EAEA GRUNDTVIG AWARD 2016. An informal “tearoom” in Germany helps refugees get their first orientation in the new country and make valuable contacts.
The article series shares good practices by introducing the nominees of the EAEA Grundtvig Award 2016.
An easy to reach contact point for persons in need – this is the underlying principle of a “tearoom” in Finsterwalde, Germany, organised by Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e.V. Regionalverband Südbrandenburg. An increasing number of refugees, but also recipients of social assistance and repatriates visit the tearoom looking for consultation and support.
The tearoom is a meeting point where people can discuss everyday issues over a cup of tea or lunch. Visitors get social and psychological support, receive help in dealing with authorities and attend German classes. The tearoom also has a fitness club and a second hand shop; many other activities are also organized regularly to help newcomers integrate in a new society: parties, concerts, dinners and excursions.
By cooperating with external partners, the organization makes sure that the help that visitors get is thoroughly professional, whether it concerns family support sessions or employment counselling. Most importantly though, the tearoom gives newcomers a chance to build new social networks.
Text: Aleksandra Kozyra
Photos: Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e.V.