Conference 14th of March

Empowerment through Education

Taking control of your life

At a top-class kick-off conference with over 100 participants from all over Germany in the House of Science, the nationwide launch of the Empowerment College took place on Wednesday the 14th of March 2018.

After the conference had been opened by Health Senator Professor Dr. Quandte Brand three lectures followed. The first lecture “Empowerment College A new educational offer: trialogish, experience based, co-productive” was held by Monika Möhlenkamp und Jörn Petersen who are the management of F.O.K.U.S. and actively involved in the project. Their lecture introduced the listeners to the project and the conception of the empowerment college.

Julie Repper held the second lecture Recovery Colleges – a big step to recovery and inclusion” in English. She is one of the foundries of the first Recovery College in the UK and assists with her specialist knowledge and extensive experience the establishment of the Recovery Colleges worldwide. The lecture was translated into German.

The last lecture “Empowerment through education From EX-IN to the Empowerment College was held by Jörg Utschakowski, health ministry of the country Bremen, and Ingrid Hollman who works as an Expert by Experience on the Empowerment College project.

Already in the mid-morning and lunch break the informal discussions showed that those who were present have a great interest in the project. Many wanted to know whether they can join the project or were interested in establishing the Empowerment College in their own town.

The workshops in the afternoon offered the participants an opportunity to extend their knowledge on one of the following four themes:

During the second half of the afternoon a panel with five guests first answered the following questions from the moderators:

    • What do you personally associate with education?
    • An short impression of the workshop one had lead (as part of a tandem or alone)
    • How do you experience learned helplessness in your field of activity?
    • How can education help to remedy this?

After these four questions the audience had the opportunity to ask questions as well.

A short reflection by the hosts, the Empowerment College team from F.O.K.U.S., followed with brief comments from a few people in the auditorium rounded of the day.

Some of the comments (translated from German) participants left at the end of the conference:
“Nice that today I was encouraged and strengthened by word contributions to stay the whole day“
“Very enriching & interesting for someone who has no previous experience!”
“Chaka, what a nice day + empowerment for me! Thank you”
“Finally something happens!”
“I take motivation to continue to spread the idea of recovery”
“EC = resources power :-)”
“I want to participate”
“Appreciating creative exchange”
“A door for people opens”
“Thanks … and keep it up!”
“Education & Knowledge (Empowerment) is important to EVERYONE regardless of the context in which he or she lives”
“Many new impressions and suggestions and lots of power! Thank you”
“Very informativ, lots of information, helpful suggestions and encouragement. Much material for the future!”
“We all belong together – learning from each other connects us!”
“Very informative. Wish a lot of perseverance and further penetration into education (professional) and politics (financing)”

All Photographs by Kristin Blank