Political campaigns

Political campaigns

It all started with the idea to reverse the current voluntary service practice: an intercultural exchange through the organization of south-north voluntary services. Since we started our work we have encountered ourselves with great obstacles again and again. What does a partnership on an eye to eye level look like? How do we organize seminars from our perspective that take into account the necessities of the volunteers? Do we as the iniviting organization carry the responsibility for bad experiences that the volunteers make during their voluntary service? What would be an adequate reaction to that? How can we work precautional and how far do we have to implicate ourselves? How do we handle agencies that act in a way we perceive as discriminatory?

We have come to the conclusion that it is impossible for us to organize the voluntary program oblivious to the political context. It is only natural that we don't want to take things as they are but that we want to discuss, criticize and when necessary even judge them as insufficient. Our self concept guides us in these judgments.

Regarding certain aspects we move ourselves within the very same structures that we want to combat – sometimes even reproducing them. That is why our confrontation with these topics starts first with ourselves. This process implies a reflection upon our work as an association. Awareness-building, workshops and training are directed mostly to internal structures of the association. However, that can and should not be the end of our work. We want to take part and take a stance on all the topics that refer to our work and everywhere where we regard it sensible or even necessary.

That is what we do right now for example with a campaign concerning a topic, that has been on our mind a lot especially during the last year: The limitation of the freedom to mobility of people coming from countries of the global south. With the campaign « Visa Wie? - Für ein faires und transparentes Visa-Verfahren! » we will make the current, unfair practice or granting or denying visa a topic, we will criticize and approach politicians with concrete demands that aim at changes in the system.

In the past we have already organized a number of events concerning postcolonialism, critic to the development cooperation or the treatment of refugees in Germany. Nevertheless, we are still at the start of a long long way. If you want to support us in this process, if you have ideas or just wish to obtain a little more information on our work, please contact Steffen at politisches(at)zugvoegel.org.

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