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Annual AGEH-Fachkraefte meeting hosted in KwaZulu-Natal

Bernd and Almut Schulteiss, AGEH seconded consultants based in PACSA, hosted the annual AGEH-Fachkraefte in Amanzimtoti, near Durban, in April 2015. AGEH (http://www.ageh.de/english/start-page.html) is the German Catholic agency for international cooperation; and they provide personnel with specific expertise for development cooperation projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America or Central or Eastern Europe. Once a year the AGEH seconded personnel in Southern Africa meets for a few days to discuss common issues and re-connect.

This year the focus was on South Africa’s diversity and the levels of economic inequality. The group was taken on a tour of Durban – to some of the richest and poorest communities – to sense the ‘two worlds’ that constitute the South African reality. We saw the extremes between rich and poor; cultural diversity; different lifestyles in township and suburb. The group was also taken on a visit to Mdukatshani, a NGO in a very remote rural area of Weenen/Msinga. The colleagues got a glimpse of the melting pot that South Africa is. In between the outings we had a workshop discussing AGEH issues and learning some new tools too.

On the final day of the gathering Mervyn Abrahams (PACSA Director) joined the group and shared on PACSA’s history of social justice engagement and its understanding of social change. This led to a very interesting discussion on organisational change processes and when and under what conditions social change takes place.