From 27 to 29 August 2018, the AGYI's second Thematic Forum on Global Learning took place in Johannesburg, South Africa. The forum entitled: "Partnerships for Youth Exchange and Global Learning in the Framework of Education for Sustainable Development" is organised as a loose series once a year in a pilot country of the AGYI. The South African partner organisation WESSA was responsible for organising the event this year. In addition to alumni of various exchange projects, supporting organisations and representatives of government agencies, local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) also took part in the meeting. Germany was represented by the two NGOs Bridge-it e.V. and Germanwatch e.V., which, among other things, gave impulses on the topic of "Successful lobbying". The approximately 60 participants took the opportunity to discuss new perspectives in the field of Education for Sustainable Development on the basis of concrete project examples.
Jim Taylor, former Director of Environmental Education at WESSA, presented a new idea for determining water quality that was developed as a Citizen Science project. Citizen Science means that citizens are involved in research and development of new technologies. The Mini Stream Assessment Scoring System (MiniSASS for short) is very easy to use to measure water quality in rivers. The MiniSASS can be used everywhere in the world in the same way, even by groups of children. The degree of pollution of watercourses is determined by counting microorganisms in the water samples. A high number of organisms indicates a very good water quality.
Water as a scarce resource was also the focus of a contribution from Namibia. In a small self-built village on the edge of the desert, school classes can live for several days and learn how to manage with a few litres of water a day, use solar energy and avoid rubbish. Panduleni Haindongo from the Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust (NaDEET) wants to encourage children to lead environmentally conscious lives in a practical way.
Manafuthi Sibiya from the South African initiative X-Factored Youth has set herself the goal of combining international partnerships with local projects in her home town of iNanda. For Sibiya, the focus is on promoting the skills and goals of the iNanda youth with projects in the fields of art and culture. The small community of iNanda near Durban will soon be able to benefit from Durban's long-standing twinning with Bremen: this will soon pave the way for an exchange of volunteers based on the city partnership.
The three alumni Walusungu Ngulube, Nolita January and Itumeleng Mpure gave a personal insight into their time as participants in various international volunteer programmes. Despite different expectations, areas of work and experiences, the three young women agreed that youth exchange is not a luxury, but a necessity.