In order to give you an idea of how we see ourselves and how we intend to act as a non-profit association, you will find our overall concept, our principles, and our sphere of activity on the next few pages.
Under the motto “educational opportunities worldwide” Weitblick is represented in many German university cities. Correspondingly, the more just access to education is in the center of our work. Contributing to this goal, dedicated volunteers exert their knowledge, their talents, and their skills in social projects.
The city associations organize and support educational projects locally as well as internationally. These projects are funded by membership fees, fundraising, and donations. Weitblick is a non-profit-making association and is dependent on the ideas as well as the voluntary commitment of its members. Moreover, we aim at increasing the consciousness for social responsibility through the association’s work by raising the awareness of ourselves and of society for educational justice as well as global interrelations. We are connected through the idea of promoting educational opportunities globally and by the enjoyment of exercising projects jointly.
Our work is based upon three spheres of activity, namely promoting, exchanging, and educating, through which we intend to facilitate more just educational opportunities worldwide.
We support educational projects at home and abroad financially as well as ideally. The projects abroad are initiated and carried out by partner associations or individuals with profound knowledge of the respective place, for instance the construction of school buildings or the endowment of learning materials. However, education is not similarly accessible for everyone in Germany, either. Through our educational projects at home we want to facilitate this participation by promoting knowledge and competences in various areas of life. For that reason, we organize “godparenthoods” between members of Weitblick and pupils of socially underprivileged environments, for example.
Through our exchange programs we bring different opinions, backgrounds, and perspectives together. We are deeply convinced that a constant exchange between cultures, generations, and people of various backgrounds reduces prejudices and broadens one’s horizon. These encounters allow us to learn together and from each other. In this context we work with refugees and undertake an intercultural exchange with our partner projects abroad, for instance.
There are areas which are not sufficiently covered by the formal educational system consisting of school, occupational training, and university. We create and provide additional educational propositions, for example through lectures, discussions, workshops, and film presentations. Next to these external educational events, the continuing education of our own members is of great importance to us. In this regard, we have the opportunity to deal with topics which transcend our respective area of expertise and to raise the awareness of socially relevant topics within society.
In order to provide you with a foretaste of our portfolio of projects, we have selected exemplary projects of the various city associations and structured them in our model.
Who are we?
Based on our joint belief that a more just access to education is a basic requirement for a more just society, Weitblick conducts numerous projects and actions in the context of educationally relevant topics in Germany and abroad. This idea has constantly been being pursued and carried on, resulting in many independent, non-profit-making city associations in different places all over Germany, which have already constituted themselves. The individual city associations have banded together and have formed a federal association as well as an alumni club.
Our association acts independent from political and confessional influences. Everyone1 who is motivated to actively support social projects is welcome at Weitblick. Racism, sexism, and any kind of discrimination have absolutely no place with us.
What defines us?
Activity-orientation and self-reflection
Through our social commitment we intend to foster educational opportunities. In this context, we deliberate the chances of as well as the limits to our voluntary work. Moreover, we always make sure that the selection and execution of our projects can be successfully realized with the means and resources at hand and that these projects can ultimately be transferred into local, sustainable structures right there on the ground.
Regarding the projects abroad, we always work in close collaboration with local NGOs and partners that are well-acquainted with the circumstances at the spot so we can learn a lot from each other. Our partners are always significantly involved in the conception and execution of our projects. This way, we want to enable a purposeful and demand-oriented collaboration. This does not only benefit the acceptance of our projects in the eyes of the people on the ground but also guarantees that we focus on aspects which are of true importance to the people in the respective project regions. In this context, existing structures in the project regions shall be used and developed further in order to guarantee a long-term application and to avoid dependencies. Furthermore, we regard it as essential to constantly deliberate and reevaluate our collaborations critically with regard to power and global interrelations. We are aware of the difference in power which already prevails through our funding and the structural organization in general. We deliberate this difference in power as well as our attitude and the impact of our doing in workshops and debates as well as through the exchange with external experts.
Platform for good ideas and variety of projects
Weitblick ist eine Weitblick is a platform for good ideas. Here, members have the opportunity to initiate their own projects and to realize them together with the others. The proactivity and the creativity of our members define our work, enabling us to realize a great variety of ideas and actions. Flat hierarchies and flexible structures guarantee that fruitful ideas can be realized and that everyone can contribute their creativity.
Companionship and joy over voluntary work
We voluntarily commit ourselves to the social work, gratuitously and with conviction. This voluntary commitment provides us with delight, connects us, and results in a greater motivation of our members. Our impetus is to create space to discover the individual’s abilities, to undertake the exchange with others, and to educate ourselves further. In this context, the rationale of our projects is accompanied by fun and companionship. This way, numerous close friendships have already been formed at Weitblick.
What is our course of action?
The projects which Weitblick promotes in Germany are planned and executed independently by ourselves or in collaboration with other organizations. Abroad, we collaborate with local partners since they have a more profound knowledge of the circumstances on the ground and thus, are able to make purposeful decisions. Besides, our partner-NGOs have the capacities to carry the projects in the long term which allows them to guarantee a sustainable development. At our projects, financial facilitation, examination of the respective content, and personal exchange are connected. Every city association limits its number of projects to a reasonable degree. To the projects selected we maintain a personal attachment and undertake them passionately. With regard to public relations, we aim at conveying a differentiated as well as realistic image. With regard to our association’s work, we are always eager to create and maintain a course of action which has a high social and ecological level.
1 With everyone we mean people of any age, any nationality, and any religious belief, in any situation in life and especially People of Color, black people, LGBTIQ, as well as people with disabilities.
We are determined to offer a high standard of sustainability in our educational efforts and to guarantee a high quality of our commitment. The following principles work as an orientation in the context of the city associations’ strive to advance further in their development:
A basic prerequisite for our work is trust. In order to create the foundation for trust, the transparency of the handling of means is essential, which is why all the city associations publish their financial reports on the homepage. Moreover, we promote projects at which we have reliable local partners to which we maintain direct contact. Besides, we offer comprehensive reports about the developments of our projects and we value transparency of decision-making-processes as well as with regard to internal and external communication.
Closely connected to transparency is the principle of reliability. Reliability is a characteristic we owe our members, our donors, our partners, and the people in the areas of our projects. Because of this, we will only accept financial liabilities towards project partners if the funding is guaranteed. Our projects at home are designed to persist long-term and therefore depend on the reliable commitment of our members.
The projects we promote at home and abroad are intended to be of socially, ecologically, and economically sustainable character. Regarding our local work, we prefer undertaking projects which raise awareness for sustainability and we tell about this topic in the context of educational events.
Weitblick depends on the diversity of its members and projects. At Weitblick students of all academic fields as well as people who do not study are welcome to become members. We aim at counteracting structural discrimination and thus, we want to encourage people who have experienced exclusion, especially people with a migration background, black people, and People of Color, to become members of Weitblick. Weitblick is a learning organization which shall be constantly improved by both the input of its members as well as of external people. We want to learn from achievements and mistakes alike. This includes a frequent evaluation and a thorough modification of our overall concept of alterations in the association.
No freedom without education – this wisdom has been prevailing since Enlightenment at the latest. Back then as well as today the fact is: Without education women and men are not able to unfold their full potential. The lack of basic skills such as reading, writing, and calculating makes it impossible to execute a self-determined life and to actively participate in social processes within society. The individual freedoms of a woman and a man are therefore significantly limited. Thus, education is not merely a requirement for learning a trade but a basic human right.
Furthermore, education decisively contributes to the reduction of poverty and is – both on the individual and the social level – a central element for development. Education is not only the requirement for sustainable economic growth but it also facilitates social participation to a particularly eminent extent. Besides, education presents perspectives of the path of life ahead to teenagers and is therefore a central key in the fight against youth violence.
Because of its great importance for perspectives of kids and teenagers, on the one hand, and its eminent role for the development of a society, on the other hand, Weitblick advocates more just educational opportunities both in Germany and abroad. However, we are well aware that we are not able to deal with all the problems in the educational sector on our own. Yet, we hope that, through our work, we might contribute our own share that the unequal distribution of educational opportunities will be smaller in future than it is today.