History of GLEN
The initiation of GLEN in 2003
The German ASA-Program, which is part of Engagement Global (formerly InWEnt Capacity Building International, has been organising three-month-internships in the Global South for German students and young professionals since 1960.
During the enlargement process of the European Union, ASA-Program, with the support of TRIALOG initiated partnerships with organisations in Central and Eastern Europe that were starting activities in development education and co-operation. In 2004, 22 young people from Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia together with 22 participants from Germany, went through a project cycle together: three month internships in the Global South framed by two preparation seminars, a follow-up seminar and development education activities in their home countries.
ASA-Program and its 6 partner NGOs from New Member States decided to go on with these activities of training European global education multipliers together. They established GLEN as a European network of partner organisations and engaged global education multipliers.
New members joining GLEN
Between 2005 and 2007, GLEN experienced a period of enlargement in both size and activities. Successively, partner organisations from Hungary, Slovenia, Malta, Austria and France joined the network. The formerly French-German programme Génération Coopération (GéCo), which was created as the same time as GLEN by ASA and a French network of agriculture schools, became part of the activities of GLEN.
In 2010 the Lithuanian partner Kolping left GLEN and a new Slovenian member organisation (Zavod Voluntariat) joined, replacing the former one (Slovene Philanthropy). The Maltese Thirld World Group’s membership terminated in 2012.
Today, there are GLEN member organisations in 9 countries, 7 New Member States and 2 Old Member States of the EU. GLEN offers, on the European level, activities with English and with French as working language.
More activities in global education
Furthermore, GLEN enlarged its scope of activities for global education and increased capacities of NGOs and multipliers for global education in Europe:
- The core program of GLEN remains a training cycle for global education multipliers with seminars, practical experience of working 3 months with partner organisations in the Global South, and a follow up phase of transfering the experience from the Global South into global education activities at home.
- GLEN also offers European training seminars focussing on specific methods or topics relevant for global education. These seminars support multipliers in their engagement, increase the capacities of NGOs working in global education and strengthen the European network of global educators.
- On the national level, the GLEN partner organisations are carrying out their own global education programs and projects, taylored to the specific context of their home society. For these activities, the experience and skills gained through GLEN are a valuable asset for the GLEN partner organisations and the networks they work in.
- On the European level, GLEN carried out in 2006 and 2007 a Europe-wide awareness raising action: Eurizons – the European tour for global responsibility. With campaigning events in different countries, connected by a hitchhiking tour, 100 young Europeans raised awareness of the Millennium Development Goals and the responsibility of European citizens and decision-makers.
- The European Global Education Days were GLEN’s main international event of 2008. The five day seminar took place from 11th to 16th November 2008 in Berschweiler-Marpingen, near Saarbrücken in South-West Germany, and included a visit to the European Development Days in Strasbourg, France.
- In 2009 and 2010 GLEN organised a Transfer seminar for its former participants. These seminars offered a more profound training in global education after coming back from the internship abroad. They supported the participants in making use of their southern experience for global education and planning their global education activities for the Global Education Practice Phase. During the seminar the participants were guided through their learning process as well as the planning of their global education activities.
- In 2012 former GLEN participants (global education multipliers) organised the Sailing for Sustainability tour. It was a “sailing for four weeks on a ship to tackle grapsable approaches for sustainable lifestyle. A moving social labratory in the Baltic Sea that serves as vessel to experience and develop practical approaches like degrowth and collective economy, renewable energy, collaborative decisionmaking and measurement of resource consumption.” More than 100 people from more than 10 European countries, 15 partner organisations were involved in the planning and organisation of the project. Altogether around 120 people participated in the seminar weeks on the ship.
GLEN receives the “World Aware Education Award”
For its engagement in international youth cooperation and exchange, for its unique concept of building connections between North & South as well as East & West, and as an acknowldgement of the way in which the concept of Global Education is being implemented, GLEN has been awarded the prestigious “World Aware Education Award”, founded by the North South Centre of the Council of Europe in 2005.