Posted on April 22, 2017
As part of the GELP Project, 18 participants from the six project countries gathered for a wonderful workshop in Zinvié, Benin between 11th and 17th September 2016. The host Credi ONG spoiled participants with a warm welcome and a cosy workshop venue on the site of the ecovillage Zinvié, just around 1,5 hours from the city of Cotonou. The workshop was additionally visited for a networking event by participants from Germany, Latvia, Poland and Hungary.
The main topic of the Study Visit was to learn of the Beninese context of global education, youth education and forms of non-formal education. It was thrilling to experience the wonders of a local band who uses singing and dancing to raise awareness on environmental and social issue relevant to the Beninese rural communities. Participant could also experience a short theater play on domestic violence.
On the site visit, moving away from the shelter of the workshop venue, the participants formed groups to learn a song in the Fon language; they talked to the head of hunters who is a committed advocate to end preying on endangered species and also had the privilege to interview a professor dealing with Voodoo.
On day 3, the participants visited the “route of slaves” in Ouidah that commemorates the hundreds of thousands of people who suffered under the European slavery and later the colonial regime for over 250 years. The so-called “Route of Slaves” and the “Point of No Return”, where enslaved people boarded ships, are UNESCO sites to raise awareness of this cruel past.
During the second half of the Study Visit, 40 representatives of Beninese NGOs, mainly working in environmental and youth education, attended a two-day so-called “Multiplier Event”, where they shared experiences with the Study Visit participants on non-formal education. They also thought about how to keep enthusiastic young people engaged in youth programmes, with a particular focus of the similarities and differences between urban and rural youth engagement.
Read the full report on the Benin Study Visit here.