DVV International has been working with partners in the Middle East since 2009. The regional office in Jordan was opened in 2010, the country office for Palestine in Ramallah in 2012. A branch in the Gaza Strip followed in 2013.
The Middle East faces major challenges. Conflicts which are sometimes violent not only bring unimaginable suffering to the people affected, but also repeatedly set back the development of the region. Even Jordan is being shaken by these developments – currently mainly by the influx of refugees from Syria. Another challenge is the struggle between modern and conservative forces and the new Islamic fundamentalism. Although all states in the region are democracies in formal terms, in practice autocratic structures prevail. The struggle for power and authority of interpretation doesn’t only take place in armed conflicts, in parliaments, television debates or mosques; the educational system is also the scene of this conflict. Here it is important to support the few institutions that have committed themselves to a democratically inspired participatory and participant-oriented education.
Ultimately, conflicts, poverty of resources and a lack of redistribution hamper economic development and cause high unemployment rates. Especially women and young adults under 25 are affected. Innovative ideas are needed in order to develop suitable business sectors and tailor-made training programmes that build on local interests and opportunities.
DVV International, together with its partners, has set itself the goal of supporting young people and young adults in unlocking their potential and engaging in economic, political and social life, thus making a contribution to peace and development.
DVV International’s work in the Middle East focuses on the development of innovative educational programmes, the qualification of adult education specialists, the establishment of adult education centres and the improvement of the political and legal framework for adult education. Relevant projects are being implemented in Jordan and Palestine. Another important area of work is networking and lobbying for lifelong learning. DVV International supports four networks with hundreds of member organisations from all over the Arab world.
In view of the refugee crisis in connection with the Syrian conflict, DVV International helps partners in Jordan with the integration of Syrian refugees through educational programmes.