the GOAL approach

the GOAL approach

Managing and ensuring cohesion in diverse group such as GOAL demands tact and timely creation of consciousness on sensitivity and uniqueness of power structures.

This is especially relevant for the relations between European and African countries and peoples. Historically, these have been dominated by exploitation and abuse. Although formal colonialism has been abolished, the economic and social structures created during that time only change slowly. Especially with regard to the images and stereotypes that are present in the various societies a lot of work still needs to be done.

We acknowledge that our group also is not immune to problems and sometimes misunderstandings which may arise out of miscommunication and often resulting in feeling of unfair and inequitable treatment within our diverse group. It becomes imperative on us all as stakeholders, to recognize that such treatment is bound with bureaucratic structure, subjectivity and irrationality, inappropriate policies and practices and ineffective implementation of projects.

For example, the name of the original exchange program (reproduced in the name of our association) refers to a relation between Germany as a country and Africa as a continent. This implies that they are on an equal footing – which they are not! However, we want to integrate all our members from 22 different countries. Therefore, we are keeping the name GOAL, but all our projects focus on two countries and in their subtitles, the country names are mentioned.

Holistically reshaping our operational culture that make possible the integration of a broad range of viewpoints that leads to clear definitions of how our work and other projects gets done, provides us with lasting opportunities to eliminating and minimizing to a large extent the challenges we may encounter. Each one of us must be held accountable for our behaviors and actions, whiles we aim at creating a post bureaucratic association based on mutual trust and respect in which diverse members are valued and integrated into all aspects of our operations. We are constantly thinking and defining our missions, values, strategies, management practices, cultures, projects and activities to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse body of our group.

We need to recognize our differences and learn to use them to our advantage, rather than either attempting to ignore them or simply allowing them to cause problems. We will strive to ensure that our differences are not ignored but acknowledged, minimized and managed with the most appropriate approaches.

In the end, we want to emphasize, that our attempts to raise awareness within our association, are in no way, intended to create possible tensions and uneasiness in our continuous dialogue and deliberations, but to establish and preserve a sustaining cordial working relationship. Let us all strive to embrace and celebrate the rich diversity of our dynamic association. Remember as always, the spirit of “ubuntu” remains our hallmark.

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