10.04.2015: East-East Learning: promoting communication, co-operation, and solidarity

Learning from each other and encounter are integral parts of the self-image of the International Kolping Society.

The experiences from comparable country contexts are important, in order to avoid a constant “re-invention of the wheel”.  Such encounters complement the classic partnerships between Diocesan Kolping Societies in Western Europe, who have a long tradition, and National Kolping Societies with a shorter history.  KOLPING INTERNATIONAL therefore initiated an encounter of Poles and Serbs in Krakow in March this year.  The exposure and dialogue program offered many opportunities for collegial consultation. 

The guests from Serbia used their stay to gain insight into the many-facetted Kolping practices in Poland and to reflect on their own approaches.  The group consisted of Anna Lediel, the President of Kolping Serbia, and Brgita Keri, the President of the Kolping Family Sajan, along with two full-time staff members from the Head Office, who are responsible for the implementation of the BMZ project. 

The Poles, themselves recipients of development aid funds from the German Government until 2004, inspired the four representatives from Serbia with reports about daily routine of fund-raising and many other successful activities within Kolping Poland.  In closing, everyone agreed that the development of East-East bridges is an important contribution to the future of the Kolping Societies in Central and Eastern Europe.