Voerde/Wesel, August 23, 2016

"German Lessons from the Very Beginning"

With a donation, ALTANA is enabling refugees to take special German courses in Voerde, Germany. The city on the Lower Rhine is providing rooms in the former Pestalozzi school for the classes, which start at the beginning of September. The German lessons in Voerde are part of a comprehensive program of Malteser Werke within the framework of the refugee aid of the relief alliance “Aktion Deutschland Hilft”. The specialty chemicals Group ALTANA has allocated a total of € 250,000 across Germany for the program.

On Friday, September 2, 2016, German classes for refugees begin in the school building at Alexanderstrasse 81 in Voerde. Specially trained instructors will teach the courses Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. The offer is free for the participants. Malteser Werke is still looking for volunteers to get involved in the project.

The concept is based on a modular principle encompassing four modules of different degrees of difficulty. One learning module lasts 90 minutes. Participants can choose a module that suits their needs or can combine several modules. They can enter or leave classes at any time. On the first day of class, they can get a feel for the course, get to know the concept, and find out which module meets their individual requirements.

Positive interim results of Germany-wide pilot project – first participants have received certificates from adult education centers

The aim of the modular course is to make it easier for refugees to get started in Germany. The course focuses on coping with everyday cultural and language situations. Malteser Werke has already implemented and tested the concept for refugees at five facilities, with positive results. After completing the course given by Malteser Werke, some of the participants went on to receive the A1 certificate from an adult education center. The pilot project is scientifically accompanied and evaluated in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences in Dortmund.

Absolute beginners start with module I to learn rudimentary German. “They can gradually take on new challenges and in module IV can already conduct short conversations,” says Anja Müller, project manager for the German classes at Malteser Werke. A textbook developed specifically for the course is especially helpful. It contains all four modules and can be used for more advanced learning outside of class.

The specialty chemicals Group ALTANA has financed the German courses since the beginning of the year. The company’s partnership with the Malteser Werke began when it cooperated with “Aktion Deutschland Hilft”, an alliance of German aid organizations specializing in humanitarian assistance. As a member of the alliance, the Malteser Werke, which has decades of experience in refugee aid, is implementing the project.

Refugees visiting a German course

Malteser Werke gGmbH
Anja Müller, Project Manager for German Classes
Tel. +49 377 80960-1276

Andrea Neumann, Head of Corporate Communications
Tel. +49 281 670-10300

Aktion Deutschland Hilft e.V.
Kai Pleuser, CSR Partnerships Consultant
Tel. +49 228 24292-420