"Global Learning in Ecumenical Perspective" (GLEP) - this was the topic of a four-day think tank of UEM in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. 34 representatives of the three UEM regions as well as education experts from Africa, Asia and Germany took part from 3 to 7 February 2020. The common goal of this think tank: to collect and exchange ideas from the Asian, African and German UEM regions and to develop and promote new ways of global learning in an ecumenical perspective and internationalisation; to work out proposals for further GLEP programmes; to develop new ideas for comprehensive and innovative international cooperation. With this think tank in Dar es Salaam, UEM wants to continue the process of internationalisation within UEM and further raise its profile in education in order to respond to trends and developments.
The Think Tank in Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania, Africa) was the third installment, a first one was in Schwerte (Germany) in December 2018, the second one was in Pematangsiantar (Indonesia, Asia) in summer 2019. The Eastern and Coastal Diocese and the Executive Committee of the African Region gave a warm welcome to the participants of the think tank in Dar-es-Salaam. On the first day they exchanged their ideas and visions of GLEP. The participants of the think tank came mainly from the African region, but also from Asia and Germany including the Chairperson of the German Region, Annette Salomo. She also participated in the Executive Committee of the Africa Region.
For all participants, the intercultural exchange between the two Executive Committees Germany and Africa was particularly enriching. "We had a very interesting time together and are always positively surprised by each other. We learn a lot about the philosophy of GLEP not only during the units, but also during the breaks and in the interaction with each other," said Sarah Vecera, Deputy Head of Department of the German Region. One highlight was the unit of Bishop Dr. Abednego Keshomshahara. The Vice Moderator of the Africa Region, for example, reported how much global learning had enriched his life. Today the think tank participants explored the surroundings of Dar es Salaam and saw that even within a supposedly existing culture there are many subcultures. "What does the term culture still mean to us personally, as a church and in society today?" This is only one of many questions that the participants of the think tank are dealing with. The think tank is a space that allows you to think everything. "We are curious to see how the internationalisation of UEM will continue. It is an ongoing process - even after almost 25 years," says Dr. John Wesley Kabango, head of the Africa department at UEM.
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