Make Change Possible e.V.: History

After completing her training in dance and movement therapy, Monika Handwerker worked for seven years as a volunteer in South Africa and Botswana with an international educational institution for intellectually disabled children. During this time, it became clear to her that there was a need to connect people separated by language, culture and status in mutual understanding. She returned to Germany in order to further her training in Curative Education and then counselling.  She then worked for six years in a psychiatric rehabilitation centre for teenagers and young adults, before joining the team to establish Heidelberg International School (H.I.S.) in 2000. While revisiting Africa in 2007, she happened to come upon the village of Mayana. Being impressed by the open, genuine people she made a mental note to “come back with time”.

At the time when H.I.S. set out to start the IB Diploma course, she began to glimpse a possible connection between CAS student requirements and her love of Africa. Lawrence G, an 11th grade student, strongly felt the need to effect change in the world, and upon learning of Monika’s connection to Africa, approached her. Together they made plans to explore the possibility of establishing an on-going relationship between the village of Mayana and H.I.S. CAS students. The H.I.S. school administration voiced interest in developing such a sustainable international project. The six-week exploratory project between a student, a teacher and a village thus became the foundation of the organisation now known as MCP.

Formally founded in June 2010, MCP conducted the first official CAS trip in July 2010, taking two students for three weeks to work with the people of Mayana.