ACEFIR has had an important role in EAEA’s history. After the Second World War, the “European Bureau of Adult Education” (EBAE) was created with the aim of training people to be able to rebuild Europe. In early 1990’s, different link offices were established across Europe. One of them, Office for Organisation and Development was opened in Barcelona, while Office for Relations with International Organisations was established in Mechelen (and later moved to Brussels). It was also decided that the EBAE would change its name to European Association for the Education of Adults.
Later on, when the Barcelona office was closed, the Executive Board of the EAEA proposed to create an association that would act as a link to EAEA in Barcelona/Girona. Rosa M. Falgàs Casanovas, who had been the Director of the EAEA office in Barcelona, established ACEFIR (Catalan Association for Education, Training and Research) in Girona.
ACEFIR focuses on learning, training, and research in the field of adult education. ACEFIR fosters international cooperation between stakeholders and provides support to other organisations working in the same field.
What does ACEFIR do?
“We work as a bridge connecting ALE organisations, professionals and learners at regional, national and international levels. Among our work on a European level, we are currently working on the Bildung E+ project coordinated by the EAEA along with 11 other countries and in an EEA Grant project focused on digital and life skills for young adults”, says Anna Delort, Project Coordinator at ACEFIR.
“We advocate for adult learning by being in contact with policy makers. ACEFIR has been present in several CONFINTEA conferences: We have represented civil society in the CONFINTEA process since its 5th edition in Hamburg. In the last conference in Marrakech, I was part of the Spanish delegation.”
Why do you think it’s important to be a member of EAEA?
“It’s important to be a member of EAEA because we think networking is crucial to achieve the goals we have set”, says Delort. “The EAEA is key in various aspects:
- It puts us in contact with organisations in other countries.
- Through the EAEA we reach international networks such as ICAE.
- It brings us closer to institutional bodies such as the European Commission and UNESCO
- It creates spaces for dialogue between organisations and people.
- Since EAEA’s creation after WWII and thanks to the different lobby actions taken over the years, adult education is becoming more of a priority at European and international levels.”
What are the future plans of ACEFIR?
“Every year ACEFIR organises a Learner Day fest. This year it will be organised in spring. The event will be focused on the outcomes of the CONFINTEA VII, in which ACEFIR participated. We are also planning an advocacy campaign that will be centered on the learner’s perspectives and experiences.”
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