"Citizen active - active citizens" was a professional and exchange program between U.S. and German activists to learn about and compare models of volunteerism and fundraising from both countries and to look for opportunities to test exemplary models from the U.S. over a period of several months.
The twelve participants each worked in the fields of political-historical education, community work and the promotion of disadvantaged children in schools.
CitActive" gave them the opportunity to look beyond their own professional horizons in a highly practice-oriented project. The encounter and networking with German and U.S. experts in similar fields of work provided impulses for their own methodological and content-related work.
In Germany and the USA, civic engagement and active commitment to the common good are located in two culturally and historically completely different structures. Whereas civic engagement has been part of social life in the U.S. since the very beginning, beyond state support, the welfare state in Germany may hinder private engagement (potential).
Sept. 2009: Study trip of the German participants to the USA, in order to get to know US-American models of commitment promotion and fundraising and to form binational working tandems.
Oct. 2009 to June 2010: Model adaptation of the U.S. methods learned for promoting volunteerism and acquiring funding in the specific areas of activity of the participating German organizations, with professional support from the U.S. tandem partner.
July 2010: Return visit of the U.S. participants to their respective partner organizations, combined with a study trip to selected sites and institutions in Germany Final conference under the previous working title: "Applicability of U.S. models of fundraising and volunteer engagement in Germany".
The current reference
"CitActive" is intended to stimulate a discussion on the social responsibility of each individual. Particularly in the context of the current economic crisis and its expected effects, the project faces a special challenge, as the need for civic engagement may increase and, at the same time, the demands on each organization to secure the continuity of its activities with innovative fundraising strategies will increase.
This is one of the opportunities offered by "Citizen active - active citizens": The project sponsor aims to establish a transatlantic network of the participating NGOs and organizations, each of which has to respond to similar problems in its own specific context. Together, the participants can develop possibilities for action in the area of civic engagement and fundraising through concrete exchange and test them over a period of several months.
Beyond the theoretical discourse on civil society and the increasing demand to appreciate and promote voluntary engagement more than in the past and the broad range of opportunities in Germany for further training on fundraising strategies, "Citizen active - active citizens" offers a strongly practice-oriented project with a trial phase accompanied over a period of several months. Strategies and approaches that are new in Germany can be learned and further developed, especially in areas that traditionally have difficulties raising funds.
Miteinander e.V. does not want its educational work to be purely cognitive, but rather to enable learning through testing and personal action. In this sense, emancipatory education means taking people seriously as subjects and enabling them to act independently. The project executing agency would like - as a classical function of education - to point out possibilities beyond one's own horizon and to stimulate to further develop one's own action.
The partners and sponsors
- Transatlantic Program funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (contractual partner is KfW)
- US Consulate General Leipzig
- Saxony-Anhalt Youth Welfare Office
Stephanie Franke & Lydia Probst
Tel.: (0391) 6207741
Fax: (0391) 6207740