Germany Archives - Earth Charter

Exploring the Earth Charter for Kindergarten and Daycare in Germany

Germany Kindergarden“Many good ideas were developed”, said Alana Breščanović, Kita-Global head of projects and instructor for prospective early education teachers. Together with 31 early education students, she created ideas on how to translate the Earth Charter themes and values into practice. After the students were introduced to the content, history, and concerns of the Earth Charter they also learned about its four pillars and 16 principles. Many ideas came together when the students planned their Earth Charter action projects on how to use the Earth Charter in a playful way in daycare, kindergarten and preschool.

Alana initiated the workshop and facilitated it together with Ulrike Berghahn an Earth Charter champion from Germany. “The students were motivated and were very engaged. Unfortunately, we only had 4 hours. We could have easily spent the whole day or even a week.” reflected Alana after the students presentations. Soon the students will finish the schoolwork of their vocational training and enter the practice phase, the last year of their education. Then they can test their ideas in practice and bring education for sustainable development with the Earth Charter to their new workplaces.
90 early education students were introduced to the Earth Charter at the technical college for social welfare of the deaconesses Speyer/Mannheim in the last two years.

More project ideas can be viewed here in german here.

This article was adapted from an article previously published on kita-global.de
“KITA-GLOBAL” is an online platform to collect and share ideas, materials and good practices on Education for Sustainable Development for early childhood educators.

 

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The Earth Charter in Books from Germany

Harald Lesch1German Astrophysicist refers to the Earth Charter in his new book
Prof. Dr. Harald Lesch, the famous german astrophysicist, science journalist, and member of the Bavarian Climate Council refers to the Earth Charter in his recent book “If not now, when then?: Action for a world in which we want to live”. He invites the readers in chapter “acting ecologically – how does it work?” to act according to the Earth Charter and to fill its 16 principles with life through actions. “Everyone of us can through their actions fill the Earth Charter with life, day by day.” He also calls to his readers “Let’s stop to restrict ourselves. We don’t need boarders, neither in the head nor on the world map. (…) Let’s stop to judge, let us begin to share.”

The Earth Charter made it into a German Geography Textbook
The Earth Charter was printed and mentioned in a German geography textbook within the chapter “Global Understanding and Earth Democracy – Why are Global Understanding and Earth Democracy important?”. The book also references the School Marianum, which uses the Earth Charter as a foundation, and encourages the readers to make their school an Earth Charter School as well.

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From the classroom to the whole town

Students from the Marianum School act for insect wellbeing in the town of Warburg, Germany

Thirteen ninth grade students developed ideas about how insects could feel better in their town, Warburg. The concept was created in the Earth Charter project week, themed around diversity, last summer.

On 15 November 2018 three students handed over their project results to the Mayor of Warburg, Michael Stickeln. Ulrike Berghahn represented the German Earth Charter Affiliate during the festive handing over of results.

In the report the students describe the reasons for the insect dying such as insecticides, loss of blooming plants and night lighting. The students emphasized the need for action and presented the recommendations from their project designs: the planting of blooming plants, the stop of using pesticides and night lighting as well as encouraging the consumption of organic foods are also viable in Warburg.

Warburg’s Mayor agreed to many points made by the students and invited them to join the Town’s Council Meeting where they presented again in May this year. The Town Council is currently checking the feasibility of the students improvement proposals for further implementation.

The Marianum School Warburg considers to be an Earth Charter School since two years ago and has since realized numerous Earth Charter projects. We are happy to hear about project that bring the Earth Charter to life and congratulate the students for this great project. We are also very happy to hear about the interest of Warburg town in the Earth Charter and the cooperation between the school with the municipality.

(This article is adapted from an article previously publishes in the German Earth Charter affiliate’s OIEW magazine “Initiative”)

Stundents of the Earth Charter School fight against insect dying: The mayor of Warburg Michel Stickeln supports the project results, which where presented to him by Elias Viefhues, Paul Justicz und Julius Hoffmann. Ulrike Berghahn (ÖIEW-board), the biology teacher Hans Jurczyk, as well as school headmaster Frank Scholle, are present at the handing over. Foto: NW/Anna-Lena Ryczek

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Report of Ecumenical One World Initiative (EOWI) Germany 2018

Ökumentische Initative Eine Welt / Ecumenical One World Initiative (EOWI) is an Earth Charter Affiliate from Germany.

The following are activities that they organized and that they took part, and their reflection about what they accomplished in 2018. In total, 135 people participated in the activities they organized, and 335 people in the events they took part.

Activities EOWI organized # participants
October 2017 until June 2018: The Earth Charter Theatre Training “Die Zukunft wird verspielt…” (“Playing for time”) took place for the first time. In the five-part workshop series, various theatrical formats are linked to the four parts as well as the prologue and epilogue of the Earth Charter. The training was facilitated by Catriona Blanke, Friederike Gezork and Torben Flörkemeier. Its target groups are artists, teachers, social workers and other multipliers. 20
February: In the seminar “Transformation of the world by 2030 – with the Global Earth Charter Ethics as the Basis: A Seminar on the Contribution of the Earth Charter to the Sustainable Development Goals” all German Earth Charter Activists (Earth Charter Ambassadors) were invited to deepen their understanding of similarities and differences between Earth Charter and the SDGs. The event was facilitated and by Kerstin Veigt project coordinator of Earth Charter Germany and Rainer Mathar Senior Advisor and ESD-Expert. 16
March and May: The seventh Earth Charter Ambassador Training takes place on two weekends in spring. 15 participants from Afghanistan, Germany and Madagascar met in Warburg-Germete. They learned and tried out EC methods for educational work and had a lot of fun. Some of them are already active conducting their own EC projects. They are part of the almost 100 Ambassadors in Germany. The course was conducted by Kerstin Veigt, Sara Mierzwa and Torben Flörkemeier. 17
June: On 29th June the international Earth Charter Day was celebrated in Germany for the third time. It took place in different locations and settings. Ambassadors and friends celebrated divers: Some invited for open-air cinema others presented the hand puppets “Caspar and the Erath-Charter” others facilitated a nature meditation session. ca. 50
November 2018 until April 2019: The second run of “Die Zukunft wird verspielt…” (“Playing for time”) started in November 2018. 20
November: In the seminar “Earth Charter in Movement” Earth Charter Ambassadors are invited to learn how to plan, film and cut videos. 12

 

Activities EOWI participated # participants
February and April: Alana Wilhelm and Ulrike Berghahn lead an Earth Charter Training “Global Learning as a Religious Educational Task” at the School for Social Work of the Evangelical Diaconism Institute in Speyer with aspiring Educators 31
March: Barbara Ruthardt-Horneber, first chair of EOWI participated in the 2nd Regional Sustainability Initiatives Meeting about Agenda 2030 conducted by the federal Sustainability Council. 100
May: At the World Children’s Day in Stuttgart Catriona Blanke facilitated two Earth Charter Workshops. 18
June: At the Workshop Meeting “Global Learning for Sustainable Development in kindergarten” in Stuttgart, Sara Mierzwa and Torben Flörkemeier guided educators through a Workshop day on the Earth Charter. 10
July: At two official German Earth Charter Schools in Warburg pupils intensively deal with Earth Charter during project days. At the Warburg Secondary School the 7th grade students learnt about EC and how to put it into action by the Earth Charter Scenario Games during the EC Compact Days. At the Marianum High School in Warburg 8th and 9th grade students focused on EC and Diversity at school and in the city. 110

 

July: What’s our hope? How does our Handprint look like? And what are our personal visions for the future? At the Annual Meeting of the National Labour Group for One World in Stuttgart, Sara Mierzwa facilitated a workshop on Earth Charter Projects for Kita and primary school children. In addition to a theoretical input, there were also practical exercises with stature theatre and other games. 25
August: During a school exchange at the Lichtenstein High School Friederike Gezork and Torben Flörkemeier engaged 24 Students from Yekaterinburg, Russia and German students from the Erzgebirge in an Earth Charter theatre workshop. 24
November: The students of the Earth Charter School Marianum presented the results of their Earth Charter project day to the mayor of Warburg. The city is interested in implementing the students’ recommendations for better conditions for insects in the city  
December: Earth-Charter-Ambassadors and others celebrate the turn of year dealing with questions as: “What does homeland mean to us?” “And does it mean anything to us?” The Speakers Pepper (Ghana), Amanulla Peerzad (Afghanistan), Ulrike Berghahn (Lippe) contributed their experiences and perspectives of home. 17

 

The year 2018 was manifold and comprehensive. We enhanced and perpetuated our theatre program. Especially people in the age between 20 and 40 are interested in this format. Until now we trained 40 people to be theatrical ambassadors. Our activities are attractive and usually fully booked. Our program is up to the actual topics and media. On the one hand we trained the German Earth Charter Activist in producing videos on the other hand we refer to the SDGs as one of the most recent topics within education for sustainable development.

At the events where we participated and presented the Earth Charter lots of participants and network partners are interested. Currently your network is continuously growing, our work reaches out to more divers target groups and it is well established within the field of sustainable development in Germany.

For 2019 we hope to extent collaborations with network partners. Additionally, we are planning to offer trainings for ambassadors to teach successful units such as the Earth Charter Scenario Game.

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Reflections as the New Earth Charter Youth Projects Coordinator

By: Christine Lacayo

My first month of work ends and I’m excited to share some of my reflections!

As the Earth Charter Youth Projects ChristineECCoordinator, my main responsibility is to motivate, guide, and engage young people to create a more just, sustainable and peaceful world. What is the best way to do this? I think the beauty of this position is the flexibility and creativity the job requires. I have the ability to incorporate my passions and interests to expand and create new opportunities and stories. I’m excited to bring my passion for visual media and writing to collect all Earth Charter Youth actions and stories that are taking place around the world. As an ocean advocate, I would also like to continue sensitizing my community members on the importance of taking care of our ocean ecosystems!

Some of the main projects I’m focusing on now include promoting our app Mapting, used to take pictures of actions related the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We have our next photo competition to celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity starting from 12-22 May.Mapting_FB_AD

I’m also facilitating our next online training programme for youth, Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics (LSE) starting 19 June. This 10-week course is designed to prepare and empower young people with the skills and knowledge to be effective ethical sustainability leaders and implement Earth Charter-inspired projects.

One of my favorite roles of my job is having a group of Earth Charter Young Leaders, those who have completed the LSE course, from all over the world. These leaders are from countries such as St. Lucia, Germany, Kenya, Nigeria, Japan, Netherlands, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Rwanda, and Spain, just to name a few! My responsibility is to support them along their year commitment as an Earth Charter Young Leader implementing activities and workshops in their community.

I’m also diving into the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Leadership Training Programme created by esd-training-flierEarth Charter International for the UNESCO Global Action Program (GAP) on ESD focusing on priority area number 4: empowering and mobilizing youth. The training is designed for young people from 18-35 who are active leaders in sustainable development in their communities.  At the beginning of July, I will be co-facilitating the training programme in Brasilia, Brazil for selected young leaders from across Latin America!

I’m very excited to start this dynamic new job not to mention the stunning nature views and sounds from my office! I’m happy to be back in the country I grew up visiting as my second home while promoting a more peaceful and sustainable world using the skills and knowledge I’ve gained from my studies and experiences!IMG_0032

 

 

 

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10-week Youth Online Training Course: Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics to Start 19 June, Deadline to Apply 17 May!

Don’t miss the deadline to sign up for our next 10-week youth online training programme in Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics. The course will begin on 19 June and participants will need to apply by programaWednesday 17 May! This course is designed to train young people around the world, from the ages of 18-30, on how to become active leaders in their community towards a more just, sustainable, and ethical world.

The course will offer you an opportunity to expand your knowledge and skills on certain themes such as leadership, ethics, sustainability, Earth Charter principles, Eco literacy, Systems Thinking, and how to successfully design and implement a workshop in your community.

Our goal at the end of the course is to successfully strengthen your knowledge and skills on leadership in sustainability, enhance your consciousness to contribute to the greater good, inspire like-minded individuals to collaborate across borders and to carry out your work in your communities, and develop the confidence to use your voice as a leader!

Alumni of this course have the opportunity to become an Earth Charter Young Leader (ECYL). This programme is a year-long leadership opportunity to serve as a focal point in the Earth Charter Youth Network to mobilize and engage other young people around the Earth Charter vision and principles.

Register now by visiting our site:  http://earthcharter.org/events/leadership-sustainability-ethics-june-2017/

 

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Earth Charter affiliate in Germany celebrates 40 years

The Ecumenical One World Initiative organized a weekend of learning, celebrating, and looking to the future

Guest post by Douglas F. Williamson

Last year while I was still on staff at Earth Charter International, I had the chance to traIMG_0517vel to Germany and meet some of the members and staff of Earth Charter Germany. The EC efforts in Germany are organized and led under the Ecumenical One World Initiative (EOWI), which turned 40 years old this year, and they invited me to come over from Berlin to celebrate and share my experiences with and knowledge of the Earth Charter and how it works around the world.

EOWI held this celebration in Burg Bodenstein (Bodenstein Castle) in the region of Thuringen, formerly of East Germany with about 100 participants. The castle is from the middle ages and the place has been settled for around 1,000 years. The landscape is farmland and forests on rolling hills and there is a rural tranquility of greens, browns, and yellows along with the spring chirping of many birds. The castle and its surroundings made for an excellent place for the celebration with many smaller and larger common rooms for sharing, learning, lectures, workshops, and prayer and meditation sessions.

IMG_0512The Earth Charter was known by all the participants to varying degrees. There was one participant who had been at a 1998 drafting session in Assisi, Italy even. Others were aware of the document and its use by EOWI in Germany, but were not at all aware about the global Earth Charter movement. This is where my presence was very useful. More on that later.

The event began on Friday evening after dinner and a prayer ceremony in the small Castle chapel. In the large Castle Chamber, all the participants were treated to a performance by the Freiburg Scientific Theatre group. This group performs short scenes and performance pieces that artistically reflect on social and environmental issues and they are in part inspired by the Earth Charter. The theatre performance was followed by a musical show by a singer/songwriter named Cat Balou. Following the performances, there was a general social gathering.

The following day there was a lecture and discussion led by Professor Gerald Huether. Originally a neuro-surgeon, Prof. Huether refocused his interests and talked about his research in education and co-creation. There were many points that related to the Earth Charter and the Earth Charter pedagogy developed at the Earth Charter Center for ESD in Costa Rica. One of the salient points made by Prof. Huether was about moving away from educating and moving towards creating spaces or platforms where people can co-create and learn by themselves. The lecture provoked an engaged and interesting discussion. IMG_0559

In the afternoon, there were many smaller groups and workshops, discussions on topics of relevance and interest to the participants, including a session that used movement and theatre. After dinner, there was an event commemorating 40 years of EOWI and looking forward to the future. This hour and a half long session was organized around three sets of interviews, the last of which I participated in as an interviewee along with Anja Becker who is one of the staff members of OEWI working with the Earth Charter in Germany. In the interview, I spoke about Earth Charter International, the link to the Sustainable Development Goals, the spiritual aspects of the Earth Charter and of sustainability work generally, and the general utility and beauty of the Earth Charter document.

Following the interview event, there was a bonfire below the Castle walls, a dance party, and a general social event for talking and networking.

IMG_0561On Sunday morning, there were once again several different small groups and workshops, including a choir practice for a performance at a spiritual ceremony to close the event, and also I offered an hour-long session on Earth Charter International exclusively. During the session, which was attended by around 20 people, I was able to go more in depth about the work of Earth Charter International, especially regarding its work on the Global Action Programme for ESD of UNESCO, explain more in depth how the EC and ECI came to be, how ECI functions globally, and what challenges the EC faces for the future. It was lively and fun and it was good to see how much I know about the Earth Charter and that I can share and inspire people talking about it.

The event was an inspirational success and it was great for me to become a part of the Earth Charter Germany network and get to know many of its members more intimately. I am sure that I will have further opportunities to work with EC Germany and continue to foster EC values as part of the global Earth Charter Initiative.

 

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Interview with new Earth Charter International Affiliate from Belgium and Germany

tuuli-sauren-affiliate-headshotInspirit Communication joins Earth Charter International at the end of 2015.

Earth Charter International is happy to announce its newest affiliate from Belgium and Germany, Inspirit Communication. The director and owner of this organization, Tuuli Sauren, gave this interview to ECI.

ECI: What is Inspirit International Communication?

A:    We are communication design agency and are growing more towards becoming an advocacy agency for those who have no voice, for example human rights and gender equality are close to our hearts. We offer Creative Leadership services for companies who need help to see the bigger picture, helping them find innovative new ways to conduct their business, and suggesting solutions. We are for profit, but a lot of what we do comes from our passion and we are not only about business and profits. We are adding social value, which can’t be measured financially.

inspirit-logo-with-icograda-alternative-2015ECI: What does it do?

A:    We offer communication design services, which are not limited to only making campaigns and other classical design related materials for our clients (websites, info-graphics, adverts, publications, animations, just to mention few). We also don’t consider that we work “for” our clients, rather that we work with them and nurture partnerships and are not seen only as suppliers. We love our clients and do almost anything it takes to get them the best possible end results and satisfaction on projects. We are thriving from using our skill set to make a significant contribution to the world by helping to communicate and taking part as an active participant on important issues. We have a special focus on social and cultural sustainability, (human rights, indigenous peoples rights, gender equality, wildlife, i.e.), as well as financial sustainability, including issues such as fair compensation for work, anti-corruption, and transparency on business polices, all of which are issues very close to our hearts.

ECI: What does the Earth Charter mean to you personally?

A:    The Earth Charter is a lifestyle. I’m not sure if other people in the EC network see it the same way. The Earth Charter unites people, in a less official way than United Nations, but I see the Earth Charter as working more at the everyday life level. Thinking about it this way, it has the potential to become a trend. Increasing sustainability should be a trend, which will grow forever. The Earth Charter represents a culture of peace and it should have its own song. It is a community with no borders.

ECI: How does the Earth Charter impact your work? Your life?

A:    The EC will further support our vision and mission, which are already well aligned with those of the Earth Charter.  I am very much looking forward to this new friendship and collaboration towards common goals. United efforts have a bigger impact and higher success rate than those coming from a small company as ours. We are eager to learn from Earth Charter International and I hope that we will be able to offer something in return that Earth Charter International doesn’t have yet.

ECI: How will INSPIRIT International Communication foster the Earth Charter vision?

A:    We want to see it adopted by many more people. We aim to help to capture the attention of the youth and get them involved in the Earth Charter lifestyle and promote its 16th principle this year. We want to communicate the principles in a language that is accessible to everybody. Same language, same vision, same mission towards one goal.

ECI: What activities are you planning using the Earth Charter? EC+16?

A:    The June 29th, 2016 Earth Charter Day is about the Earth Charter’s 16th principle. We want to explain the principle in the form of an info-graphic, which can be understood regardless of language. It will be accessible to everybody, including those with hearing impairment and those who can’t see, with a voice-over function. We want to launch this globally and share it with other Earth Charter communities and network participants.

ECI: Is there anything else you’d like to say about the Earth Charter?

A:    We are honored to have the opportunity to join the family. Earth Charter is a family without borders or restrictions based on skin color, nationality, or religion. It speaks to anybody who wants to listen.

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German Affiliate releases new publication

The Ecumenical One World Initiative (OEWI), the Earth Charter Affiliate in Germany, has released a new publication in German highlighting the different initiatives related to the Earth Charter in the region around Marburg. The publication showcases different groups and people who work for a sustainable, peaceful, and just global coexistence aligned with the values of the Earth Charter. They portray their initiatives, talk about their work, visions, and ideas. The publication is titled “People and City in Transition”.

These and many other people introduce themselves on the Internet portal www.nachhaltig-lernen-regionmarburg.de and also publish their educational programs and activities.

You can download the publication and see its format and design from the Earth Charter Virtual Library.

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"Daring to invent the future" – EC meeting in Germany

The Ecumenical One World Initiative (EOWI), Earth Charter affiliate in Germany, held its annual gathering from 4 to 6 April 2014. Over 60 participants came together to discuss the controversial Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the USA (TTIP) that is being secretly negotiated at the moment. Another central topic was the relevance of the bestselling fantasy novel “Momo”, also known under the title “The Men in Grey” by Michael Ende for analyzing some of the root causes of our current global financial crisis.

The introductory addresses were followed by an an “open space” in which participants could suggest relevant themes for small group discussions and workshops. These sessions touched on a large variety of topics including “tapping into our collective wisdom” to “post-growth economics” and “the relevance for the Earth Charter in the Great Transition”. In one workshop, participants were introduced to the latest developments in the Earth Charter-inspired Global Interfaith WASH Alliance.

EOWI director Anja Becker and her colleague Kerstin Veigt gave an overview of the diverse activities the initiative is doing to promote the Earth Charter in Germany, such as hosting a training course for volunteer “Earth Charter Ambassadors”, publishing materials on the use of the Earth Charter in education for sustainable development, working with teachers and a network of schools, coordinating an Earth Charter Youth Network in Germany, and organizing dialogues about the Earth Charter between students in Germany and India. Just one week ago, 12 women and one man ranging from 20 to 60 years of age proudly received their “Earth Charter Ambassador” certificates. They will now start spreading the message of the Earth Charter in their personal and regional networks. 

More information about Earth Charter activities in Germany in German and English can be found here.

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