On the one hand, our support within the program Migration & Integration focuses on initiatives that work towards reform of EU migration policy. Here, we want to strengthen the role of European local authorities in particular who are, in the face of European isolation policies, providing realistic solutions for the admission of people seeking protection.
On the other hand, we focus on labor market integration. We support organizations that enable people to find a new home in Germany and to shape their social and professional future themselves. Our aim is integration as genuine participation. The key lies in mutual acceptance. We want to ensure that integration is understood and accepted as a responsibility of society as a whole.
‘From the Sea to the City’ is an alliance of civil society organizations from across Europe coming together with a concrete objective of strengthening the voice of cities and municipalities in European migration policy. One of the initiative's central concerns is to connect the growing number of welcoming cities and municipalities in Europe in order to increase the pressure on political decision-makers together.
The alliance counters the exclusionist policies of national governments with solutions that are based on human rights and solidarity and understand migration not as a threat, but as an opportunity. Together, European cities and municipalities are a strong political voice that can change European migration policy from below.
Since its creation in 2020, the alliance has exchanged and campaigned in several digital formats in preparation for a Cities Conference, which will take place online and in Palermo as a hybrid event on June 25-26, 2021. This conference will strengthen the dialogue between mayors and representatives of communities and civil society from all over Europe and contribute to finding realistic solutions for the reception of people seeking protection.News
Photo: Malisa Zobel/HVGP
The HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform gGmbH promotes transparency and participation for solving societal challenges. To this end the Platform supports a better exchange of ideas between the worlds of politics, economics, science and civil society; it designs governance concepts and projects that lead to sustainable solutions that serve the common good; and it ensures that as many views and opinions as possible are represented in the concepts.
The HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform is striving for a European refugee integration policy which would be implemented as a joint programme at municipal-level. Under this policy – based on a rigorous, multi-stakeholder governance concept – municipalities that voluntarily receive and integrate refugees would gain access to development funds both for integration purposes and for municipal projects (e.g. for the improvement of the local infrastructure).
A new and reformed EU migration policy! A demonstration project will show how, in concrete terms, this proposal could be put into practice and how it could be scaled up across Europe. At the same time a political and administrative framework will be prepared at European level. This will look at issues such as pragmatic financing and a voluntary system to match municipalities with refugees seeking a new place to live.
Photo: Nick Jaussi
SEEBRÜCKE is a social movement that campaigns for safe refugee routes, for an end to suffering and dying at the European external borders, and for the admission of people seeking protection. With numerous initiatives, demonstrations, activities, and information campaigns, SEEBRÜCKE calls for a European migration policy based on solidarity.
SEEBRÜCKE has a concrete plan how to overcome the blockade of the European migration policy. SEEBRÜCKE calls on cities and municipalities to take responsibility in the field of migration policy. To date, more than 200 cities in Germany have declared themselves “safe havens”, thereby expressing their willingness to receive more refugees.
Together we want to achieve a paradigm shift within migration policy: Away from further isolation, towards a migration policy that focuses on the rights of people fleeing their countries in search for a life worth living.
Photo: Elissavet Patrikiou
CHICKPEACE is a catering service run by female refugees, which prepares food based on recipes from the women’s countries of origin. It gives the women involved independence and a way to participate in society, and as such it plays an important role in helping them to integrate. Furthermore, it also relieves some of the pressure on the public purse, as any social benefits paid to the women are reduced by the amount they earn from the project.
Since 2015 some 500,000 women have arrived in Germany after fleeing from their home countries. The majority of these women are under 35, live in family groups with small children and are very closely knit into their family structures. Social contact with the outside world is rare. These women in particular often have no (recognised) school-leaving certificate or professional training qualifications, so it is very difficult for many of them to participate socially and economically in German society.
As a social enterprise, CHICKPEACE aims to help women to participate in society and to give them independence – in a way that is compatible with their personal circumstances and their abilities. In the coming years the plan is for CHICKPEACE to employ up to 40 refugee and displaced women and for CHICKPEACE to become profitable and able to expand.News
Photo: Patrick Frost
Eric Gustav Adler Stiftung
Kurt und Maria Dohle Stiftung
Wübben Stiftung gGmbH
The SchlaU-Werkstatt für Migrationspädagogik gGmbH (the SchlaU Workshop for Migration Education) is a subsidiary of the charitable organisation, SchlaU, an organisation that since 2000 has been devising education programmes for young refugees. As an in-house institute under the SchlaU umbrella, the role of the SchlaU-Werkstatt is to expand and disseminate the body of practical knowledge of migration education. This is achieved through a range of means, including teaching materials, further training, advice and research.
SchlaU is all about making local knowledge gained from hands-on experience available to as many people as possible throughout the country, the ultimate aim being to make a positive and lasting change to how people view flight and migration. Like the Schöpflin Foundation, SchlaU uses many different approaches to achieve its goal of equal opportunities for young refugees.
Together we want to achieve improved equal opportunities for young refugees and sustainable work for those who work with refugees. To do this we need top-quality teaching materials and a range of further training options and research projects that cover all the relevant issues, both from a theoretical as well as a practical point of view.News
Photo: Social-Bee gGmbH
Hans Weisser Stiftung
The Social-Bee gGmbH gives refugees hope for the future.This initiative employs refugees, makes them available to businesses, and then helps and supports them via an holistic support and integration programme. The aim is to get the employees into skilled work or onto a training course within eighteen months.
We are supporting Social-Bee because its two founders have discovered a functioning, scalable and – in the medium term – self-supporting approach to migrant integration. In what is, to date, a unique way, they bridge the gap between businesses and refugees.
Every refugee should have the chance of a positive future, both in terms of employment and as a member of society. Together we will build a national organisation that demonstrates refugees’ potential and effects a change in how society thinks.News
Generali - THSN
The FITT gGmbH is offering people with a migration or refugee background entrepreneurship training. These budding entrepreneurs will take part in a one-year course that will provide information on and training in entrepreneurial strategies. The training also includes an intensive German language course, which focuses in particular on language related to the world of business and entrepreneurship. Participants will also learn how to draw up a business plan and examine funding models; experienced entrepreneurs will be brought in to provide masterclasses.
Here we are funding the successful synthesis of innovative project design and sound experience of providing entrepreneurial advice to those with a migration background. What is particularly persuasive here is the high level of networking and expertise; the excellent way in which the programme has become an integral part of a centre for entrepreneurs; and finally, the programme’s unique selling point – namely the intensive German-language course with specific focus on entrepreneurial language.
People with a migration background and a specific interest in becoming entrepreneurs are to be given a broad range of support so that their ideas and their previous experience lead to the successful founding of a business here in Germany. We hope that by teaching the course participants about the rules and regulations of a social market economy and about professional communications, this will further lead to a deep and sustainable integration of the migrant economy in Germany.News
Photo: Steffi Loos
SINGA Business Lab of SINGA gUG is an innovative start-up program in Berlin, which was created together with newly arrived entrepreneurs, and provides them with support from the business idea stage through to setting up their own company. The programme focuses on one-on-one support; passing on relevant know-how; helping participants to develop professional networks; and providing advice on financing. The Lab belongs to the SINGA Deutschland group which is part of an international network of organizations based in France, Canada, Belgium and Germany that connects newcomers and locals through a diverse range of innovative projects.
Since its launch in 2017, SINGA has continuously evaluated and further developed its Business Lab. Under the guiding principle of serendipity, SINGA also embraces unexpected events and uses them in a strategic way to actively shape social developments.
Together we want to give everyone the chance to be an entrepreneur – wherever they are in Germany. Ideas in Motion has several locations where it helps people with a migration background to successfully develop and launch a business idea. Since 2020, SINGA is also providing a digital incubator, which allows for the support of newly immigrated entrepreneurs in rural areas. The project ensures that the local business community is an integral part of the process of overcoming obstacles; it also makes the broader general public aware of the opportunities that migration can bring.News
Photo: Schöpflin Foundation
»Perspektive neuStart« is a network of organizations that is successfully providing advice and support on developing, realizing and implementing start-up concepts to people who have been through a refugee experience. Together, our network aims to identify success factors in terms of start-up support for refugees; we also aim to remove any obstacles and thereby give more refugees the chance to become self-employed.
After three years of practice-oriented network activity and scientific evaluation, in 2020 the network discussed its findings with players from the field and then together formulated recommendations for action to be presented to political and institutional decision-makers.
Two concrete results emerged from this process:
For all the people who have fled to Germany from war and crisis zones in recent years, access to work is of key importance. The faster these people are able to integrate successfully into the labor market, the greater their chances of integration at all social levels. After all, gainful employment is crucial for income, housing, adequate living conditions, motivation, social contact, language acquisition, a sense of purpose, self-esteem and so much more besides.
A lack of certified or recognized qualifications often prevents people from obtaining sustainable and financially attractive paid employment. But at the same time, many refugees have work experience, informal skills and self-employment experience, none of which should go to waste. Therefore, measures that promote vocational integration should not only target wage employment, but all opportunities that lead to gainful employment as this will also lead to social participation at every level.
We are convinced that self-employment is an additional building block for the integration of refugees into the labor market and thus for their integration into all other levels and forms of social participation. Together with a broad alliance from the start-up environment, we will make the knowledge gained in recent years widely available. We would like to use our experience to raise awareness of this issue among policymakers and rulemaking bodies and bring about structural change that will enable even more refugees to follow a path towards self-employment.
international and national
Sometimes it doesn’t take much to bring about positive change. Through its »Rapid Response Grants« the Schöpflin Foundation provides organisations and projects with straightforward and rapid financial support - enabling them to implement their innovative and sustainable ideas, projects and initiatives. The maximum grant is €5,000 per project, no applications ca be submitted.
Initiative Allianz für Beteiligung | Promotion of the Participation Congress Baden-Württemberg 2021 - an exchange platform to strengthen citizen participation processes in Baden-Württemberg.
LOK | LOK e.V. and LOK.a.Motion GmbH, LOK for short, support people in establishing and consolidating their professional independence by offering consulting, coaching and services.
International and national
up to € 5,000
Battery Dance Company | »Dancing to Connect« is a dance project located at German schools which brings together refugee and non refugee students and professional dancers from the USA
Bike Bridge | Is an initiative located in Freiburg that offers cycling courses and repair workshops for women with a refugee background, thus enabling mobility and social networking
Bildung für alle | Founding of the »pop-up school« in an empty building in order to be able to maintain the range of language courses on offer during the Corona pandemic despite limited room use of non-school facilities.
Diakonie Deutschland - Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung | Research trip and second monitoring report on the »Study on the whereabouts and experiences of deported Afghans« by Afghanistan expert Friederike Stahlmann.
LOK | LOK e.V. and LOK.a.Motion GmbH, LOK for short, support people in establishing and consolidating their professional independence by offering consulting, coaching and services.
Über den Tellerrand | An initiative that creates space for people with and without escape experience to meet in culinary, creative and sporting activities.
Photo: Christian Klant
Robert Bosch Stiftung
Ashoka is the world’s leading organisation for the promotion of social entrepreneurship. Ashoka currently works in 80 countries to identify social innovation projects and helps the 3,000 social entrepreneurs – whom it has dubbed Ashoka Fellows - running the projects to spread their ideas. The help and support comes in the form of grants, advice and a global network.
Ashoka’s HELLO Europe 2018 Impact Programme will provide several European countries – including Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Italy and Greece – with effective and tried and tested international solutions (including some from Germany) deployed by social entrepreneurs to meet the challenge of flight and integration. There are also plans for an EU Migration Policy summit. HELLO Europe follows on from similar successful schemes in Germany, Turkey, Austria and The Netherlands.
Together we worked on providing many more refugees and migrants in Europe with access to better education, health care, work opportunities and social participation. We also have demonstrated how professional and transformative citizen solutions can be and we have shown how these ideas can be disseminated in a targeted way - to ensure that these ideas become firmly fixed in the minds of policy-makers, including those at EU level.News
Robert Bosch Stiftung
US Embassy, Berlin
Battery Dance works throughout Germany using its programme, Dancing to Connect, to help young refugees integrate into German society. Dancing to Connect is a 20-hour creative workshop programme that bridges the gulf between German students and refugees. By dancing together, creating a work and then performing it, the young people who take part in the workshops forget about their differences.
Battery Dance has the same core values as the Schöpflin Foundation: striving for excellence in arts education; and striving for a healthy, integrated society that offers every young person the chance to develop, regardless of his or her background.
It is a statement of fact that Germany has opened its doors to refugees and migrants. But what next? What happens to refugees once they reach Germany? Dancing to Connect has created a template for anyone to follow once they have been trained – a training which can be given locally. In that way, teachers and schools can learn how creativity can be used as a vehicle for social integration and to improve a person’s life.News
Bundesregierung Deutschland – Beauftragte für Migration, Flüchtlinge und Integration (German Government – dept. for Migration, Refugees and Integration)
Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORD III Fernsehen) (Austrian television)
Schweizerische Radio und Fernsehen (SRG SSR) (Swiss television and radio)
Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR)
Akademie der Künste, Berlin
The CIVIS Medienstiftung GmbH für Integration und kulturelle Vielfalt supports the process of social integration in Germany and Europe. CIVIS’s international media conferences provide an important European forum for debate. In Basle, Bonn, Berlin or Vienna – wherever it may be – the new social WE is at the very heart of current debate and controversial discussion. The CIVIS media conference, »Das neue deutsche WIR. Ausbruch aus der Krise?« (»The new German WE. Breaking Out of the Crisis?«), to be held in January 2018, will discuss all aspects of the new WE and will ask the questions: What form should it take, moving forward? Can we reinvent ourselves? What can and must the media do?
As part of its Flight & Integration Programme, the Schöpflin Foundation is funding the one-day 2018 CIVIS media conference at the Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts) in Berlin. The Schöpflin Foundation and the CIVIS Media Foundation are both equally committed to the long-term social and vocational integration of refugees. Central to this idea is total integration within a post-migrant society.
For integration to be successful it is vital that refugees should not be dealt with in isolation: they should be treated in the same way as the indigenous population. CIVIS is actively involved in forming opinion in the media on all the relevant social issues relating to Europe’s migrant societies. The aim of the CIVIS Media Conference is to make journalists in particular – but also other parties with an interest in politics – aware of the issues relating to integration and cultural diversity, and to encourage and support them in their work. This year’s conference – entitled “The New German WE: Breaking Out of the Crisis?” – took place on 11th January 2018 at the Berlin Academy of Arts (Akademie der Künste). Journalists, scientists and politicians discussed the latest cultural trends and ideals, and the responsibility of the media in an era of migration and globalisation. They devised ideas for the future on how to strengthen social cohesion.News
Heidehof Stiftung GmbH
Volksbank Freiburg eG
Root Factory is an entrepreneur incubator programme for people with a migration background run by Grünhof e.V. The programme enables future entrepreneurs to convert their own concepts into successful businesses. The programme is made up of modular courses that provide relevant know-how. Participants are allocated mentors to advise them on and support them with project management. Meanwhile coaches are employed to provide specialist subject knowledge.
People with a migration background represent enormous potential for the labour market. Pilot projects like Root Factory test the efficacy of various support measures and then tweak them to give them maximum impact. Giving migrants the skills to enter the labour market may in fact be the key to the socio-cultural integration into existing social structures of people with a migration background.
Our mutual goal was to enable even more people with a migration background to become economically active. In order to achieve this, we have networked with similar programmes, and exchanged and increased know-how. The idea behind this was that new entrepreneurs employ other people – often from a similar background – and that supporting individual companies in this way can soon have a multiplier effect. Furthermore, this programme wanted to strengthen the self-confidence and self-image of participants, as it makes them feel part of society.News
At JOBLINGE the world of economics and the private and public sectors come together to help those unemployed young people who have not had the best of starts in life. The aim is to give them a real chance of a job and to help them achieve lasting integration into the labour market and into society as a whole. Thanks to the bespoke qualifications, mentoring and targeted help that participants receive during their training at JOBLINGE, 70 percent of the programme’s young participants go on to get a job.
This initiative is growing and wants to expand. More and more JOBLINGE Kompass centres for refugees are being opened. The CRM database that is currently being used needs to be updated to turn it into a local and national management tool capable of running the necessary auditing and transparency system that this growing initiative needs.
At far in excess of 200,000, the number of youth unemployed in Germany – particularly among young refugees – is still very high, despite the country’s healthy labour market. Together we were helping young unemployed to get the chance of long-term social integration and sustainable work.
Photo: IMAGINE Foundation
IMAGINE gives young, qualified people in Afghanistan, Egypt and Pakistan new hope for the future – through work in Germany. Using a digital coaching and training programme, the foundation helps young people to apply for a job in Germany from their home countries. In this way IMAGINE is offering a new approach to developing a successful form of legal immigration which also benefits the destination country.
A valid job application that complies with the law is a prerequisite for a visa and thus for legal entry into Germany. We see the IMAGINE project as an innovative approach to the creation of legal immigration and thereby as a contribution to solving one of the key global social challenges of the 21st Century.
Together we have worked on developping the idea of IMAGINE – which until now has been run entirely by volunteers – into a long-term, self-sustaining business model. We hope to have paved the way to the scheme’s practical solutions becoming a firm and sustainable feature of the immigration and job-application landscape.
The ifm (Institute for Entrepreneurship and SME Research) is one of Mannheim University’s key research institutes. For almost 30 years now it has been conducting research projects – covering current and structural issues – on SMEs. One of the main focuses of the Institute’s work is issues relating to the founding of businesses and the self-employment of persons with a migration background and then the economic and social-performance potential of these businesses and their founders. Since the beginning of 2017, ifm Mannheim has been providing expert support and advice to the team behind the Perspektive neuStart network (a network that provides entrepreneurship training to refugees). In addition, in recent years ifm Mannheim has generated a comprehensive, national data set on labour-market integration and the start-up potential of refugees.
The start-up potential of displaced people is currently still very underdeveloped. However, the self-employment rates of displaced people who have been in the country for some time show an above-average potential – and this increases significantly the longer they stay in Germany. As it is far more difficult for refugees – compared to the native population – to find paid employment, self-employment is an extremely important potential provider of work for those refugees who have ambitions to set up their own businesses; and this potential is also important for society as a whole, given that early integration of refugees into the labour market plays a significant role in integrating refugees into German society and thus in social cohesion in general. Given its many years of experience and expertise, ifm Mannheim can offer valuable support to organisations that want to help refugees to enter self-employment and become entrepreneurs.
In order to fully exploit the start-up potential of refugees, targeted and needs-based support needs to be provided. Key insights have already been gained through the scientific monitoring carried out by the Perspektive neuStart network. Together with ifm Mannheim and the network partners, the Schöpflin Foundation has made these learnings accessible in a handbook for practical use. This document will promote greater transfer of actual hands-on experience and record results that can be applied and transferred more widely. The results will also contribute to a sustainable and practical implementation of proven concepts.News
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (German Federal Ministry for Education and Research)
Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development)
Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft e.V.
Kiron Open Higher Education gGmbH is a charitable education-technology organisation that uses digital innovation to provide refugees with access to higher education. Via a digitally collaborative platform, the programme offers a curriculum tailored to individual study groups. This is further supplemented by additional online and offline support courses. Once participants have successfully completed the online phase, they may apply for a university course in order to obtain a bachelor’s degree.
At the very heart of the Schöpflin Foundation’s philosophy is a commitment to education and integration, as well as support for young people. Kiron’s innovative education model offers a scalable solution to a global problem.
Together, Schöpflin Foundation and Kiron have pursued the goal of providing refugees with access to higher education. Proof of the success of the concept was clearly demonstrated when the first group of programme participants gained places at German universities. Consequently, the blended learning approach is now an integral part of sustainable organisational structures used to support refugees both in Germany and elsewhere. But this collaboration has also demonstrated the key importance of successful cooperation between forward-looking foundations and innovative organisations. The initial funding provided by the Schöpflin Foundation gave Kiron the impetus it needed to set out its mission.News
Microsoft Deutschland GmbH
TUECHTIG was founded in Berlin by the charity-oriented company, KOPF, HAND + FUSS gGmbH, and is the world’s first inclusive co-working space – designed for work, learning and networking. It is a place of diversity where people from different backgrounds – German or non-German, disabled and able-bodied, young and old, wordsmiths and mathematical wizards – can come and work.
The Schöpflin Foundation advocates support for refugees, and is particularly keen to support those who wish to set up their own business. TUECHTIG shares this same objective and provides support for refugees to achieve it. It does this by helping refugees with their future plans and works with them to remove any barriers they may face in setting up a new business in Germany – particularly where knowledge of the German language is concerned.
Diversity enriches a society. Our mutual goal was to make diversity a living reality so that every individual – regardless of their background – can take part in society. TUECHTIG has successfully removed barriers that stood in the way of this goal, particularly concerning the labour market and in the field of education.
Photo: leetHub St. Pauli
The leetHub St. Pauli e.V. association, together with the business start-up incubator, MoveON, helps refugees to develop, test and implement their business ideas. They run six-month courses to teach participants everything they need to know about how to set up a business in Germany – specifically in Hamburg. Participants are given the chance to network with the Hamburg business and economic community.
By supporting this programme we are bridging a gap in the labour market for refugees. For some, self-employment can be a valid alternative to a permanent position as an employee – and furthermore it may even create more jobs in the future. This programme’s six-month intensive course has proved to be a major advantage compared to standard advice provided to would-be business start-up entrepreneurs. It provides a good grounding in self-employment.
Together we have promoted the idea of self-employment together with relevant economic and business stakeholders. leetHub St. Pauli is particularly keen to develop a higher profile among funding organisations and to promote good business ideas. Support and auditing by the Schöpflin Foundation and the exchange of ideas with other projects have given the association an important boost towards achieving this goal.News
Deutsche Bank Stiftung
Wübben Stiftung gGmbH
Kurt und Maria Dohle Stiftung
In order for organisations to work in a sustainable way they need staff, specialist training, the appropriate infrastructure and expert guidance; but to date there has been very little financial support for such measures. It is for this reason that the PHINEO gAG – an analysis and consulting company committed to effective social involvement – created its ‘Integration’ charitable fund. The fund brings together the donations and the commitment and support of several donors. It is currently being used to support six projects – working with them on structural and quality issues.
The Integration charitable fund is innovative in two specific ways. Firstly, it brings together the involvement of several supporters; and secondly it invests in those infrastructure elements for which organisations rarely receive support.
In November 2016 PHINEO set up a charitable fund, called ‘Integration’, with an initial offering of €425,000. PHINEO’s objective was to provide structural funding to charitable organisations – the idea being that commitment requires well-trained staff, a professional infrastructure and expert advice. In 2016/2017 – the fund’s first year, which was deemed the pilot phase – six organisations, all of which provided support to migrants or worked to combat racism, were given financial support and helped to develop. The result was that five organisations reported that, thanks to the aid and advice provided, many of their processes ran more efficiently.
Following the pilot phase, however, the ‘Integration’ fund has now been discontinued. The main reason for this is that it was not possible to find new financial backers for the fund. Nonetheless, this funding approach will continue to be an important one. PHINEO will use the experience it gained from operating the ‘Integration’ fund in order to highlight the importance of structural funding and the knowledge related to it, and in order to develop appropriate funding instruments.
Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend
Deutsche Bank Stiftung
Start with a Friend (SwaF) is convinced that integration can only be successful if there is personal contact and active participation in society. That is why this initiative pairs up refugees and locals. SwaF supports one-to-one relationships where people come together at a personal level, as equals in an uncomplicated and long-term format.
We share SwaF’s conviction that »sustainable and lasting change needs to start from the bottom up«. We want to bring people together who would not otherwise come into contact with each other. This is a simple concept with a powerful impact. It is based on the idea that an understanding and an appreciation of other people can only be achieved through direct personal contact.
The more people come into contact with one another, the less likely they are to have a stereotypical image of what it means to be »a refugee« or »a German«. People begin to realise that we are all individuals – and that we are all equal. Integration calls for openness on both sides. The grant provided to this organisation by the Schöpflin Foundation was to partly fund Start With A Friend, Berlin’s summer festival which each year brings together the programme’s participants, facilitates an exchange of ideas, strengthens contacts, and attracts the attention of new interested parties.
Stiftung Mercator GmbH
The Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft e.V. is a joint initiative started by companies and foundations; it is the only initiative in Germany devoted entirely to consultation, networking and promotion work related to education, science and innovation.
Germany needs to train more teachers in how to deal professionally with pupils from different cultures and who speak different languages. In order to develop models to achieve this goal, twenty specially selected universities and the schools in which their trainee teachers do their placements have been chosen to take part in a two-year, moderated network scheme called »Strength through diversity: promoting intercultural skills in teacher training courses«.
The aim of the work of the network has been – by way of an exchange of ideas between colleagues and on the basis of actual experience of the project itself – to agree on the value of German as a second language and German as a foreign language and on the value of inter-cultural skills within teacher training; to reflect on how effective the various approaches are; and to address the joint challenges that present themselves.
The charitable organisation, Über den Tellerrand e.V., helps refugees when they arrive in Germany. To do this it has set up the Job Buddy programme. The programme works by ‘buddying’ experienced workers with refugees who are looking for work. Refugees receive support from their »buddy« with getting to know the local labour market, filling in job application forms and preparing for job interviews
We are convinced that much can be achieved if we use the right »entry points«. And this is precisely where Über den Tellerrand comes in: the organisation creates a space where new arrivals and locals can meet and interact on an equal footing. It’s a space where prejudices - from both sides - are broken down; openness and respect are encouraged; and language skills and cultural knowledge are passed on.
The Job Buddy programme has already run three successful rounds and has proved very popular with participants. With our latest grant we have supported a subsequent cohort of 15 to 20 ‘buddy’ pairings and enabled the qualitative development of the programme.
Foto: Universität Koblenz-Landau/GeKOS
Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Weiterbildung und Kultur des Landes Rheinland-Pfalz (MWWK) (Dept. of Science, Further Education and Culture, Federal State of Rheinland-Pfalz)
GeKOS has two key aims: the first is to contribute to the social and cultural integration into the region of children with a migration background; the second is to promote the formal training of trainee teachers in how to deal with the issue of flight and migration. Trainee teachers, working as mentors, meet once a week with mentees (children aged between 6 and 12 years old) and together they plan a free-time activity. This joint work is supervised and further supported by workshops.
GeKOS is a reaction to two specific challenges currently facing society: the first is how best to integrate recently arrived children into German society; the second is how best to provide the formal training for future teachers who will have to deal with multi-lingual classes and the issue of migration. This project makes both a short-term and long-term contribution to how the teaching profession can deal constructively with the issues of flight and migration.
We want to support newly arrived children as they go through the integration process. GeKOS does this both locally and further afield. Furthermore, there are plans ongoing for the project to become part of the standard teacher training programme, thus contributing to the formal training of teachers on this specific issue. Evaluations of the project will lead to a greater understanding of this issue; to further academic debate on it; and to an increase in the transfer of know-how relating to it.News