Heribert Hinzen, Gaby Kleinen-Rätz, Uwe Gartenschlaeger


While we are preparing this commemorative book on forty years of the Institute, we are at the same time working towards three major events that are very important for us during the year of 2009: Firstly, we fully support the process of the UNESCO World Conferences on Adult Education towards CONFINTEA VI in May in Belém, Brazil, and we are very fortunate that we can finance a large group of colleagues of our partners coming from all continents, and in addition a good delegation from DVV International. Alongside there is in Belem the Civil Society Forum by the Inter national Council of Adult Education (ICAE), again supported by DVV International, where many of our partners will be sharing concerns against the background of the current financial and economic crisis, and discuss issues around our adult education profession in the process of poverty reduction and development.

Secondly, we shall have the General Assembly of DVV in June in Leipzig, Ger many, and we felt that is was a great opportunity to concentrate the content of the professional part of the meeting on European and international cooperation and ask the key question: How do all these deliberations and declarations coming from regional and global events relate to the work of youth and adult education on the lo cal level, and how can we improve our European and international cooperation.

And thirdly, we saw the need that after the last conference on “The right to education in the context of migration and integration” to prepare for the next round of our Bonn Conferences on Adult Education and Development (BoCAED) by concentrat ing this time on “Financing Adult Education for Development”, together with the celebration of forty years of our Institute, both in June this year.

It is a challenge that all of these interventions coincide with a dynamic process of organisational development within the Institute itself. We have to accommodate a certain growth in the overall budget, the increase in the number of staff, and in the network of offices. However, at the same time there are new requirements on the planning, monitoring and evaluation procedures, the adjustments that follow the diversification of funding arrangements, and the building of teams within a strategy to regionalize our work further. We are fortunate that all of these changes in the management of our internal and external cooperation can be implemented within this period of relative strength and excellent recognition within the Association and from our strategic partners.

The leadership of the Institute has been for a long time now a joint effort of always three people sharing the key management roles as a director, a deputy and the head of administration, as enshrined in the statutes of the Institute. There has been considerable continuity in these leadership functions during the past more that thirty years, between Jakob Horn and Heribert Hinzen as directors, Wolfgang Leumer, Michael Samlowski and Uwe Gartenschlaeger as deputies, and Sigrid Elflein with Gaby Kleinen-Raetz heading the administration. It is our conviction that this continuity, trust, and collaborative spirit carry a good deal of the support that the Institute has been receiving and thus growing in strength. We shall do everything that it continues this way.

We are grateful to the support we receive from the different levels of DVV – its General Assembly, the Members Council, the Board of Management, the Commit tee on Organisation and Financing, and the many Volkshochschulen as the local centres of the Association. We are thankful to all the funding organisations that make our work possible, first and foremost the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). We appreciate the strong cooperation with all our part ners in projects and networks, and the great opportunity to share experiences and learn from them. And last but not least, we know that it is because of the highly professional, motivated and experienced staff in our offices in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe, and in headquarters that we are able to come closer to what we aim for – to contribute to a more just world, with less poverty and exclusion via youth and adult education within lifelong learning.