What our participants have to say about the project
Connect Mannheim stands for and commits to the personal and cultural exchange between refugees and university students on a level playing field. Connect Mannheim does so in creating and fostering small tandem learning groups between refugees and university students throughout the semester. Through this Connect Mannheim believes to ease the integration process of refugees in Germany by giving refugees a welcoming and fair shot at learning the language and developing personal bondages with local university students they can interact with and relate to as role models. It is not a classic student-teacher relationship we encourage among the groups, but rather one where we teach each other and learn from one another. This includes being open to learning the respective native language of the refugees, being curious in their culture and ready to learn more about it. We give and we take. Our small tandem groups are usually led by two responsible university students, who play a quintessential organisational role in the entire project. Meetings are held on a regular basis of at least once every two weeks.
To further stimulate the relationships between all participant, Connect Mannheim organises regular activities where everyone comes together to celebrate our joint conviction in diversity, for instance through international dinners.
“I have been a member of connect since my first semester at the University of Mannheim and have been in contact with two groups of refugees over the period of two semesters together with Berit, which was a really cool and interesting experience. I am looking forward to getting to know new people, connect friends, learn things and have a great time.”
"Together with David, I've been with Connect for a year. Through the exchange with different refugee groups from different regions of origin, I was not only able to gain new friendships but also have a better understanding of the situation in the originregions as well as in Germany. I hope to continue this exchange in the future and give others the opportunity to experience this.”
“My name is Albert Grafe, I am studying economics at the University of Mannheim and am a co-founder of the refugee project Connect. For me Connect means culture, camaraderie and communication. Not only do we try to provide more exchanges between students and refugees, but also want to set a clear sign for worldliness, tolerance and commitment. As CFO, I will primarily deal with the financial needs of the project and I am also your contact for donations and sponsorship.”
“My name is Tobias Kalmbach and I'm studying Business Administration. Since I joined HWS in 2016, I have been at Connect and I have been able to get to know great people from different cultural circles and gained a lot of experience in the last two semesters. I have brought our culture and language to the refugees through visits on the Christmas market, German hours on the Rhine promenade and walks through the city. A particularly nice experience was when a couple of refugees once surprised me with a self-planned trip to Bad Dürkheim in the leisure pool. But also joint actions with all the other students and refugee groups is great fun, e.g. our joint cooking last semester. The refugees are also very pleased when people are interested in their cultural circle, for example I have learned a bit the language spoken in Gambia Mandinka. Because of all the great experiences, I would like to continue to be part of Connect and look forward to new experiences, cool actions, to meet new faces and getting to know new people. The groups of students and refugees will have a great time together and I am already looking forward to reporting about new actions, experiences and friendships in the next semesters on the homepage and in the social media.”
"My name is Fabian Nagel and I studied economics at the University of Mannheim.
I am one of the co-founders of Connect Mannheim since the beginning of 2015. From the engagement at Connect, friendships have developed since then, which would have not been possible otherwise.
Connect reduces the obstacle to get involved and get in contact with people. From a certain point onwards, it no longer feels like a meeting within a refugee project, but rather like a meeting with friends; even if it is simply drinking a coffee or organizing a barbecue. If students and refugees want to do something together, whether it's cooking, barbecuing or going to the Christmas market, Connect makes it possible. In the future, I will be supporting Connect mainly with administrative tasks and I am already looking forward to the stories of the next semesters."
“My name is Max A. Wosnitza and I founded the refugee project "Connect" together with Fabian and Albert in November 2015. Our aim in the beginning was to bring students and refugees together, to promote a cultural exchange and to create a better basis for a successful integration of refugees into society. Thanks to the cooperation with the team of the German Red Cross, we have been able to get towards our goal in just one and a half year and when I look back there were so many beautiful and also impressive moments with the students and refugees.
With the completion of my Bachelor's degree in economics at the University of Mannheim in July 2017, my role within the framework of Connect is shifting to an advisory function. In doing so, I will assist the Management Board with the support of future tasks.“
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The DRK-Kreisverband Mannheim is one of 491 circle associations in the German Red Cross. We are a top NGO of the Free Welfare Administration and a National Relief Society. We are affiliated to our National Association of Baden-Wuerttemberg e.V. Alsater is the circle federation with its outlines part of the national and red and red crescent movement.
In the spirit of humanity, we are committed to life, health, well-being, protection, peaceful coexistence and the dignity of all people.
Name is a Resolution Fellow / Names are Resolution Fellows. The Resolution Fellowship is awarded to select socially responsible young leaders and provides a full ecosystem of support, including seed funding, strong advisory support, access to resources and a network, and a community of like-minded peers. The Resolution Fellowship is provided by The Resolution Project, www.resolutionproject.org, a global 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in New York City that fosters leadership development through collaborative social entrepreneurship.
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