In the first week of March 2020, a Partner Matching Conference took place in Johannesburg. Thirty organisations from Germany and South Africa came together to network and to discuss different possibilities of an international partnership with the aim to implement youth exchange programmes together in the future.
The conference was organised in cooperation with WESSA, AGYI implementation partner in South Africa, with the Federal Association for Cultural Learning, Children and Youth Education (BKJ), with the German Sport Youth (dsj), Engagement Global and with the German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ). In the organisational phase of the conference, WESSA selected 15 organisations from South Africa to participate in the conference. The BKJ and the dsj selected their 15 German counterparts. The potential partners were brought together on the basis of their areas of focus in order to support a successful and long-term partnership initiation.
During the week, the partners took part in workshops designed to promote the development of partnerships. In particular, various options for providing the partners' own contribution of 25% of project funding were discussed. Through the presence of Engagement Global, participants had the opportunity to ask questions about the different exchange formats of Engagement Global. In addition, the partners took the time together to think of complementary exchange formats that would meet their mutual needs.
The Partner Matching Conferences are the first of their kind, as they offer organisations of international youth work the chance to meet personally and to jointly develop a plan for the engagement of their youth. This plan should benefit all participants equally in their respective geographical contexts. The conferences also provide a framework for organisations to visit their partner during the conference in order to experience and better understand their context. The conferences have so far been held in Tanzania and Benin.