The work of awareness-raising and development education, particularly at the national level, also forms part of the challenge of poverty eradication. The aim of these activities is to raise public awareness in Luxembourg of the various themes that relate to the sustainable development of countries and relations between countries, including fair international trade. They also aim to ensure that from an early age the public acquires the knowledge and skills needed to understand and engage in critical thinking about the causes and consequences of poverty, and takes an active role in the development of fairer and more inclusive societies.
Projects and programmes are guided by the expertise of NGOs, acquired through experience in the field, as well as by the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, to account for the complexity of the challenges of our society in its social, ecological and economic dimensions. These include human rights, gender equality, food sovereignty, the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, production chains, etc.
National NGOs play an essential role in the implementation of awareness-raising and development education activities in Luxembourg. In 2019, for example, the Directorate co-financed 13 annual projects and 14 three-year framework agreements with a total budget of EUR 2.3 million.
In order to promote increased citizen involvement, Luxembourg’s Development Cooperation also promotes joint initiatives and campaigns between NGOs on specific development themes as well as on sustainable development in general. Within this framework, the MFA allocated an amount of EUR 535,225 (100% co-financing rate) to two implementing mandates in the field of awareness-raising and development education: the Third World Information Centre (CITIM) and the ‘Rethink your clothes’ campaign.
The MFA has continued to provide financing under CITIM’s mandate to Action Solidarité Tiers Monde (ASTM), which has since 1982 been providing specialised documentation and education on the countries of the South, North-South relations and human development. This documentation is made available to the general public in the form of a library. Since 1 January 2015, the Ministry has provided 100% of the funding for CITIM. In addition, the joint mandate of Fairtrade Lëtzebuerg a.s.b.l. and the Fondation Caritas Luxembourg for the joint implementation of a campaign to raise public awareness of the challenges of the textile industry continued, and included numerous actions to raise public awareness. The ‘Rethink your clothes’ campaign was officially launched in the first quarter of 2018 and gained traction through various interventions and events.
In the area of national awareness-raising and development education policies, the MFA participated in the meetings of the Interdepartmental Committee on Education in Sustainable Development (CIEDD) under the leadership of the ministry responsible for sustainable development and the ministry responsible for state education on the basis of an alternating presidency, with a view to defining guidelines for integrating education about sustainable development into all levels of the Luxembourg education system. The CIEDD coordinates these efforts with key institutional stakeholders and civil society actors. In this context, the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs was also represented at the events of the Global Education Network Europe (GENE), with a view to improved mutual learning and networking of the actors involved in development education across European and in Luxembourg.