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Applied Social Sciences

A coloring book for Mahatma Gandhi's granddaughter


Dr. Maud Mthembu (left) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and social scientist Prof. Dr. Michael Boecker from Fachhochschule Dortmund hand over the corona coloring book to Ela Gandhi (right).

The intensive exchange between Fachhochschule Dortmund and several universities in South Africa can be continued. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Federal Ministry for Business Studies and Cooperation (BMZ) are supporting the cooperation for a further four years with around 400,000 euros.

"Our focus is on the effects of global transformation and the consequences for those involved in social work," explains Prof. Dr. Michael Boecker, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Applied Social Studies at Fachhochschule Dortmund. He has been working on building a network with universities and non-governmental organizations in South Africa since 2019. During the coronavirus pandemic, he and the University of KwaZulu-Natal published a coloring book for children in their native language, isiZulu, to explain hygiene measures in a playful way. An English-language version of the book is now also available in Ghana. The South African peace activist Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, has also recently shown interest in the project.

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New edition of the Fachhochschule Dortmund's Corona coloring book

Research conference in Johannesburg

"In the coming years, we want to focus even more on scientific exchange," says Prof. Boecker. To this end, a research conference is scheduled for this year in Johannesburg, in which doctoral and Master's students from Fachhochschule Dortmund and the network universities will participate. In addition to the University of KwaZulu-Natal, these now also include the University of Johannesburg and Midland State University based in Zimbabwe. "We were able to integrate another country from the Global South into the research network as part of the project's continuation," says Prof. Boecker happily.

Central topics of the research conference include the distribution of poverty and wealth and the consequences for societies, the influence of colonial rule on the countries of the global South, as well as racism and discrimination as challenges for social work. "Encounters and academic discussions are the basis for understanding and knowledge," says Prof. Boecker. "We want to sensitize the next generation of researchers and social workers in the global North and South to each other."

In addition to the science conference, the plan is to spend several months abroad and conducting research as well as workshops with non-governmental organizations. The universities are also to be digitally networked with a knowledge and transfer platform. "This will create the basis for future strategic cooperation," explains Prof. Boecker.

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Fachhochschule Dortmund supports film project in South Africa

Notes and references

Photo credits

  • Fachhochschule Dortmund

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