The scholarship is sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is aimed at interested parties in emerging countries and economies on the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list. The Schutzgemeinschaft Deutscher Wald Landesverband Hamburg e.V. (SDW), as a NUN-certified education center for sustainable development (BNE), heads the ISA which is responsible for the scholarship-holders. The program will be sponsored until the end of 2024. Seven rounds are planned from September 2019 to December 2024. We are a team of 4 women running the program from logistics like acquiring flight tickets, organizing accommodations, and arranging visas to giving workshops and mentoring fellows in their project development.
The main aim of the ISA sponsorship is the international transfer of knowledge shall help the 13 scholarship-holders to further develop their existing special fields and/or existing projects in terms of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Of particular importance and given priority are activities concerning climate protection and gender equality in their home countries. The primary objective is the distinguishable change in the home country through the continuation of the projects and/or the perspectives, solution approaches, and contacts acquired during the course of the scholarship. Their projects must be put into the context of one or more SDGs. The ongoing exchange between the Academy and the scholarship- holders is therefore essential, even after returning home.
The philosophy behind the program is ´Living together, working together´
The fellows are accommodated in shared apartments in the Hamburg city center so that they have an opportunity to experience the city and the culture. Next to experiencing the city and culture of Hamburg, we encourage them to learn about each other’s cultures and international living and working environment. We organize potluck dinners, bonding sessions as well as excursions where the fellows have an opportunity to enjoy their time and learn about differences and similarities within the global society. All the previously mentioned points have an impact on how the fellows will shape their sustainable solutions.
Throughout sets of workshops, internships, and mentorships, during these 8 months, we develop the project with them from the idea into reality and help them find new partners, sponsors, and stakeholders for the implementation of the project back in their home country. Within our 3 sets of workshops (individual coaching, personal development, and project development) we offer ISA fellows workshops like SDGs Workshop, Intercultural Management and Teambuilding, Presentation skills, Proposal Writing, and many more…
At the moment, we are having our 5th batch of fellows already halfway through the program and together with this batch we received 71 fellows from 33 countries from 5 continents. 68 projects were implemented in developing countries all around the world and we are hoping for many more to come. Through our Alumni network, one can follow the successes of our previous fellows and new projects that came either as a continuation of their ISA project or as a collaboration between the fellows. We have plans to begin our Alumni Award program and are looking forward to any potential sponsoring or partnership in the future. Below, you can find the link to the ISA Alumni web page.
ISA impacts the world’s sustainable development by “thinking globally and acting locally”. At ISA the fellows are learning about global trends and solutions in developed countries in order to create a possible framework for the solutions in their home countries. This is how we as a project have an impact on the SDG ourselves, namely, SDG 17 – partnership for the goals.