The “Deutschlandstiftung Integration“ foundation, the TUI Foundation and their supporters are collaborating to organise language courses provided by volunteers, and providing free teaching materials as well as a teaching manual. The project is based on the following concept:
- Organisation of courses at several centres throughout Germany. Deutschlandstiftung Integration, the TUI Foundation and their partners will coordinate German courses for refugees. Language courses have successfully been held in Hanover since December 2015 by TUI volunteers. The TUI Group supports its employees ‘engagement in TUI Foundation projects with a flexitime working policy.
- Secondly, the textbook ‘I speak German‘ is provided free of charge in collaboration with the Cornelsen Verlag publishers. 30,000 copies have been distributed to more than 1,700 recipients since the project began.
People can get involved in the pilot project on a corporate volunteering basis. Since December 2015, a total of around 300 refugees have been taught by around 90 TUI volunteers. Each course lasts 10 weeks and is made up of two 90 minute lessons per week. The pilot project in Hanover tested the organisation of volunteers, as well as the matching and teaching concept, and the evaluation phase is currently in progress. There are now plans to launch the concept at several other locations throughout Germany, such as Osnabrück and Berlin. Doris Schröder-Köpf, Member of the Lower Saxony Parliament and Regional Commissioner for Migration and Social Inclusion, is the pilot project’s patron.
The vast response from volunteers who want to help the refugees has been overwhelming, and it shows that this challenge can be overcome if the government and civil society work together.