Prospects for joint Belarusian-German projects were discussed at the meeting on establishing partnerships and exchanging experience in the field of sustainable development, which was held in Hrodna by ODB Brussels within the framework of "Clearing House" programme in partnership of the Support Programme of Belarus of the Federal Government of Germany. Social work, volunteering, restoration of wetlands, and innovation in agriculture and energy are among the areas of interest for Belarusian and German CSOs.
Maksim Padbiarozkin, "Clearing House" programme coordinator, ODB Brussels
At the Hrodna meeting, Wendelin Wichtmann, representing Michael Succow Foundation (Germany), spoke about German experience in restoring peatlands and the work of the Greifswald Mire Centre on using scientific research and developing environmental management policies for areas with valuable natural heritage.
Wendelin Wichtmann, Michael Succow Foundation (Germany),
The Foundation was present at the Hrodna meeting for a reason: according to Wendelin Wichtmann, the organization is interested in clearing Poneman waters, waterlogging peatlands and restoring local ecosystems.
In addition to conserving natural resources and thus influencing the global ecological balance, the Foundation also has other goals: constructing complete biomass production chains, using it in alternative local energy sources (including work on meadows and extraction of local fuel resources). Also, the Michael Succow Foundation intends to share their expertise in developing local tourism and education in the field of conserving wetlands. According to Wendelin Wichtmann, the foundation is ready to carry out projects on bird watching, canoeing, education focused on wetland and peatland conservation, etc. for local population and tourists in Belarus.
Wendelin Wichtmann, Michael Succow Foundation (Germany)
Sarah Erdmann, Internationaler Bund Berlin-Brandenburg, spoke about directions of social work and perspective areas of cooperation with Belarusian organizations.
Internationaler Bund Berlin-Brandenburg (Germany)
This organization works with migrants, unemployed youth, problem teenagers and other target groups. They provide professional education and job training for young people who are at risk or demonstrate deviant behaviour, learning difficulties, criminal predilections, etc.).
Internationaler Bund Berlin-Brandenburg helps such young people obtain an education and career training in various fields, including woodworking, construction, sales, cooking, hairdressing, landscape design, gardening, office management, etc. This German organization also develops volunteering and coordinates youth employment. Today, Internationaler Bund Berlin-Brandenburg works in South-Eastern Europe, Turkey, Russian Federation, China, Poland, Tajikistan, Georgia, Russia and other countries. The organization also offers consultation services to governments, private service and civil society organizations of many countries.
Participants of the Hrodna meeting on establishing Belarusian-German partnership and exchanging experience discussed common problems faced by organizations in Belarus and in Germany: environmental issues, prevention of youth involvement in crime, development of volunteering and non-formal education, prevention of alcohol addictions, etc.
Participants of the meeting during thematic work in groups
Representatives of Belarusian and German organizations were introduced to the goals of the Support Programme of Belarus of the Federal Government of Germany in the field of social work and sustainable development. Siarhei Laboda, Coordinator of the "Organizational Development" Direction at Minsk Johannes Rau International Centre for Education and Exchange, presented opportunities for participation in international call for proposals of joint projects within the 8th stage of the Programme, which is planned from 2017 to 2019. According to him, conditions for participation in the call for proposals will be announced for Belarusian and German organizations at the end of August 2016.
Siarhei Laboda, Coordinator of the "Organizational Development" Direction at Minsk Johannes Rau International Centre for Education and Exchange