At our 2021 Annual General Assembly, we will once again be honouring the best partnership projects in Africa, Asia and Germany. This time it is a matter of "taking all five senses into account" - in accordance with the recommendations of the International Partnership Conference in 2017. The three best partnership projects under the motto "Joy of Partnership" will be awarded prizes of between 500 and 2,000 euros.
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In many partnerships – some in existence since the 1970s – close relationships between countries and continents have been built up through mutual support and regular contact and visits. Personal meetings allow people to experience what it means when we speak of the church as a global communion. Partnerships enrich us by providing new perspectives. For us, the people active in our partnerships are an irreplaceable treasure.
The partnership network is also growing through the active search for new forms of partnerships. These do not always have to be between two church districts, but can be thematic in nature and for example have “women” as their theme or be between two institutions such as universities or hospitals. Currently, new "trilateral partnerships" are also being formed among church districts or institutions in three countries.
Partnerships change over the years, so it helps when there’s a framework to guide people. We have developed such a framework: the Partnership Guidelines. These were not developed on a drawing board, but rather formed out of the diverse experiences of the partnerships themselves. Please find here the guidelines in English, French and Bahasa Indonesia.
In 2012, the 2nd UEM International Partnership Conference in North Sumatra endet with the adoption of the Parapat-Statement. Therin the delegates formulated their recommendations for future partnership work.
One of the most important results is the delegates' clear affirmation of the partnership guidelines. The delegates want to make them better known at the basis within the next years. The extension of partnership structures in Asia and Africa was thoroughly discussed as well as the necessity of working out a pertnership handbook for the churches of the South. More recommendations were put down in these papers:
If you would like to know more about an existing partnership or about how to create a partnership, don’t hesitate to contact us. As a beginning, there are often opportunities to travel to our sisters and brothers in Africa and Asia.
In Germany, for example, advising is available through the "round table" for all groups that have a partnership with a church in Africa or Asia. There are also partnership seminars that can be attended by all groups that have a partnership with another country and at which people are able to share their experiences.
Once a year, we invite all committee chairpersons and multipliers to a Partnership Conference on a particular issue. You can learn more about the 2010 conference here. We also organize consultations in which German partnership groups connected to a particular church meet with partnership representatives from member churches in Africa or Asia.
Our offer includes preparing partnership visits or evaluation of partnerships. Seminars on project management are important for managing or assessing a joint project. Seminars on intercultural communication help prevent misunderstandings and aid in understanding possible conflicts.
We also offer seminars on special topics for partnership groups, such as fair trade, HIV/AIDS in the partner country, or the situation of women there. Last but not least, language classes in Swahili, Indonesian, Tagalog, English and French help prepare people working within partnerships to communicate even better with their partners in Africa and Asia – all so that our partnerships work even more smoothly.
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