DVV » Projects » Asia
Our Involvement in Asia
Most Asian countries have now recovered from the currency crisis of 1997/98, and some of them – notably India, Thailand and China – have seen a return to remarkable economic growth. However, this is resulting in serious environmental damage; unemployment remains very high, and a large proportion of the population are living in absolute poverty. Moreover, there are still wide economic and social gaps in some countries on the continent between the sexes, between those living in urban and rural areas, and between members of different castes and classes. Cuts in national budgets – another consequence of the economic crisis – still affect expenditure in the social sector particularly badly, and especially in education. Political unrest, religious conflicts and natural disasters further restrict development opportunities in the region.
Since 1997, in cooperation with partners in the Asia-Pacific region, dvv international has lent much of its support to model approaches to adult education (AE), especially for disadvantaged sections of the population, with the focus on strengthening self-help groups. Such groups have been formed in many areas to combat lack of knowledge, oppression, injustice, poverty and environmental destruction, to arrive at local definitions of development and participation, to share these with the public, and to put them into practice. The promotion of projects for women, and support for ethnic minorities, are also of high priority for partners.
Many organizations with which we work concentrate on training teachers and multipliers. The training is intended to enable them to respond to the needs of their target groups and to run effective and sustainable programmes in such fields as literacy, politics, ecology and vocational training. Together with our partners, we plan income-generating schemes, build up ways of representing people’s concerns, and develop information, teaching and learning materials for a wide range of target groups. Networks within the project countries have been used to launch examples of cooperation that have had an effect well beyond local requirements. Through our partner ASPBAE (Asian-South Pacific Bureau of Adult Education), a adult education network active throughout the entire Asian-South Pacific region, this cooperation can have an impact that extends far beyond national boundaries.
Despite many difficulties, the Asian non-governmental adult education organizations with which dvv international has been working for many years have become a social and political force in the region which should not be underestimated. Their influence has led to numerous beneficial developments.