The Liberia project is a platform construction.
The Liberia project gives away space, time and know-how to those who, like us, have understood that only what really counts is what not only helps oneself, but also other people and their environment. In the Liberia project, committed people and sponsors from different countries come together, driven by different motives. The Liberia project is a flexible instrument for designing forms of communication and solidarity-based organizational forms.
Unicorn is a central English cooperative that was founded in 1996. It produces agricultural products in the Manchester / Liverpool region. In 2017 they received the BBC’s award for the food producer, who not only offers the highest quality, but also gives people and nature in their surroundings perspectives for a better life.
Unicorn is legally a non-profit company, a cooperative of employees there who democratically manage themselves. For example, there are no differences in the payment of work. Unicorn’s earnings are used entirely for charitable purposes. So for the building of schools, the maintenance of self-help organizations, for the environmentally and climate-friendly conversion of mobility and they also assume global responsibility, because our food in the supermarket also plays a direct role in the continued exploitation of the Global South. They show that there is no need for factory farming and the combination of poison and profit in the seed trade.
In its grocery, Unicorn shows what it means to think globally and act locally.
Unicorn uses the Liberia project to create From Street to School (Liberia), inc. to be able to help. Because only through the connection of From Street to School in Monrovia with the German non-profit association “From Street to School and Global Learning”, Munich could these two partners find each other in 2018.
Learn more about UNICORN – and copy the concept, it is really enhancing powers in the art of living.
Global Learning in Munich Schools
We use the term global learning,
because we are confronted with global realities every day in our schools and we appreciate that very much.
Our ability to imagine what is good for others is limited
Many of our students come from families with alternative structures, if you think of the traditional division of labor between men and women and the traditional obligation of marriage. Seldom does a similar ritualized communication await our students at home, with which the past generations grew up.
Instead of the traditional, definable and resistance-provoking conditions, more and more school, political and cultural information and suggestions are finding their way into the intimate world of experience with which young people form their identity. The closest relatives are often not from Germany, many are bilingual or socialized in two cultures. Most have a feeling that cultural diversity is of course a fact, but also a form of wealth and a challenge at the same time.
Because we see how little space and time there is in school to get these diverse perspectives to speak, we call what we do global learning.
Learning needs more than teaching, because everyone involved is in a process of constant change.
Most colleagues will agree that our children have become more courageous as a result of the cultural and social changes brought about by mobility when it comes to presenting themselves, formulating an opinion and enjoying a wealth of apparently equally attractive offers orientate.
We notice that the new global communication culture in urban post-war Monrovia and in the urban cultural areas of our colorful Munich is setting in motion similar processes that we are dealing with from two perspectives.
- musical expression
- forms of expression in dance
- knowledge, consumption and production of pop culture and digital offers
- poetry, essays and civil society initiatives
- Everything is volatile, so prejudices also live shorter
- The chances of winning are not distributed in a way that is for the best
If you want to convey something effectively in these times, you have to act as an example and give space and time for creative, self-designing appropriation. In addition, the applicable values for #Right, #False, #True and #Failure must be made transparent.
In our eyes, relativism and negligence are the Trojan horses that economic globalization infiltrates into societies because they serve sales. With global learning we want to contribute to uncovering the subtle manipulations to which we voluntarily expose ourselves as participants in a global media and consumer society.
Facts change their meaning when viewed from different angles
The kind of school that we still maintain today and have transported all over the world has its origins in the young nation-states of the late 18th century, when industry, state, society and culture were not yet so closely connected as today. School changes depending on what suits time and people – not even in Germany itself is it the same everywhere. The expectations that the institution should and can meet also change. In the capitals of Liberia and Germany, all of this has received an additional note as a connotation over the past few decades, which is related to the fact that the globalized economy connects people in the big cities. Terms related to ethical concepts such as individual, family, spirituality, curiosity, time, division of labor, democracy, participation, age, culture, happiness, freedom, child and youth
The kind of school that we still maintain today and have transported all over the world has its origins in the young nation-states of the late 18th century, when industry, state, society and culture were not yet so closely connected as today. School changes depending on what suits time and people – not even in Germany itself is it the same everywhere. The expectations that the institution should and can meet also change. In the capitals of Liberia and Germany, all of this has received an additional note as a connotation over the past few decades, which is related to the fact that the globalized economy connects people in the big cities. Terms related to ethical concepts such as individual, family, spirituality, curiosity, time, division of labor, democracy, participation, age, culture, happiness, freedom, childhood, youth and adulthood, development and responsibility are used and understood globally. At the moment, however, cultural globalization is apparently facing a difficult stage of development:
We believe that we understand each other all over the world and, because of our accelerated lifestyle, we are giving away many opportunities to become aware of how far-reaching our mutual misunderstandings are. Here with us, many believe that they are living individual freedoms, that they have overcome class society and that they do not want to harm anyone. In Liberia, many believe that freedom must have a spiritual basis because it depends on the balance of power that protects against violence and poverty. While a strong tradition of Rule of Law, Citizen State and Capitalism makes us believe in self-made progress and sustainable development, many Liberians consider this to be somewhat presumptuous, self-righteous and euphemistic
We ensure that the participants in our workshops become aware of the differences in common. We expand the relevant vocabulary and grant astonishment and contradiction a linguistic right to exist. The young people notice that dealing with the details is worthwhile. That it is not the exchange of theses that makes a discussion exciting, but that it is the many stories that fascinate us with their diversity. Bringing something up is a method of global learning.
How can we develop institutions further so that they control action without restricting development?
We see that globalization endangers the democratic public sphere, institutions and pluralism, which are central to our understanding of civil liberty and democracy, in various ways. What is meant by public in this context is the trusting, authentic and constructively critical examination of other views and insights. In our social tradition, institutions ensure such a public. So we need more, not less of them.
Global learning is learning within defined, institutional shelters so that knowledge can grow. The topic is everyone themselves with their own experience. Joint projects relate to topics of transnational importance – such as abuse of children, equality between women and men, codetermination and participation in power, political systems, religion and morals, education, conflicts ……
Human rights are a bridge in our work, a common project. Human rights do not exclude any tradition as inferior, but set new, common standards. The constructive forces in Liberian society, which is full of ethnic and religious contradictions and which is only at the beginning of its civil society development, rely on human rights as a common project. Human rights are a common normative moral basis of our projects.
As a platform with its own website, the Liberia project is a space and time donor for everything that develops together in Liberia and Germany under different conditions. Our groups:
- From Street to School
- From Street to School and Global Learning
- Voice of the Voiceless
- Cynthia’s Group
- Writing-Competition – Background-Club
- Africa Day – Liberia-Ak at Pestalozzi-Gymnasium (AK Project Days)
- Creative writing and global learning at Pestalozzi-Gymnasium
- School without racism School with courage and related groups at Nelson Mandela BOS
It depends on the method!
An important element is storytelling. The creative creation of stories based on personal experience.
Example from the preparation :
Topic: Migration and Identity
Philosophical question : Who am I?
Background text : Identity and Migration
If we were a vehicle and we were moving through a curve, then the crisis would be the time in which we are just entering the curve. In order for the picture to be correct, we have to assume that we had no plan beforehand, that such a curve is coming right now and that on the other hand, in the middle of the curve, it is not yet clear how we can get out again as unscathed as possible. There are times of crisis that are only critical for the individual, but also those that affect whole peoples.
A consequence of crises can be that people leave their homes. This happens when the situation for the future of your children seems to be getting worse and worse, when there are too few opportunities to feel free and happy, when there is a lot of work without individuals receiving anything in return and when someone from the circle of friends already knows or the family has left, so that the people at home believe they can imagine what they will encounter on the journey and what awaits them at their destination.
Nevertheless: that is usually not enough. What has to be added is an identity problem, e.g. if neighbors suddenly attack each other in a civil war, if conspiracy theories suddenly dominate the media reports and nothing wants to go together with what was previously valid. In short: in a crisis, people take the courage to leave everything behind, to risk everything in order to give fate a chance to arrange the events into a more beautiful story. Something like that cannot be planned in detail. At some point in the curve, when it has become too long for you, you take courage, accelerate and try to replace the missing plan with mindfulness and act. People who flee are not helpless, poor and pitiful, but brave or daring, full of hope and strong. Or what do you think about leaving?
We find ancient stories about life in critical situations in legends and fairy tales.
German children have been told the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel for centuries.