The team is growing and an eye-opener-seminar

The last weeks have been busy with meetings of the Ghana-working group and a preparational seminar with Vicky and Lou from ENSA. Don’t take it amiss that I will  focus on some ideas only, otherwise it would be a never-ending story.

The Ghana working group has grown and is welcoming two new members – two female colleagues from BBS 1. These are Jördis (teaches economics) and Judith (teaches home economics). This is a wonderful development, and it helps a lot in working together and preparing the incoming-journey of our Ghanaian partners.Thanks you, Jördis and Judith!

We are so excited and curious about the program you have been planning for us, and we don’t want to stand behind! The group has started working with more shared responsibilities. That helps to unload the many burdens that have been mostly carried by Tim during the last months. Each student and colleaque will shoulder the responsibility for one program-day (with support by the teachers, if needed). When it comes to your journey to Germany, we tried to make up a program that will be highly educational, most personal and thoughtful of your requests and wishes.  I don’t want to reveal too much but we really hope that you will get a deep and lasting impression of our region and country. However, it could be very cold and wet weather in November. We are thinking about that, too. We are planning to measure your hights and foot length when wie are with you in Ghana. Thus, we will try to equip everyone with warm clothing and shoes. Imagine as well that, although we are working in one school here, our homes, and that means the guest families, are not situated in one town but in different villages and towns. Look at the map: students are located in and around Gifhorn, Tim is living in Brunswick and I am living in a small village called Hillerse.

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Hope, you get an impression of the distances between our BBS 1 school, which is in Gifhorn, and our homes.

Last weekend, as you have guessed from the pictures shared via Whatsapp, we had a wonderful seminar near Gifhorn together with Vicky and Lou from ENSA. We heard that you already got into contact with Vicky on the seminar in Agona Swedru. Isn’t it special, how we are already connected through her? According to Vicky, we experienced the same seminar which she held in Ghana. For many of us, this seminar was especially memorable because it made clear to us that racism is a part in all our lives, and we handle a double-edged sword here! This partnership is about northerns and southern hemispheres and our historical and cultural backback. I personally was not aware of the fact that I am privileged, just because of the fact that my skin happens to be white, and I, thus, belong to a group of people that nearly never encounter personal racist experiences in everyday life. You remember the story about the two differently coloured women looking into the mirror? One is looking at herself saying: “There is a woman.” The other is looking into the mirror and saying: “There is a black woman.” See, I never reflected about it this way. Likewise, it was an eye-opener for me, that Sharon, our all group-member, born in Germany and ever since lived here, encounters racist comments nearly anyday and anytime. We should talk about that, when we see each other and maybe this should become a topic or the starting point for a project against racism and racist influences in societies. Is it possible to overcome these prejudices and un(conscious) pictures in our heads? I am sure the awareness of it is the first big step in order to overcome bias-based behaviour, and develop a bias-consciousness for us and especially for the next generations.

Yours, Jacqueline

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