Country of origin: France
Glen Participant in 2006
Internship: Sustainable agriculture in Togo
When I was a GLEN participant in 2006 I really wasn’t sure whether I could see a place for myself in the program or not. On the one hand I really enjoyed the exchange with other people. I was living in Germany at that time in a very international setting and GLEN helped me to understand this intercultural life. But I wasn’t clear in my head what I was thinking about Development Cooperation. Therefore I was quite critical about the value of the internship. I was afraid it might be not much more than a pretext to do some exotic travelling. And my experience in Togo didn’t prove me wrong in this point. Nevertheless I came back to GLEN in 2008 to be a tutor. I was still looking for a way of addressing and discussing issues of global injustice and inequality. What attracted me to GLEN was the reflection process taking place at the seminars and the room for change and criticism within the program. While working as a tutor and then lead-facilitator for GLEN for three years I also got in touch with concepts and theories that changed my perspective. For example the concept of Critical Whiteness. I had discussed colonialism and racism before but the concept of Critical Whiteness for the first time gave me the opportunity to reflect myself when it comes to structural racism and not only blame everything on something vague like „the society“.
I am still not sure if development cooperation really brings about positive change. But I did come to appreciate the concept of Global Learning. It is a form of cultural exchange that I believe in. I don’t believe in Global Education in a way of educating the world. But I want to educate myself and I want to try and reach a common understanding with people from different backgrounds.