The Ugandan German Cultural Society

March 4, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

By

Johnson Grace Maganja

“Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry, or savour their songs”-Nelson Mandela.

If that is true then Goethe-Zentrum Kampala, a cultural society based in Kampala and supported by the Goethe-Institut, has been at the forefront of promoting and supporting cultural events through offering an extensive yearly language course program to those interested in learning German as a foreign language, whose benefits include: Job opportunities in German speaking countries, travelling and student scholarships. Last year they invited MAMAZA, a German choreography dance group, that thrilled Kampala with the Asingleline project that conceded with the Bayimba Foundation Festival in Kampala at the National Theater.

Why would one be so interested in learning a foreign language?

Kouassi Djondo, Head of Language Department, Uganda German Cultural Society (UGCS), said that “normally a language at its own helps one to interact with people from other cultures. It gives one exposure and promotes friendship and business.”

A close look at the tuition and registration fee structure at the UGCS avails one with information on the choice of courses from which one may choose to suit them. Although one may also lament that the fees are too high considering their source of income.

“Our fees are not high compared to those in other countries. We offer quality services, internship and scholarships to students” explained Carolin Christgau, Director, UGCS. “We need sustainable funds to allow as to reach out to more and new audiences” Carolin, adds “But that also will depend on the need expressed by those in the areas interested.”

 

 

The Goethe-Institut operates in all the East African countries and partners with Goethe-Zentrum Kampala where the implementation of the PASCH programme (‘Schools: Partners for the Future’) is one such where Mengo Secondary School has benefited. Students including priests, nurses, teachers and volunteers are among those who have won scholarships and acquired training and learning materials from UGCS.

“In 2013 I managed to get a scholarship to attend an exchange programme –’P?dagogischer Austauschdienst’ in Germany that lasted for a month. I stayed with a family there and I have now been blessed with another opportunity to go study medicine from the University of Bonn-Germany,” John Tumusiime a former student testified.

Goethe-Zentrum Kampala, regularly hosts film screening, discussion flora between artists and students, as well cultural and exchange programmes between Uganda and Germany and this has indeed strengthened their relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johnson Grace Maganja

Johnson Grace Maganja

Mr. Johnson Grace Maganja is a Journalist, Author and Teacher, in Kampala-Uganda. He holds a Diploma in Journalism and has worked with several advertising agencies and media houses in Kampala-Uganda. He has authored: ‘100 quotes through life’, ‘Passage to Destiny’ and ‘The Adventures of Maganjo’. He currently works with Capital radio in Kampala as a Field Research Assistant. He can be contacted at jmaganja@gmail.com or via facebook.

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