil society took global responsibility and sent a strong signal for social cohesion, climate justice and international cooperation.”

“Global responsibility starts on our own doorstep. Municipalities and local initiatives play a very important role in this. All those involved in One World Days are role models for others. Because they show what sustainable action can look like in concrete terms. The many joint actions by creative and committed people from Baden-Württemberg create a network for global responsibility that is becoming increasingly dense,” said Philipp Keil, Managing Director of the Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ). And he added: “With migration and the question of the causes of flight, but also with climate change, global issues have long since arrived in the communities.”

The foundation invites people to the project every two years. It took place for the third time in collaboration with Engagement Global's Municipalities in One World service center with funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

“With the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the United Nations has presented an ambitious catalog of 17 goals (Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs) for a just and sustainable world. We are all called upon to achieve these goals in the next ten years,” said Dr. Stefan Wiilhelmy, Head of the Municipalities in One World Service Office. “The districts, cities and municipalities have a key role to play here. Sustainable development affects almost all areas of local activity. The municipalities are suppliers, planners, procurers and ambassadors. The change towards a sustainable and fair society and global coexistence can only succeed if local citizens are actively involved, their ideas are taken up, but their needs are also taken into account,” said Dr. Wilhelmy continues.

32 municipalities with a total of almost 400 events took part in 2019.

To the press kit for the award ceremony from Meine. Your. One World. 2019

Photographic impressions of the award ceremony can be found here


Mine. Your. One World. 2019 – Awards Ceremony

At the end of the nationwide initiative My. Your. One World. On December 11th, nine cities and communities and their local networks will receive an award and prize money totaling 30.000 euros.

The 2019 award winners are: Dornstadt, Fellbach, Gerlingen, Lahr, Leonberg, Mannheim, Möglingen, Neckarbischofsheim and Schwäbisch Gmünd. They will be recognized for their development policy event programs this fall.

The award ceremony with State Minister Theresa Schopper will take place on Wednesday, December 11, 2019, at 18.30:XNUMX p.m. in the Marble Hall of the New Palace in Stuttgart. The final ranking will remain under wraps until the awards ceremony.

32 municipalities took part in the initiative, which took place for the eighth time this year, with a total of almost 400 events. All participants were able to take part in the competition in addition to their programs. An independent jury evaluated these with regard to innovation and publicity as well as local networking. The extent to which new target groups were encouraged to participate was also included in the evaluation.

The nationwide One World Days launched by the Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ) were also supported in 2019 by Engagement Global with its service point Municipalities in One World with funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Further information about the My Initiative. Your. One World. can be found at and https://skew.engagement-global…

We cordially invite you to the awards ceremony.

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