The Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association – DVV International, from Bonn, FR Germany, represents the interests of the approximately 900 adult education centers (Volkshochschulen) and their state associations, the largest further education providers in Germany.
DVV International is the leading professional organization in the field of adult education and development cooperation, committed to supporting lifelong learning for 50 years. For half a century, DVV International has been providing worldwide support for the establishment and development of sustainable structures for Youth and Adult Education in line with its vision - to fight poverty through education and support development. To achieve this, DVV International cooperates with more than 200 civil society, government and academic partners in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe, on projects focusing on literacy and basic education, vocational training, global and intercultural learning, environmental education and sustainable development, migration and integration, refugee work, health education, conflict prevention and democracy education.
DVV International finances its work through funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Foreign Office, the European Union, as well as other donors.
In the context of its’ aim at supporting sustainable development through Adult Education, DVV International dedicated more than two decades of continuous project work in the Republic of North Macedonia. In 1997 when DVV International registered its’ project office, in a country that had gained independence from FR Yugoslavia some years before and was in transition, the support was more than welcome and necessary.
The main goal of the active long-term presence of DVV International in North Macedonia was to contribute toward combating unemployment and poverty through offering support in reforming and improving the national system and structures for Adult Education.
DVV International approached the challenges in close cooperation with local partners and stakeholders, and managed to continuously work on the establishment of relations and cooperation with all relevant stakeholders and to set up, maintain and develop a network of all actors relevant in the Adult Education sector in the country. It offered its’ expertise and know -how in accordance with the needs and national priorities and contexts and supported the institutions in charge to strengthen the national coordination and to establish exchange and cooperation on regional, European and international level.
The two-decade project work was not an easy path, having in mind that the country, facing and fighting many challenges on various levels – political, economic and social issues, wasn’t prepared and aware of the necessity of Adult Education as a tool and a solution for combating the abovementioned issues.
The project work of DVV International in North Macedonia can be described as a process of awareness raising on individual and of collective level about the role and the importance of Adult Education for social and economic growth and for wellbeing of each and every individual through a variety of measures for different target groups, starting from state institutions, educational sector and the wide publicity.
DVV International approached the goals by intervening on three levels: on macro level, it offered support to policy development in close cooperation and partnership with state policy makers. .The success on this level was only possible because of the partnerships and the joint efforts that DVV International created in order to offer expertise and help for bottom up needs, ideas and priorities.
On meso level, it supported the capacity building of the broad target group of adult education professionals such as managers, trainers and teachers, employees in state agencies in charge for Adult Education through measures designed to develop the national human capital in Adult Education.
Very important segment in this context is the third level, namely the micro level, on which DVV International supported partners – local providers of Adult Education in order to strengthen their capacities to offer high-quality Adult Education programs and to open access to education for all. In this sense, numerous projects was implemented, in order to open access to Adult Education to the weak, marginalized and neglected citizens of the society – long term unemployed, persons from rural areas, single moms, representatives of ethnic minorities, prisoners, drug addicts etc and to improve their capacities and competitiveness at the labor market.
The outcomes of the work of DVV International in North Macedonia are a good practice example on how to offer long –term fruitful assistance and support, with visible results.
You can read more about it in the interview with Ms. Lindita Qazimi, director of the Public Institution Adult Education Centre of North Macedonia, made on the occasion of DVV International’s 50th anniversary, published in their commemorative publication: http://www.dvv-international.de/fileadmin/files/Inhalte_Bilder_und_Dokumente/Fachkonferenz_AEDC/AEDC_2019/50_years_DVV_International.pdf. Many other articles and examples of DVV International’s work worldwide can be found in this publication.