Women's consultation on the island of Spiekeroog 2012
Every four years, the women's advisory council of the Bremen Mission organizes a consultation. This year, the topic was called "Change of climate - options of acting in a past hope fight?" There was a three national round out of Togolese, Ghanaians and Germans. The most important days took place between the 15th and 18th of June in the "Jugendhof" on the island of Spiekeroog. In the week before and afterwards, the Togolese and Ghanaians were guests in a German member church of the Bremen Mission. The topics were "Renewable resources", protection of nature and waters, organic farming, protection of floods, rubbish, fair trade, traffic and education towards environment in the communities of the host country and the respective partner churches of Bremen Mission.
Spiekeroog or when the government of the United States regulates the number of TVs and Cars per household
After a crossing, which was just a little stormy and cool, the 23 participants of the consultation reached their target, the "green island". Amongst them were Marie Halbach (buying future) and Marion Rolle (Verband Entwicklungspolitik Niedersachsen), two competent speakers, who influenced the consultation considerably. So, for example, fictive biographies and texts, as well as drawings were created when they discussed about the exhibition "Strengthening women. Changing the climate". Also the mandalas made from items found on the beach were impressing, and also the prayers around those mandalas, when a thunderstorm arrived.
Many participants called the role play "International conference of climate" a highlight. Its specialty was the dispensation of the participating countries. Africans took the positions of the "great" economically leading countries (USA, China and Germany), while the Germans participants took the roles of Ethiopians or Bangladeshis. Happily and joyfully, the buttons of power were pressed and astonishing demands were placed, for example the one for strict regulation of TVs and cars in the USA to reduce the ejection of CO2. Also the decision of the German government is mentionable: To receive all refugees of climate from Bangladesh and sending them back home after an adequate training to reconstruct their country. The fast running time put a (bad) end to all efforts. As in real life, there were open problems, opposite interests and too short efforts of solutions before the participants. The call "Just destroy their monopoles" which was brought in by some members of an NGO, did not die away completely unheard.
The impressions of the role play were rendered more precisely by the speakers from Ghana and Togo. They distinctly mentioned that the change of climate in both country is biter reality, for a long time, already. Floods, changes of seed and harvest rhythms, drought, shortage of food up to local starvation challenge the parishes of the partner churches in new ways, challenges, we have to take as well, as partner churches and Bremen Mission.
The agreement of objectives, decided by the participants, shall be a first step. The text shall be sent to all partner churches as work basis. The delegates of the women's advisory council see their task in continuously working on the topic, remaining awake and solidly, and to plan concrete projects.
It is good, that during the prayers and the Lord's meal that took place to finish the program, trust for a restart could grow, again and again. Good, that there was the knowing of the promise: "God is with us, in spite of everything".