Project Background


History and history teaching play an important role in developing personal, national, European identity. They are key issues for reconciliation and strengthening democracy in South Eastern Europe. Hence, the work in this sphere can help ensure long-term stability to the region. However, during past and recent ethnic, cultural and national conflicts, governments have used history teaching as an instrument for promoting nationalism and encouraging strife.

The Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Associations (IIZ/DVV), through its History Project, hopes to confront these issues by implementing multilateral initiatives in history education which encourage mutual understanding, as well promotes skills and values for the development of civic society in the region.

The first History Project was launched by the IIZ/DVV with the support of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This project was implemented in Germany in October, 2002 when 15 young adults from six South East European countries were trained in methods and materials designed to confront the traumas of recent wars.

The current History Project is a direct result of the “Remember for the Future” project in Germany, 2002. One of the principles of IIZ/DVV projects is to focus educational activities on groups of multipliers, such as the participants and organizers of the current History Project in Bulgaria. All versions of the History Project support participants from the different countries in order to implement the planned activities and to further develop the facilities and infrastructure for history education.

The History Project is an example of using adult education to foster critical thinking, respect for diversity and tolerance towards otherness.

Project Goals

The goals of the History Project are connected to the general goals of the project activities of IIZ/DVV in South East European region, with a special focus on history teaching, reconciliation in the region and human rights approach. IIZ/DVV through the project aims:

  • To foster peace, democracy, respect for human rights and work for hope and reconciliation in South Eastern Europe
  • Setting a new approach to different history stories in order to provoke a dialogue between people who shared common past
  • Creating a common space for dialogue as a ground for bringing awareness and secured future
  • Creating a positive attitude towards the common history roots in South Eastern Europe
  • Diminishing the role of the stereotypes and guaranteeing tolerance and respect for “the other”, concerning religion, ethnicity, culture, tradition etc.
  • Distributing knowledge and already achieved good practices
  • Stimulating the joint endeavours of different organizations (governmental and non-governmental), institutions etc. and making them popular for a broader audience
  • Focusing on lifelong learning and adult education – pedagogical approach