Esther Hirsch

Deputy Director of DVV International (Germany)

Nominated by: DVV

I am Deputy Director of DVV International, the Institute for International Cooperation of the Deutscher Volkshochschul-Verband e.V. (DVV), the German Adult Education Association. I have been working in Africa in the field of education for 15 years, 6 of these as Regional Director for DVV International.

As deputy director of DVV International I am responsible for the strategic orientation, management, fundraising and day-to-day operations of our international work, all the while being actively involved in the field of adult education activities in Germany as well as on an international level. I am as well member of the editorial board of the periodical “Adult Education and Development” a specialist publication on adult education and development in the world.

DVV International is the leading professional organisation in the field of adult education and development cooperation and has committed itself to supporting sustainable structures for Youth and Adult Education. We work with more than 200 partners in over 30 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America and are actively involved in lobby and advocacy activities for adult education worldwide.

DVV is the educational and political representation of the approximately 920 Adult Education centres (Volkshochschulen) and their state associations, the largest further education providers in Germany. DVV supports cooperation and experience exchange among members, develops policies and guidelines, and promotes the quality of Adult Education work.

How do you want to contribute to the work of EAEA, based on your experience in your organisation?

Working for DVV International my expertise is in the field of adult education and development. Being part of the German Adult Education Association (DVV) I am as well closely connected to the German Adult Education system

I have been working in the EAEA board since 2015 and my focus is adult education and development, international relations as well as the framework of adult education. This includes the cooperation with Central and Eastern Europe, within and beyond the borders of the EU, the collaboration with national, regional and global networks in the field of adult education in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe, the linkage between European and international discussion on adult education, the challenges of adult education namely in the field of development projects and cooperation plus the aspects of adult education in the context of the international frameworks like the sustainable development goals.

DVV and DVV International have extensive expertise in the thematic areas of literacy and basic education, vocational training, global and intercultural learning, environmental education and sustainable development, migration and integration, refugee work, health education, conflict prevention and democracy education. I would like to make this additional knowledge available to the work of EAEA.

What are your motivations as a board member?

I would like to place the expertise and network of DVV on the German, European and international level at the disposal of EAEA. Representatives of DVV have been members of the EAEA Board for many years. I am convinced the strengths and experiences of EAEA and DVV complement one another. It has always been a very fruitful and inspiring collaboration for DVV as well as for EAEA.

Being a board member of EAEA I will continue the active support of the work of EAEA, support important topics of EAEA in Germany and reinforce the cooperation of EAEA with Central and Eastern Europe, within and beyond the borders of the EU.

For me personally it is the opportunity to place my work in a wider context and reinforce the exchange of information and expertise on adult education and development throughout Europe and worldwide.