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 Hunger  Germany Project #22114

The Tafel Refugee Integration Project Fund

by Tafel Deutschland e.V.
The Tafel Refugee Integration Project Fund
The Tafel Refugee Integration Project Fund
The Tafel Refugee Integration Project Fund
The Tafel Refugee Integration Project Fund
The Tafel Refugee Integration Project Fund
The Tafel Refugee Integration Project Fund
The Tafel Refugee Integration Project Fund
The Tafel Refugee Integration Project Fund

 

On september 28t, "All together now" celebrated its succesful conclusion for the year 2019. The „Tafel“, church communities and wellfare organisations of Halberstadt organised this years final gathering of refugees and locals in the Liebfrauenkirche. The event was accompanied by the local press.

In cooperation with the "Halberstädter Verkehrsbetriebe", two busses were rented to pick up the residents of the local „Zast“.

The highlight of the common afternoon was the women's choir "Cantare" and the brass band "Brasselbande", who accompanied the event musically and invited the visitors to celebrate and dance together.

As always, the catholic and protestant communities provided the participants with plenty of cakes, pastries and drinks. In addition, employees of the „Diakonisches Werk“ donated self-knitted caps and scarves to the families for the upcoming cooler season.

The organizers emphasized the great support provided by the Tafel. In cooperation with the project "Tafel-Vielfalt stärkt" and supported by the minister of state for Migration, Refugees and Integration, it was possible to finance and continiue the event series.

Of course, the organisers are already planning the next series "All together now" for the coming year 2020!

As a thank-you for the support provided, all volunteers are invited for a common celebration on October 24th in the „Wärmestube Halberstadt“.

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Due to their low-threshold offers, the German food-banks do more than the mere distribution of food. The „Tafeln“offer a meeting place for people regardless of their financial means. In Nordhorn, the „Tafel“was founded in 2005. In order to counteract the effects of exclusion through social disadvantage and need, the „Tafel Nordhorn“has continously expanded their offerings. The active team of 170 volunteers, including 50 people with a migrational background and 10 fugitives, organises the daily work. They supply a total of 1200 households. 450 of them are fugitives. Through their "KidsPro" project, the food-bank also organises monthly events for children from socially disadvantaged families such as common cooking or trips to the theatre. In addition, Tafel Nordhorn runs the so-called "Lädchen", a department store in which donated items can be bought by anyone for affordable prices. Another important meeting place is the "Café mittendrin", a joint project with the Baptist church in Nordhorn, where drinks and cakes are offered for little money and where people have a place for contemplation and exchange. The „Tafel Nordhorn“is thus a meeting place for people with different backgrounds, different ages, religions and life experiences and is a place of practiced integration.

Since 2015, however, the proportion of people with migration background has risen sharply, which poses new challenges for the volunteers. Language barriers, misinformation about the offerings and the voluntary work of the German food-banks require an increasing amount of awareness-raising on part of the employees. On 29.04.2019 the team of "Tafel-Vielfalt stärkt" met with the volunteers for an open exchange in which the volunteers described their needs from a personal point of view. The idea for the project "Begegnung durch Green Mobility" was born.

Food-banks in rural areas are all too familiar with the problem of limited mobility. Without well-developed public transportation, many Tafel customers are severely restricted in their freedom of movement, as very few of them can afford a car. To address this problem the „Tafel Nordhorn“has founded a bicycle workshop. Additionally, the volunteers offer courses in repair work and driver safety training. Fugitive and non-fugitive participants attend these courses together. The aim of the project is to further the intercultural competence of the participants and to lay the foundation for common actions and activities. Furthermore, two public cycling tours with subsequent visits to cultural sites are planned. In addition, a venue for socially disadvantaged children and an international visit of the Christmas market will be organised. The final event will be a common Christmas Eve with food from different cultures in the "Café mittendrin".

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On the 20th of March 2019 an open exchange workshop took place with volunteers from different countries at the Tafel in Plauen. About 100 volunteers are aktive in the Plauener Tafel, among that 36 helpers from 15 different countries of origin. The integration at the Plauener Tafel works in an amazing way. 

The exchange and the meeting were very open. A practical, humanitarian approach and a natural understanding of integration are the focus here in Plauen. During the exchange, one could feel the joy of volunteering and the willingness to help one another. Here one gets aware of the personal backgrounds of each individual Tafel- Volunteer- regardless of the language barriers.

Constant dialogue, mutual education and recognition prevent conflict potential. In order to do justice to all these tasks, one needs a person, who knows the TAFEL work with all its aspects and has made the experiences of  "arriving" as a refugee in Germany.

 Also in order to motivate long-term volunteering one needs multilingual facilitators.

Analysing these needs we developed at the Plauener Tafel a great idea: the "Tafel-Tandem". The idea behind it is that old and new TAFEL volunteers form a 2-person tandem. The tasks of the international tandem are within others the advice and education of Tafel users/ guests.

The tandem aims also to have a de-escalating effect and prevent the potential of conflicts arising from cultural diffeences.

The Plauener Tafel-Tandem gets active in April 2019 and is supported and accompanied by "Tafel-Vielfalt stärkt". 

"Tafel- Vielfalt stärkt" supports the Tafel landscape with regard to the intercultural changes in the everyday tasks of the volunteers. 

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The theater crew
The theater crew

Generally not something we hope happens, but this report is about a theater performance at a Tafel in a small town in western Germany. In September volunteers and patrons of Dattelner Tafel cooperated to perform an impressive theater piece with prose, dancing and singing to portray people's experiences at the Tafel. City officials, representatives from other NGOs, migrant and theater associations as well as the press and the families of the actors, active members of the Tafel and numerous other supporters were among the 150 invited guests who attended the premiere. Starting in February, photos from the performance will be on display at the local St. Vincent Hospital.

Both refugees and non-refugees incorporated their personal, very diverse experiences and stories into the project. The play, for example, tells of a shepherd and a mayor from an Iraqi city whose escape routes separate in Munich and then cross again at the local Tafel. A single father from the area, an unaccompanied minor from Albania, one of the first Italian immigrant workers in Germany, a persecuted athlete from Iran, a disabled banker and a retired soldier figure out during their interactions with one another that they have more in common than than they first think.

Rescuing and passing out food is the core of the Tafel’s work. This forms the basis for the Tafel as a meeting place. Through language but also through the food and different dietary habits, the Tafel volunteers and the clientele negotiate interpersonal relationships. Most people associate food and nutrition with the Tafel; the play however deals with individual lives that meet behind the backdrop of the Tafel.

The Tafel Theater Project in Datteln began in June 2017 and will end with the photo exhibition in February 2019. Donations made to our refugee integration project fund go toward supporting activities like these. We count on your continued support to ensure that we can keep good work going and support new activities that promote integration and community in cities big and small throughout Germany.

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Learning about one day's trash from the group
Learning about one day's trash from the group

Zerbst has about 20,000 inhabitants and is located just north of the middle Elbe River between Magdeburg and Wittenberg. The Zerbster Tafel was started by Diakonie in 2002 and has been an independent registered association since 2015. Five volunteers support the food distribution three days a week. With their commitment they help about 200 households.

In addition to their "normal" Tafel tasks, the volunteers also run a KinderTafel (“children’s table”), which is one of the projects supported by the national association because of its focus on the integration of refugees and the appreciation of food. The young participants have a chance to cook together once a week. They also go on excursions e.g. to visit farms, take care of plants and animals and learn about the environment and nutrition.

Last weekend, the KinderTafel put on a fun-filled, diverse program from Friday through Sunday revolving around food waste, recycling and pollution. Fifteen youth from Zerbst and kids from the Middle East who have recently found refuge there took part in the excursion to the environmental center Ronney in the Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve.

They prepared delicious meals together out of food which was rescued by the Tafel. There was duck, carrots, corn, cabbage, cucumbers, salad, brussels sprouts, rice, pineapples, apples, bananas, custard, yogurt, cereals, breads, coldcuts, spreads, cheeses and much, much more. They discussed the energy that goes into food production, wasteful packaging, recycling and environmental pollution. Then they collected litter on the banks of the Elbe and learned about the history of the area. Afterwards the kids got to relax and enjoy a ferry ride across the river.

The nutritional habits and attitudes toward the environment formed during childhood can follow a person their whole life. This project aims to help socially marginalized kids from different backgrounds make good, healthy food choices and be critical, conscious consumers.

Litter collection: Shoes, tires, glass, plastic...
Litter collection: Shoes, tires, glass, plastic...
On a ride across the river
On a ride across the river
Preparing food that was saved by the Tafel
Preparing food that was saved by the Tafel

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Organization Information

Tafel Deutschland e.V.

Location: Berlin - Germany
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @tafel_de
Project Leader:
Ryan Harty
Berlin, Germany

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