Student exchange: 11 days for sustainability

Positive conclusion after student exchange

From November 1, we welcomed eleven exchange students from the Johannes-Althusius-Gymnasium in Emden to DSH. The topic of the exchange was “Sustainability: How can we use and protect the resources of the environment in a sustainable way? The program for the students was designed to fit this theme: 
The group of Egyptian students and exchange students undertook a beach cleanup in cooperation with the environmental organization Hepca. During the action on an island off Hurghada, the students collected more than 20 bags of plastic waste, which were then disposed properly by Hepca. The following day, the children took a guided tour of the recycling plant in El Gouna and learned how the waste is sorted and processed here.

Impressive insights in Cairo
Another excursion took the students to Cairo. In addition to cultural highlights such as the pyramids and the Egyptian National Museum, the children also visited the so-called garbage city Manshyat Nasser. Here, garbage collectors recycle tens of thousands of tons of garbage from Cairo. In the process, they succeed in recycling around 90 percent of the waste. For the students, this was an impressive insight into a world previously unknown to them. The group also visited a paper recycling plant and the “APE” organization in Cairo. APE stands for Association for the Protection of the Environment. The organization is committed to recycling and empowering women and children in the waste collection community. At the reception that followed at the German Embassy in Cairo, there were also exciting insights into the everyday life of diplomats as well as an exchange on the UN Climate Summit taking place in Egypt.
During a visit to a Bedouin camp in Hurghada, the students learned more about sustainable living in the desert as well as about water, the most important resource. The final event for teachers, students and parents marked the end of the exchange, which, in addition to new friendships, left all participants with many exciting impressions.

Student exchange: Positive conclusion

After eleven days in Egypt, the return visit of the students of the JAG Emden ended on November 11. The exchange students took back to Germany many impressions from Egypt and new friendships. At the joint final evening, the exchange partners gave a positive summary.

Both in Germany and in Egypt, the students completed a challenging program on the topic of sustainability. In cooperation with the Emden-Leer University of Applied Sciences, DSH’s educational partner, the students dealt with aspects of renewable energies in Germany as early as October 2021. The visit to Hurghada focused on sustainable living by the sea and the avoidance of plastic waste. To this end, the exchange group visited various recycling projects, talked to organizations and collected plastic waste themselves during a beach cleanup.

Many thanks to all supporters

At the final evening, principal Siglinde Hailer addressed her thanks to the colleagues of DSH and the accompanying colleagues from Germany: “Thanks to you, it was possible to make this exchange possible in a short time and to put together a very comprehensive program for the students in both countries.” Furthermore, Siglinde Hailer thanked Maja-Jennifer Köhl, who as a member of the school board promoted the exchange from the beginning and supported the exchange program with transportation and excursions with her company ETI. However, one of the most important tasks in an exchange is taken on by the parents: “Without the commitment of the host parents, such an exchange would not be possible. We would like to thank you very much,” said Siglinde Hailer, “all participants benefited from this experience and the parents also found the exchange enriching.” In addition, a big thank you went to the Emden-Leer University of Applied Sciences and student advisor Birte Engelberts. During the student advisory week at DSH in April 2021, the idea for the exchange was born and realized in a few weeks.

At the final evening, the students presented their impressions of the exchange to the school community. Everyone agreed that there should be another student exchange between Hurghada and Germany next year.