Košice, 5. 02. 2006

28 partners of the European Network on Intercultural Learning in Adult Education (NILE) convened for their kick-off meeting in Košice/ Eastslovakia to embark on a 3 year long future learning adventure until 2008.

The Slovakian partner, FEMAN/ Slovakian-European cultural organisation hosted a very well prepared meeting under the direction of Dipl.-Ing. Eduard Buraš, founder of FEMAN in the most beautiful and cultural-historically important Eastslovakian town of Košice.

The participants from 22 European countries accomplished a very challenging programme in only 2,5 days. On the one hand the foundation for the future project work until 2008 was planned and launched, on the other hand the group appreciated the opportunity of a warm welcome reception in the old town hall by Eugen Čuňo, the vice major of Košice. The group was also honoured by the visit of František Knapík, also deputy major of the town, who generously offered the support of the city for all further activities of the network in relation to cultural, intercultural and educational activities.

For the upcoming 3 years the partners in the NILE network will discuss different issues, which are relevant to intercultural learning in adult education, such as: which methodology is to be to be used in groups of learners with a mixed ethnic background, or how the cooperation between adult educators and the media can be improved. The issue of intercultural opening of institutions is also under debate in one of the thematic issue groups. The production of a DVD is also planned as a product, to promote the transfer of good practice in a visual form.

Because intercultural learning takes place under difficult political conditions and growing racism in nearly all European member states, the presentations of Bashy Quraishy, president of the EUROPEAN NETWOK AGAINST RACISM, ENAR, and Anna Koptova, director of the only Roma School in Košice, who informed the group about the situation of the Roma in Slovakia was highly appreciated by the participants. NILE members had the opportunity to visit Lunik IX, a residential area set up for the Roma people on the outskirts of Košice and gather a visual impression of the problems. Especially partners from Bulgaria, Romania and Slovenia found experiences to share and the group entered into a discussion of the role of education in solving some of the problems.

A musical celebration on the occasion of the birthday of Bashy Quraishy and a visit to UNESCO Cultural heritage: Zipser Castle and the future EUROPE HOUSE – Zipser Kapitul of FEMAN in Spišské Podhradie, outside of Košice contributed to the highest degree of satisfaction of all participants.

NILE is coordinated by the Institute of International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association with head office in Bonn and receives funding from the European Commission under the Socrates programme.

NILE coordinator Dr. Beate Schmidt-Behlau thanked Dipl.-Ing. Eduard Buraš for the perfect organisation, good team work and warm hospitality during the whole duration of the meeting by handing over a Beethoven-chocolate-gold medal as farewell present.

More informationen about NILE: