Systemic change for a better world

Our global commitment extends across five thematic funding areas

Contemporary learning no longer takes place in conventional classrooms. In the global South, the promise which equals obtaining a school or college degree with obtaining a secure job holds no longer true, if it ever has. In order to build better lives for themselves, young people need practical know-how, locally applicable knowledge, critical thinking skills, creative abilities and an entrepreneurial spirit. That is why we support innovative local learning initiatives that enable learners to acquire relevant skills in a variety of ways. At the same time, learners are supported in developing their personalities and realizing their full potential. Cooperation and community-building, solving local problems and developing new business ideas for a more sustainable world are often at the forefront here.

Humans, nature and animals should be able to develop and flourish together in an intact ecosystem. In order to effectively address some of the most pressing and interlocking problems of our time – poverty & inequality, climate change, species extinction, the loss of vital biodiversity – we need innovative approaches for a fair coexistence. This is achieved by creating sustainable livelihoods for local populations, preserving or expanding natural resources, and protecting nature and wildlife. Through our promotion of interlinked, holistic measures that combine these aspects, disadvantaged people can tap into new life opportunities right where they live. At the same time, as local changemakers, they contribute to making the world a more livable place for all of us.

Everyone has the right to live a self-determined life. In order for us to continuously develop and grow, seize opportunities and improve our lives, certain preconditions are required: Freedom, peace, human dignity and easy access to various resources. Through no fault of their own, many people living in poverty find themselves in circumstances that deny them these prerequisites. Modern slavery, human trafficking and exploitation have increased significantly over the past years. Global conflicts and crises are also on the rise due to social inequalities, climate change and dwindling natural resources. In addition, vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, for example refugees, women living in patriarchal structures or people with disabilities, often receive insufficient support in order to take life into their own hands. Therefore, we support initiatives that free people from poverty & exploitation, implement dialogue-promoting & inclusive measures and create the foundations for new life opportunities.

The economy should be in service of life – not the other way around. We often think that our economic system is something “given,” “fixed,” that we cannot change. But over the last few years in particular, many alternatives to the status quo have already developed. These can be summarized under “wellbeing economies”. Instead of pushing for ever higher profits and ever more economic growth as an end in itself, wellbeing economies focus on our human and planetary needs and thus contribute to the development of a sustainable world. That is why we support, among other initiatives, social businesses from the global South that solve social and/or ecological problems and lift people out of poverty.

Thinking and acting responsibly and holistically means making our contribution to a fairer world in Germany as well. Only then can real, systemic change succeed so we can all together shape a more sustainable world. Poverty & inequality, the destruction of nature and the collapse of biodiversity are increasing not only globally, but also in Germany. To address these pressing issues, we need concrete and holistic solutions that include all population groups. This includes, for example, creating contemporary educational opportunities that make youth fit for the challenges of our time, an inclusive economy that focuses on human beings and the planet, and strengthening independent media outlets that nurture diverse perspectives.

Together, our five thematic funding areas enable systemic change at different levels. For us, this means working with carefully selected initiatives that improve people’s lives not just in the short term, but bring about lasting and tangible change. They do this by replacing existing global systems (for example, Western-style schooling or economic models that rely mainly on cheap labor in the global South), which often lead to greater dependencies and inequalities, with locally relevant models and structures.

We focus our efforts on promoting innovative solutions from the global South which enable people to build new life opportunities right where they live, according to their own needs and interests. The sustainable use of natural resources, the compatibility of human activities with the protection of nature and animals, and the long-term development of autonomous structures also play a critical role for us.

In addition, we support selected projects in Germany that promote responsible and sustainable action in a globally interconnected world.