Crowdfunding finished
Volunteering for newcomers! Many people who are new to Germany would like to be involved in their communities and work for a good cause. We think that's great. However, many often lack information and personal support to get started. We are here to change that: Active Newcomers supports refugees and migrants in Berlin in finding their first volunteering opportunities and help other people in their new home country.
22,262 €
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 ACTIVE NEWCOMERS | Refugees become volunteers
 ACTIVE NEWCOMERS | Refugees become volunteers
 ACTIVE NEWCOMERS | Refugees become volunteers
 ACTIVE NEWCOMERS | Refugees become volunteers
 ACTIVE NEWCOMERS | Refugees become volunteers

About this project

Funding period 11/19/18 11:41 AM - 1/31/19 11:59 PM
Realisation April 2019 - April 2020
Start level 20,000 €
Category Community
City Berlin

Project description show hide

What is this project all about?

THE IDEA - Work together for a good cause

Newcomers and locals work together towards a good cause and get to know each other personally. The newcomer volunteers experience firsthand how people in Germany live, work, and communicate. They re-apply their unique talents to a new context and develop valuable skills while making new friends.

And the best part is that social volunteering is straight forward: There are no bureaucratic hurdles, newcomers can start right away! The potential is huge. Yet, getting started is still too difficult: How to find the right organization or project to support? Where to start? GoVolunteer helps newcomers on all steps of their volunteering journey.

THE PROGRAM - What is Active Newcomers about?

We support refugees and migrants with their start into volunteering and social engagement - with information, simple access, targeted trainings and personal coaching:

  • Inform: We inform newcomers about the various possibilities to get involved in community projects and initiatives through a volunteering activity.
  • Qualify: We prepare both newcomers and German social organizations for their joint volunteering experience. We offer supporting trainings as well as personal coaching and consulting.
  • Provide access: Through our online tools, newcomers explore a variety of volunteering opportunities. We are the matchmaker: We find the best match based on their skills and interests. Then we connect them to the people on the ground.
  • Support:​ If you are a newcomer volunteer, we connect you with your favorite social projects that work on the causes that are close to your heart. We assist you with personal coaching and mentoring.

THE VOLUNTEERING PROJECTS - From Emergency Relief to Football Training

Our main goal is to support the newcomers to become an integral part of the society by helping them get involved in social projects and activities, focused on social issues that are important to them. It also offers them an opportunity to use their skills while learning new ones throughout the process. Therefore, ACTIVE NEWCOMERS offers a variety of prospects to help them engage in a wide range of societal challenges in diverse fields.

Our ACTIVE NEWCOMERS are working for these causes:

  • Women's Rights / Female Empowerment
  • Sports and Training for Children and Teenagers
  • Educational and Cultural Projects for Children and Young People
  • Care for Homeless and Low-Income People
  • Disaster Control and Emergency Rescue
  • Renovation Work in Schools and Day-Care Centres
  • Promotion of Democracy and Prevention of Violence
  • Protection of Nature and the Environment, Preservation of Biodiversity
  • Employment for Refugees and Migrants*.
  • Integration and Participation of Refugees and Migrants

More information and overview of all projects at:

What is the project goal and who is the project for?

Integration is a big challenge. But what do we actually mean when we talk about integration?

We say: "to be integrated" is not enough. "Collaboration" is the key. People identify with a community when they have the opportunity to work with others on issues that are important to them. When I team up with Majdi, Jürgen and Talila to fight against plastic waste in our oceans, I do not care where they come from. What is important to me is the fact that we share the same goals and values. Through joint activities and the struggle for the best solution, we enter into a constructive dialogue and get to know each other.

The goal of Active Newcomers: Integration through Participation! More than 1 million refugees and migrants seek social participation and work in Germany. Unfortunately, bureaucratic hurdles complicate the process from the very first step. Many newcomers find themselves in a situation of relative isolation, which is further exacerbated by language barriers and inadequate housing and living conditions.

An opportunity to overcome this isolation offers a social commitment that is uncomplicated and devoid of administrative hurdles. Refugees can build relationships and gain experience in the German workplace. The frequent contacts with German native speakers facilitate their language attainment. In addition, their engagement with like-minded people offers them an opportunity to break out of a psychologically stressful situation and to use their individual skills in a meaningful way again.

It is a win-win situation: refugees and migrants bring their new ideas and special expertise that are highly compatible with the assignments in the non-profit sector.

We want to finally harness this potential with the ACTIVE NEWCOMERS by addressing these 3 acute needs:

  • Awareness: Many newcomers do not have sufficient information about the possibilities of a volunteering engagement in Germany.
  • Transparency and Access: Refugees lack the information on employment opportunities and needs in the non-profit sector. The high online affinity of the target group is not yet addressed by other digital offers in the social sector.
  • Personal Support: Due to language and cultural barriers, as well as limited experience in the German working environment, many newcomers are dependent on personal support to get active. Both, when looking for a suitable opportunities as well as during the engagement itself.

In the next 18 months, through our program, we want to enable more than 200 newcomers to get active on more than 50 charitable projects in a variety of fields. We help refugees and migrants in the following ways:

  • Preparation for entry into the German labor market through first-hand work experience and qualification in the relevant professional fields.
  • Acquiring German language skills through practical application in a professional context.
  • Establishing strong professional networks and references
  • In-depth participation in the society and increased self-esteem through the opportunity to put individual abilities and interests to good use.
  • Building private networks and making new friends in the community.
Why would you support this project?

Do you care about tolerance and diversity? Do you believe that every person is unique and has the ability to enrich our community? Are you deeply concerned about social issues? Are you a change-maker at heart? Then ACTIVE NEWCOMERS is definitely a good fit for you!

With the program ACTIVE NEWCOMER by GoVolunteer ...

  • You support migrants and refugees in taking on an active and creative role in our society: Newcomers contribute their individual skills to professionally help other people. Together with the locals, they work on topics that are important to them. In this way they acquire important skills, gain work experience, learn German, develop professional networks and make new friends. All this facilitates to their integration in work and society and contributes to a higher self-esteem.
  • You support tolerant, peaceful collaboration and more social unity: Prejudice and fear are reduced through personal encounters (e.g. between newcomers and locals and different religions). The commitment of the newcomers to a social, appreciative cooperation sends a strong message and promotes tolerance and openness in all parts of the society.

Your donation will be doubled: With our successful concept, we have already won over the European Union (ESF) and Aktion Mensch as sponsors for our active newcomers. Your support is what is needed now. And the great news is - every euro you donate is doubled by a public grant.

This is a great opportunity: Each donation creates a double effect and helps a newcomer to help other people! #MachMit

How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded? 

ACTIVE NEWCOMERS has successfully put the first 20 participants in a social volunteering opportunities as part of the pilot project, funded by the EU and Aktion Mensch. However, our limited seed funding will soon expire.

Therefore, we start a new crowdfunding campaign. With the proceeds we want to realize two key goals:

  • Help more Newcomers to become active volunteers: Your donation will support more Newcomers with picking up their first social volunteering engagement - who then, in turn, help other people that need it the most in our society. Over the next 18 months, we would like to enable more than 200 people who are new in Germany to engage on more than 50 charitable projects. We hope to extend our activities from Berlin to other large cities in Germany.
  • More training and coaching for Newcomers: Many newcomers are not yet familiar with the professional environment and social work in Germany. They need one-on-one personal support and targeted trainings. Therefore, we would like to use the donations to set up a comprehensive training and support program for our dedicated newcomers. Each participant will receive a personal mentor and an access to high-quality continuing education workshops (eg "Work and Job Search in Germany", "Find Your Strengths", "Intercultural Training", "Presence and Communication").

To realize these goals, we need a budget of € 50,000. This budget will be invested in the development and implementation of trainings and community events, personal care, technical infrastructure, workshop materials, rental of event space and information materials (offline and online). With every Euro that exceeds the funding threshold of 20,000 Euro, we can include additional participants in these offers and promote an extension of dedicated NEWCOMER to other locations.

For example: The event series "Work and Job Search in Germany" with five events costs us €350 per participant. Our goal is to realize at least three further series of events in order to be able to address the most urgent individual training needs of the first 200 participants.

Your donation will be doubled: Our previous sponsors, the European Union (ESF) and Aktion Mensch, have agreed to double each donated euro through a public grant (up to a maximum of 50,000 euros). This is a great opportunity!

Who are the people behind the project?

THE ORGANIZATION – GoVolunteer | Help where you are needed

GoVolunteer stands for an active society: As Europe's largest volunteering community, we aim to make volunteering part of everyone’s daily life. The idea is simple: connect volunteering projects with people who want to help - and motivate others to follow their lead. On you choose from over 3,500 projects in more than 200 cities. Find a project that fits your skills and interests and start volunteering today.

By making volunteering easy and rewarding, GoVolunteer gives every single person the opportunity to actively shape our society. Many hands can do a lot of good: We link the unique potential of volunteers to the needs of social initiatives. And more than that: By connecting people and encouraging collaboration for a common goal, we help our community grow together.

The Federal Commissioner for Migration and Refugees has named GoVolunteer as an important engine of integration. GoVolunteer e.V. is a non-profit association based in Berlin. |

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ACTIVE NEWCOMERS | Refugees become volunteers

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