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Readings on Education

In our current IAF seminar on Education Policies we also distributed a variety of publications on various topics on education. Please feel free to download them here as pdf versions as well:

 

 

 

 

 


 

Out now: Annual Report 2014

As you can see on the following 95 pages, you – as a free, emancipated and confident citizen with the right to determine your own life – are the focus of our continuous engagement both in Germany and around the world. We as a liberal foundation have been standing by your side for more than 57 years, to protect personal life choices, to ensure a free business environment and to make our society more open and tolerant. A democracy needs democrats, in the same way that freedom needs freedom fighters, to be safe from those who despise it.

In 2014, we recalled the lessons learnt from German history and reassured ourselves of our responsibilities. Our Foundation is a consequence of the realisation that freedom and democracy have to be defended every day anew, and that teaching the value of freedom and democracy is the most effective way to advocate a free, democratic and tolerant society. We encourage you to continue working with us in our efforts to achieve an open-minded, free and tolerant Germany, and to help us to bring these values to other parts of the world. Please participate in one of our many events that take place at ten locations in Germany and more than 60 countries worldwide, as well as virtually at www.freiheit.org.

The annual report 2014 [download pdf] gives you a broad overview of our projects and the wide range of our activities. Welcome to the Foundation for Freedom!


Steffen Saebisch

Chief Executive Officer
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

 

e-Learning and Serbian politics

My workshop with E-SEM in Belgrade

The workshop started on Friday morning in the taxi. My driver – let’s call him Dragan for privacy reasons – embodied everything I knew about and experienced again in my second trip to Serbia: A dynamic country with a young population that makes do with the imperfect economic and political situation of their beautiful country. Besides driving his cab, Dragan also owns a small online media agency. We struck up a good coversation about content and learning management and I was very happy to give some tips.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dumb Ways to Vote

Dumb Ways to Vote is a three-minute animated video on Philippine electoral candidates. It is an entertaining parody on the qualifications of politicians who keep winning elections – a comedian, the corrupt, or even a murderer! Dumb Ways is a reminder that people should vote intelligently. As the country gears up for presidential elections in May 2016, Filipinos can refer to the video as a tick off sheet when they screen candidates.




>> Website of the FNF Philippine Office


 

A Bosnian Spring?

Adnan Huskic, FNF Programme Coordinator for Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the recent violent protests in Bosnia. The riots are the most violent scenes the country has seen since the end of the Bosnian War in 1995. We talk about the current situation, the reasons and an outlook.

Interview by Dr. Lars-André Richter for IAF, 14. February 2014.

IAF participants at the German Development Day

Halle/Saale. The recently nationwide instituted “German Development Day” (Deutscher Entwicklungstag, DET) was established by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Organizations, entities and associations, all related in very varied forms to the German development work, were present in 16 different locations throughout the federal states. In Halle/Saale, the stand of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom was honored by the visit of international guests. The Foundation was also present in Berlin.

As a cooperation between the International Leadership Academy (IAF) and the Foundation’s Regional Office for Central Germany, a special visitor program for four participants in Halle was recently held; the visitors attended afterwards an IAF seminar.

Under the conduction of Arno Keller, Thomas Walters, Cecilia Margaret Kok (both from South Africa), Waleed Mahmoud Mansour (Egypt), and Ahmad Noor Amin (Malaysia) arrived Friday afternoon in Halle and had at first the opportunity to take a tour through the city of Halle located in Saxony-Anhalt.

The four foreign guests at the Halle City Hall (Stadthaus) (in the center, Attaché Neumann)

The four foreign guests at the Halle City Hall (Stadthaus) (in the center, Attaché Neumann)

Wolfram Neumann, attaché for economy and science in Halle, welcomed the group at the elegant City Hall building (Stadthaus) and gave an impressive speech about the history and evolution of his city. Later, the guests climbed 196 steps to reach the twin towers of the St. Marien Market Church (Marktkirche St. Marien) at the heart of the city, and enjoyed an excellent view of the former Hanseatic city of Halle, on the Saale riverbank.

At the ''Red Ox'' (Roter Ochse) memorial

At the ”Red Ox” (Roter Ochse) memorial

The next program activity was a visit to the “Red Ox” (Roter Ochse) memorial, a former penitentiary of the Nazi Regime (1933-1945) and a prison used by the GDR secret police (Stasi).

Dr. Andrè Gursky, director of the institution, did not hide the fact that cruel conditions prevailed during the course of the two dictatorships, and that behind those walls many – also political – prisoners suffered terrible abuses. Until now, a coping with the past process continues. Some victims still wait for rehabilitation; some perpetrators use the legal means currently valid in a rule-of-law regime to defend themselves, e.g., to prevent their names from being publicly mentioned in the exhibition.

All the above noticeably impacted and shocked the participants.

At the dinner held later, a vivid exchange of ideas and thoughts took place with four members of the FDP city bench. Gerry Kley, the parliamentary group leader, promoted his city as a science and technology location. He criticized the policy of the recently elected non-party metropolitan mayor, who – in his opinion – wastes many opportunities to achieve a greater development of the city.

As the conversation developed, a discussion arose about the different existing local policy structures, the various approaches on environmental policy in the four countries – Germany, Malaysia, Egypt and South Africa – and Islam and politics.

The IAF group with the FDP city bench of Halle

The IAF group with the FDP city bench of Halle

The primary reason of the visitor program focused on providing assistance at the Foundation stand on the occasion of the German Development Day (DET); it took place during the entire Saturday, jointly with other 33 organizations and entities at Halle’s marketplace.

Arno Keller, a former and well versed international employee, promoted the Naumann stand and presented in a professional and powerful manner the work the Foundation performs abroad. Many citizens took the opportunity to exchange thoughts with the four liberals from three countries. The scarce knowledge about the international work of the political foundations became evident; nonetheless, the genuine representation the main actors in their respective countries exert generated great compliments.

Waleed Mahmoud Mansour, a member of the “Free Egyptian Party”, explained that the Arabian spring stagnates, but that nowadays – also thanks to the German support – many democratic and liberal organized forces exist to sustain hope. As a representative of the younger generation, he has a very optimistic perspective of the Arabian future.

Thomas Walters, an assemblyman of the “Democratic Alliance” in one of the regional South African parliaments, explained to the interested citizens of Halle the political system in his country and the way it has positively and significantly changed for the better in the last 20 years. While there is still a lot to do in the country, South Africa already features a developed democracy with good future prospects. He repeatedly emphasized the excellent and efficient cooperation with the Foundation, which should not stop in the future.

Cecilia Margaret Kok, who speaks excellent German and could manage to communicate without being assisted by an interpreter, made supplementary contributions to her fellow countryman, and as a Foundation’s employee, exactly depicted all the onsite tasks her Johannesburg office performs.

Ahmad Noor Amin also participated in numerous conversations held at the FNF stand and did not waste any opportunity to hand out Foundation brochures and gimmicks.

The guests speaking with Halle citizens

The guests speaking with Halle citizens

Another presentation of the Foundation team was held at the main stage in front of a big audience; during the course of interviews, each one of the four participants highlighted that they consider the approach in terms of development policy the Foundation applies extremely positive: partnership cooperation instead of direct interference.

This program was overall a successful debut, and should be an example for future presentations during the commemoration of the German Development Day.

Our gratitude goes not only to the four visitors who traveled from far away and to the Foundation colleagues in their respective countries, but also to the IAF staff in Gummersbach and the Regional Office for Central Germany, who jointly rendered this special program possible.

 

Peter-Andreas Bochmann

Director, FNF Regional Office for Central Germany

6. Juni 2013

Young Israeli and Palestinian Entrepreneurs Make a Joint Study Trip

 

Berlin, Aachen, Frankfurt/Oder. Israelis and Palestinians hardly ever make a journey together. However, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom managed to have young entrepreneurs from the occupied West Bank territories and from Israel join a study trip related to the subject “Cross-border Economic Cooperation”.

Besides of becoming aware of the fact that the former bordering regions became central locations as a result of the European peace process, the participants recognized the economic potential that can emerge through cross-border cooperation, in spite of existing divergent entrepreneurial cultures and administrative structures. Both in Aachen and in Frankfurt/Oder, they were able to see for themselves the political dimension that entails such cooperation; they also witnessed the contribution of daily meetings in favor of peace and international understanding. The dialogue partners also emphasized, however, the difficulty of convincing the companies to invest in cross-border projects. Since location conditions are not different from other investment locations in the particular countries, and the employees of the involved member countries are subject to different social legislations, it has to be properly considered which companies are desirable to attract. Due to the good transportation system at the three-country border (Dreiländereck), Aachen recently decided to establish logistics companies in its new industrial park. The successful cooperation in the educational field was enhanced in Frankfurt/Oder.

The highlight of the information trip was the invitation to the Bellevue Palace made by Mrs. Daniela Schadt. During the official visit paid by Federal President Gauck in May 2012, Mr. Gauck’s partner met some participants of the dialogue forum between Israelis and Palestinians organized by the Naumann Foundation, and spontaneously issued an invitation to arrange a new exchange of thoughts on the current political developments in the Near East.

One of the participants concluded: “I would never have believed it to be possible that Israelis and Palestinians could coexist during a whole week in such a harmonious and constructive way.” Therefore, the effort made by the Foundation was worthwhile, and the intended goal was fully achieved.

Website of the FNF office in Jerusalem

Former seminar participants establish an alumni association

The seminars of the International Leadership Academy (IAF, as per its German acronym) are part of the most popular and successful activities of the international effort realized by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Usually, participants are younger leaders from the counterpart institutions of the Foundation. Participants who have attended an international seminar in Gummersbach can never forget that experience in the short term, as the alumni state unanimously. In order to keep contacts and promote networks, alumni associations have emerged over the years in many countries. Such an IAF alumni club has been established in Algeria, as well.

Fifty years ago, the Foundation started its international initiative in Tunisia. However, the project effort in the neighboring Algeria started only ten years ago: the Foundation initiated a project in 2004 for the promotion of women, as well as juvenile employment-creation measures. In the meantime, the Algerian project is conducted from Rabat, in neighboring Morocco. A small-sized but compelled team in Algeria performs the tasks onsite.

The North African country has experienced a changeful, partially tragic, history: as a former French colony, Algerians have lived their own revolution and a bloody civil war. The country still suffers from its recent history; slowly and cautiously the largest African state, provided with huge oil and gas resources, is starting to open to the outside world: first, towards its neighbors, the Mediterranean region, and then eventually to Europe and to the rest of the world.

Ronald Meinardus, Regional Office Director, accompanied by an alumni and the Foundation colleague Ouerdane

Ronald Meinardus, Regional Office Director, accompanied by an alumni and the Foundation colleague Ouerdane

Influences from socialism, the repercussions of the Islamist violence, and the strong presence of the law enforcement bodies are elements that even currently influence the public and political life. This is not an easy environment for the liberal project task. However, the Foundation currently works together with a wide range of Algerian counterparts regarding human rights issues, women’s roles and economic reforms. A continuous dialogue with the youth is also a priority here. The Foundation closed last year a cooperation agreement with the entrepreneurial organization Cercle d’Action et de Reflexion autour de l’Entreprise (CARE). Its pleas in terms of market economy towards the government and ministers have a wide repercussion on the mass media. In this regard, the Foundation promotes, amongst others, activities related to labor law, decentralization or women’s roles, and also recently, climate change.

 

In the facilities of the alumni association

In the facilities of the alumni association

Kind words for Germany

In the last years, a dozen of Algerian leaders were invited by the Foundation to visit the Academy for Leadership in Gummersbach. Recently, Ronald Meinardus, regional office director, visited Algiers; in that occasion, the meeting to establish the Algerian alumni association was held in the facilities of the Foundation office in Algiers. Rüdiger Graichen, the project director, arrived from Rabat to attend the meeting. Even though participants come from different counterpart organizations, all of them have good impressions to tell from their stay in Germany. The alumni agreed upon a series of life-giving measures for their new network: besides maintaining the currently almost mandatory Facebook page, the Algerian alumni want to meet regularly in discussion rounds and seminars.

“The creation of this alumni group instills courage in a country where even small steps of communication, messaging and transparency, both internally and externally, can be troublesome,” says Graichen. And thereby, –as the project director continues– Algeria has the best conditions to provide new opportunities to its inhabitants: by opening the markets and strengthening the position of the country within the international dialogue.

This is where the alumni group wants to make its small contribution.

 

Website of the FNF project office in Algeria

14. März 2013