Information and Educational Competence for the Socially Disadvantaged
It encompassed professional events and platforms (conferences, expert excursions, job shadowing) to promote dialogue between disseminators within South America who work in the fields of education as well as information and educational competence and facilitate professional dialogue with German experts (e.g. Stiftung Lesen, Institut für Spiel und Sprache, Bremer Leselust). At the same time, programmes were held to promote reading among the direct target group of socially disadvantaged young people.
Both in Germany and the countries of South America social library and information work with underprivileged children are becoming ever more important. They aim to give children and young people in the poorer urban districts on the periphery of South America’s big cities opportunities for advancement. In Germany, the aim is to support the integration of underprivileged children and young people, many of them with migration backgrounds.
Reading promotion and literacy are fundamental prerequisites for improving the lives of the socially disadvantaged. In South America, millions of people, children and young people in particular, live in very poor housing conditions in so-called favelas and have hardly any access to the knowledge and information infrastructures of civil society. There are also millions more who live in decent conditions, but are unable to take part in the globalized knowledge and information society due to their origins. The Goethe-Instituts in South America address all of these groups with their project.
One of the project’s missions is to awaken and support the communicative and expressive possibilities of children and young people through reading promotion. Other goals are to strengthen social library and information work, to set up and expand a network with the partners and their initiatives in the host countries, to bring together the various stakeholders and to network them for the long term amongst themselves and beyond the borders of South America. Reading promotion and the promotion of educational and information competence is usually the job of government institutions in most of the countries of South America. They are, however, still in their initial stages and work in isolation. In the experience of the information and library work of the Goethe-Instituts in South America they can be helped to more professionalism and permanence through knowledge transfer and expert dialogue (within South America and with Germany). The Goethe-Instituts in South America offer their support here in the scope of their information and library work with their network structures in the area of “Information and Libraries,” with information transfer from Germany and through cooperation with partner institutions and initiatives in South America.
At the invitation of the Goethe-Instituts in the region of South America again in 2011 a number of events (lectures, workshops, etc.) were organized with the Stiftung Lesen in Mainz, the Institut für Spiel und Sprache in Aachen and German writers of books for children and young people in the respective host countries together with partner institutions. Innovative projects such as “Pinselfisch” and music therapy approaches in the field of reading promotion were presented to disseminators – socially committed people. In August 2011 the project Information and Educational Competence for the Socially Disadvantaged was presented at the International Federation of Library Associations – IFLA in Puerto Rico.