bridge-it! builds bridges between young people or projects by young people in Germany who strive for a more sustainable, equitable and inclusive development. In doing so, we wish to support the engagement of young people in development policies and foster their critical reflection.
The motto: „Acting together rather than aiding – solidarity, not charity.“
To this end, bridge-it! organises various educational events where committed young people from all over Germany can come together, learn from each other as well as with trainers, and cultivate their passion for engagement.
What would the future be without the present? What will become of our future if we do not start now to shape the world as we imagine it?
The engagement of young people around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), notably within South-North partnerships and student companies, can help raise awareness of global issues and build bridges across continents – provided the partnership is extensively reflected upon and not merely based on travelling. bridge-it! wishes to support young people’s zest for action as well as foster reflection and has three pillars for doing so:
„Partnerships For Future“ – The bridge-it! One World-Award for partnership projects appraises outstanding projects and puts them in the spotlight.
The Change Agents Conference (CAT) connects project groups in Germany and gives them the opportunity to inspire each other with their ideas, experiences and solutions.
The Campaign Camp for Young Activists (KajA) – aims to provide members of project and action groups –i.e. young activists- with new skills and a network to make their projects even more successful, inclusive and impactful.
Of paramount importance at bridge-it! is to make it possible for young people to learn from and with each other and critically reflect on their own deeds in their everyday (project) life.
bridge-it! wishes to contribute to heightening the commitment of young people from pastime into a general attitude.
Why we are doing this?
It is our assessment that among many young people (and adults) in the global North there is too little appreciation of development policy frameworks, post-colonial behaviour patterns and their very own racisms. While they may possess basic knowledge of these issues, it is often not linked to their own decisions on how to act in everyday life. In our view, this is partly due to the fact that they are not themselves directly affected by these issues as individuals. In many instances, actions originate in a protected, comfortable environment, so that the interactions are underpinned by a one-sided perspective that addresses the realities „over there“. The ability to switch perspectives is underdeveloped in many young people (and adults).
We think that the involvement of a person in a partnership project with the Global South can change this. Provided these projects are characterized by reciprocal, thorough interactions, where both sides want to learn from each other and strive for parity. What is decisive is the willingness of those involved to reflect on themselves and their project work through a lens that is critical of racism and colonialism. When this willingness exists and is nurtured by reflection, the engagement of young people can truly change the world.
This is precisely where we want to act, to stimulate this willingness and thus give the reflection an additional impetus. It is important to us in all our offerings that reflection does not come with the index finger, but rather thrives from the group itself through playful learning.
Young activists bring about the enthusiasm and fresh wind that society needs. We think the commitment of young people is terrific and want to actively support their shaping skills and ability to shift perspectives.
bridge-it! e.V. is a non-profit organization and an accredited provider of independent youth assistance. bridge-it! e.V. is supported by ara e.V, AfrivAvenir International, the United Nations Association of Germany (DGVN), the German Federal Service for Development Initiatives and School Exchange Programmes (ENSA), the programme „Education Meets Development“ at the Information Center for Development Education (EPIZ) and Kindernothilfe. bridge-it! e.V. has been/is supported by ENGAGEMENT GLOBAL on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Foundation North-South Bridges through BMZ funds and budget funds of the State of Berlin – State Agency for Development Cooperation, Bread for the World / Evangelical Agency for Social Welfare Work and Development, the Catholic Fund, the Foundation Environment and Development in North Rhine-Westphalia, the North German Foundation Environment and Development in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Bingo! – The Environmental Lottery in Schleswig-Holstein.