DVV International celebrated its 50th anniversary in Weimar on 7 May with a ceremony featuring Federal Development Minister Dr Gerd Müller as the keynote speaker. The celebrations formed part of an international conference on the role of adult education in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
What saw the light of day 50 years ago as a small specialist department of the German Adult Education Association (DVV) is today the leading specialist organisation for adult education and development cooperation. DVV International, the Institute for International Cooperation of the DVV, works with partners in more than 30 countries and supports the development of sustainable youth and adult education structures worldwide.
The ceremony in Weimar was attended by approximately 250 guests coming from Germany and abroad. In his keynote speech, Dr Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, paid tribute to the Institute’s decades of successful commitment, and emphasised the considerable significance attaching to adult education for development: “Lifelong education forms the basis for reason, tolerance, equality, conflict prevention, peace at home and between peoples. The world needs nothing more than education.”
David Atchoarena, Director of UNESCO’s Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), congratulated the Institute: “DVV International is an influential player in the international adult education community. UNESCO is looking forward to continuing its cooperation with DVV International, especially in this crucial phase of Agenda 2030. We wish DVV International all the best for the next 50 years too.”
The “Rita-Süssmuth-Award for the international Volkshochschule” was also awarded for the first time during the ceremony, under the auspices of the German Association of Cities and Towns. Honorary DVV President Prof. Dr Rita Süssmuth acknowledged the adult education centres (Volkshochschulen) in Bonn, Hanover and Ulm with the award that is named after her for an international orientation of educational work at local level.
The anniversary celebrations took place as part of the international adult education conference that DVV International organises every two years (7/8 May). Guests from 30 partner countries, including government representatives, discussed the crucial role of adult education in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Only if adults too receive adequate education will it be possible to implement the Agenda 2030”, said Christoph Jost, Director of DVV International. “We need adult education for all people worldwide in order to be able to successfully walk the path to a globally just and peaceful society.”
At the conference, Bosnia and Herzegovina was represented by Ms Prof.Dr Mirjana Mavrak, professor from the Faculty of Philosophy of University of Sarajevo, Mr Emir Avdagić, PhD, director of DVV International - Country Office Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Ms Amra Begić, from the Memorial Center Srebrenica-Potočari who was one of the speakers of the workshop “Adult learning and education - pathways to peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG 16)”.
DVV International began its work in Bosnia and Herzegovina in June 2000.