The Hamburger Volkshochschule is the largest public adult education organisation in Hamburg, catering to 90000 participants each year, with a range of courses from language (German as the largest), culture, politics (e.g. development issues, migration, democracy, participation) health, ICT, professional courses of all kinds. Furthermore, the Hamburger Volkshochschule is and has been engaged in a variety of projects, from locally operating to international (since 1995). We are well connected with a large number of cooperating partners in Hamburg and in Germany, from companies, labour unions, chambers and others, and we are a member of the German Adult Education Association (DVV). Mostly in projects, our target groups are among the disadvantaged parts of the population, e.g. migrants, women, young adults without a secondary education or/and without job. We provide courses to close the knowledge gaps (often in innovative ways), to work towards democracy and equality and inclusion. The projects catering to the needs of migrants have been our main focus during the previous five years. The mission of Hamburger Volkshochschule is to provide “Education for all”, and work towards the coherence of society.
Young students learn what it means to live in a country that is deprived of development opportunities and what this has to do with their own behavior as a consumer, a user of goods and services. They experience ways how they can change their own attitude and make a change. To make their experience complete, they visit refugees’ camps and explore the living conditions of their peer groups. They find out what these young people left behind and what they have in common Through artistic means and exploration, hands-on experience and discussion with others young people can question their own behavior and “knowledge” in a non- threatening way and find alternatives in their every day lives.