Judith & Magda

Judith Blume

Age: 28

Country of origin: Germany

Glen Participant in 2011

Internship: „GLEN seen by its Southern partners“ – survey undertaken in Benin

Current occupation: PhD in History

 

Magdalena Mazurek

Age: 26

Country of origin: Poland

Glen Participant in 2011

Internship: „GLEN seen by its Southern partners“ – survey undertaken in Benin

Current occupation: Student of Anthropology in Lyon, France

 

Magda: It always sounds so cliché, but for me it’s really true: GLEN in some way changed my live. Two years ago I hardly knew anything about Africa and I am not sure whether I was aware that Benin exists. This year really made me broaden my perspective. I don’t know where I will be in five years. But I am sure that I will be doing what I will be doing because of the experiences I made this year.

Judith: It’s a little bit different for me. It wasn’t my first time in Africa. But it was a totally different experience to go there after the preparation seminars. When I went to Africa for the first time I was really alone with my questions and experiences. Which was also fine, because it was challenging. But I very much enjoyed the sharing and exchange that I experienced here during the seminars. With the methods of Global Learning you are enabled to fill abstract terms like global interdependencies with life. And with this kind of learning you may be able to reach the point where you find the power to make little changes. Instead of only thinking, you can start acting. And Global Learning for me is also acknowledging that there are very many different ways of looking at the world.

Magda: For Judith and me this exchange of perspectives took place on a daily basis. We worked together in a German-Polish-Beninois team, consisting of Judith and me and Joseph Dhossou, a sociology student who was also an intern in our NGO. Working with Joseph so closely gave me the opportunity to get to know somebody really in depth that comes from a totally different cultural background.

Judith: I think what we all learned was that it doesn’t make sense to only think about efficiency when you work in an intercultural context. It simply takes time. You can’t say: we have a goal and this is the quickest way to reach it. If it’s the goal that the work is really the work of all, a real team-outcome, then you need to take the time to openly discuss things.

Magda: One of our Beninois colleagues told us that he was afraid in the beginning, that I might only focus on the goal of having a good case-study in the end. And that we might not realize that our real work was actually the whole path of getting there. When working with Joseph I realized that I had this very European work ethic: if I want this exact outcome, what is the quickest way of getting there. I understood in the end that the quickest way is not always the best one.

Judith: The next step is to get the money and the support together to get Joseph to Europe for the ReNew of the GLEN cycle.

 

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