Welcome – Recognition – Appreciation
GlobaLokal takes an inclusive approach, combining shared housing with activities that promote intercultural exchange and international understanding. It therefore gets involved in its immediate neighborhood to help reduce social barriers based on heritage, age or disability.
It seems simple: Germany needs skilled workers and non-German workers are looking for employment in Germany, which is booming economically. All that’s required is to bring the two sides together and, like magic, all problems will be solved.
But it’s not that simple.
Looking at things from a “technical” standpoint, skilled workers, especially the most qualified, are applying for jobs in a number of locations, not only in Frankfurt. Europe’s major economic centers are competing against each other to attract exactly these people. Moreover, a number of factors will determine who wins this competition beyond who is willing to pay workers the most.
Public institutions and private businesses both actively help non-native workers become part of the German workforce. Yet in terms of social integration, newcomers are often left to their own devices.
A new arrival’s professional and social integration are not mutually exclusive, however; failure in one area can quickly lead to failure in the other. The less comfortable non-natives feel in their new environment the more likely it becomes that they will not stay. The cost of recruiting and training new non-native workers becomes prohibitive as a result.
Some of the key factors determining how long immigrants stay are how welcome they feel and whether or not the society they have arrived in recognizes and appreciates who they are – in other words, the quality of life they and their family members experience there.
GlobaLokal’s members believe that, in addition to the “culture of welcome” that is often spoken about in Germany, real communication must take place between cultural groups if people of different backgrounds are to live together harmoniously in a society where everyone is treated with respect. We call this creating a “culture of recognition.”
Our attitudes and activities are based on this view of society. Our members come from four continents. They have either grown up outside of Germany or have experienced another culture because they have a partner of a different nationality or because they have lived abroad.
In practical terms, GlobaLokal wants to support immigrants in Germany in feeling at home in their new environment. To do this, it has developed the following programs, some of which are already being implemented:
- IST: Interkulturelle Starthilfe zur Teilhabe (Intercultural Assistance for Participation). Non-native newcomers receive individual support from GlobaLokal members, helping them to find their way in their new environment and feel at home.
IST services include:
- Welcoming newcomers when they arrive
- Helping them find an apartment and move in
- Administrative support (e.g. filling out forms and visiting public authorities)
- Support for social participation (e.g. language assistance, help in acclimating to the new environment, understanding the healthcare system, using local transport, etc.)
- Educational activities for the public, and promoting social and global learning and cultural exchange.
- Temporary housing during the “orientation phase” for young non-native workers, students and trainees. Housing for 6 to 10 people is planned.
GlobaLokal’s social engagement is made possible by its members, more precisely by the time and effort that they volunteer. The group’s engagement includes public-private partnerships, i.e. cooperating with public- and private-sector organizations to realize our goals.
We are seeking partners to help finance our social engagement activities. We also welcome donations.