In light of the prevailing media images portraying Africa as a continent fraught with crises, wars, and impoverishment, our organization aimed to paint a more realistic, nuanced picture. To this end, we engaged with teachers and students from the upper secondary levels of selected schools in Dortmund and nearby regions.
Our primary goal was to move beyond the clichéd depictions of Africa and dive deeper into the reasons prompting many Africans to migrate. We also sought to foster a better understanding of the socio-political and economic conditions on the continent.
- Project Day with School children:
We dedicated an entire day to interact with students, discussing diverse factors affecting the African continent. This included:
- The threats faced by sub-Saharan African communities due to globalization.
- The impacts of climate change on their livelihoods.
- The consequences of constructed ethnic conflicts.
- The intricacies of Europe’s isolationist and refugee policies.
- Debating the rights of Africans to equitable development.
- Working Groups and Discussion Panels:
Students actively participated in focused discussion groups. In these sessions, they interacted with speakers hailing from various African countries. This provided students with a rare opportunity to hear firsthand accounts of the challenges and aspirations that drive Africans to migrate. The dialogues emphasized individual life stories, painting a vivid picture of the circumstances that lead people to seek better opportunities abroad.
By facilitating direct, authentic encounters with Africans, students were exposed to the complexities of the continent. They not only gained insight into the myriad problems but also celebrated the vibrant diversity of Africa. They learned that Africa is not just a monolithic entity but a vast landscape, rich in cultures, histories, and potentials.
For young minds, it’s pivotal to cultivate a well-rounded perspective. This project aimed to replace the often one-dimensional portrayals of Africa with a more nuanced understanding. By the end of the program, it was evident that many students had started to see Africa through a new, more informed lens, appreciating its depth and eschewing preconceived stereotypes.