MUNICH — (MunichNOW News) — Turning Tables is a refugee integration project that was started by expats and Germans in October 2015 and is part of Thrive International e.V., a not-for-profit organization based in Munich that focuses on promoting cultural understanding, tolerance and education.
Turning Tables aims to facilitate the integration of refugees in Munich through training, mentoring and working experience, centered around food and cultural understanding.
Germany faces big challenges in successfully integrating an estimated half a million asylum-seekers in the coming years. Refugees will need support to understand the local, professional, cultural and legal environment. With this in mind, the project adopts a holistic approach to integration. Turning Tables focus on the personal, cultural and practical aspects of settling in Germany. In addition to learning the language, the group believes that successful integration is achieved when focusing on aspects such as motivation, goals, objectives and cultural exchange.
The project aims to deliver a training program that provides professional skills in the food and service sector along with intercultural coaching and other related workshops. This training is then complemented by practical internships via partnerships with restaurants, cafes and related organisations. Refugees will be matched with mentors who can provide guidance and support to help them settle in Germany, and will attend food-based events so that they can interact with the wider public.
The group wants to include the local population of Munich in the project as mentors, coaches, trainers and employers. For Turning Tables, integration is a two-way process that involves working with refugees to aid their transition to a new environment, but also focuses on the local population that hosts them to foster cultural understanding and acceptance.
Turning Tables is currently running a crowdfunding campaign through April 10 on Startnext. The funding will be devoted to designing and running their first pilot training session this year. As this is the first training for the project, substantial resources will be devoted to providing the necessary infrastructure and materials for future courses.
The group is also looking for restaurants, cafes and refugee organisations to partner with, as well as companies interested in sponsoring or donating.
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