Solar e.V. – Germany

Since 2011 the non-profit association Solar e.V. gained experiences in the implementation of local and transnational projects in the field of political education. Methods and pedagogical approaches of non-formal education are our tools to work on our main topics as migration, flights & human rights, post-colonialism and (history of) global uneven distribution of resources, cultures of remembrance related to the East-West conflict in Europe and climate warming, nutrition, consumption and sustainability. Approaches of non-formal education which are used in the political education process include anti-bias, critical-whiteness, biographical work, intersectional approaches, group dynamics, guided city tours, creative techniques, simulation- and role-plays and theatre educational methods (theatre of the oppressed/forum theatre).

In the association Solar e.V. are working five paid staff members (educators, sociologists and political scientists), who get supported by several project-related freelancer and part-time volunteers. The whole team comprises around fifteen persons. Part of the self-conception from Solar e.V. is to work on basis of cooperation in a non-hierarchical way, in which decisions are taken by using consensus, people are working together on eye-level with equal salary and working hours. Sharing privileges is not just a goal of the educational work, but also put in practice within our organization and networks. That means Solar e.V. includes trainers and facilitators with different perspectives and power positions in society who are affected by various forms of discrimination.

The goals of the political education are:

  • Sensitize and raising awareness for the own (de-)privileged position in societies
  • Changing behaviour in the sense of empowering people who are negatively affected by diverse forms of discrimination and foster processes of sharing privileges
  • Share knowledge to analyze and understand current political, social, economic and ecological conditions and their historical development
  • Raise & strengthen empathy for the living conditions of migrants, refugees and other people with fewer opportunities
  • Reflect how the own lifestyle contributes to living conditions in other parts of the world
  • Increase acceptance and tolerance towards different values, life plans and lifestyles (strengthen pluralistic civil societies)
  • Develop opportunities & strategies to get engaged in actions to fight discrimination, strengthen democratic values and to change the own consumer behaviour in a sustainable way

Cooperation and networks:
The office and guest house, which is used by Solar e.V. to do educational work, are located in the Cultural and Educational Centre KuBiZ in Berlin-Weißensee. As a commonplace of diverse organisations as art workshops, a youth club, artists and performer groups and organizations who are working in the field of youth and adult education as Schoolclash from the Netherlands and Trixiewiz, a migrant self-organization doing empowerment workshops for migrants and refugees, Solar e.V. has a huge network of partners on-site. Furthermore, Solar e.V. cooperates on a European level with organizations from the Netherlands, Romania, Italy, Finland, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, Portugal, Lithuania, Serbia, France, Bulgaria, Austria and Denmark.