Supporting the Integration of Refugees

German lessons in a refugee center run by the Maltesers

ALTANA donates 250,000 Euros to finance a German course designed by charity Malteser Werke specifically for refugees. 

The pilot project, dubbed “Deutschunterricht von Anfang an - mit mehrstufigem Konzept zum schnellen Lernerfolg” (German for absolute beginners and up - a multitiered concept for rapid results), is being supported and evaluated on a scientific basis and is to benefit approximately 100,000 refugees in ten reception centers run by the Maltesers in Germany. 

Learning German is the key to integrating the people who are coming to Germany and is thus an important condition for gaining access to the labor market. ALTANA wants to make a sustainable contribution to these efforts.

“We are extremely happy to receive such generous support from ALTANA. It means we can offer refugees accredited German lessons when we first meet them, giving them an opportunity that previously couldn’t be offered at initial reception centers. That is a real investment in the future of our integration work,” says Sebastian Schilgen, Executive Director of Malteser Werke.

In specific terms, ALTANA is financing the appointment of accredited German teachers for an initial period of one year at six centers in North Rhine-Westphalia, including in Wesel. The donation will also be used to equip classrooms, print teaching materials, and support the pilot project’s scientific evaluation overall.

The Federal Employment Agency welcomes the cooperation between ALTANA and the Maltesers: “This collaboration is a model example of how social welfare and business can come together to play an important part in successfully integrating refugees in Germany,” says Daniel Terzenbach, who represents the Federal Employment Agency’s panel for operational refugee management.

ALTANA approached Aktion Deutschland Hilft e.V., a coalition of German aid agencies, with a request for its member organizations to submit proposals for projects designed to improve the German language skills of refugees.  

The Malteser project was selected because it is rooted in additional activities that are carried out by the Maltesers with the aim of helping refugees integrate into Germany. Malteser Werke gGmbH is overseeing the pilot project on behalf of the charity Malteser Hilfsdienst and the partners are confident that their pilot project has the potential to become a standard tool across Germany.