Talk with me is an international project, funded in the frame of Erasmus + programme of the EU. Our partners are Gemeinsam leben & lernen in Europa from Passau, Germany and Centrul de Voluntariat Cluj-Napoca, Romania. The project is aimed at development and adaptation of an innovative programme for young volunteers in support for young refugees and children refugees to help them to learn the language of the country where they have decided to stay. The programme includes educational and teaching materials that are adapted for the needs and the interests of young people. The model is applied successfully in Germany and is based not on an academic learning of the language but on opportunities for communication on general themes and using the language in everyday life.
The aim is to create opportunities for speaking and sharing as the language serves as a basis for communication, thinking, acquisition and passing on knowledge and information. Refugees often do not have the opportunity to practice the new language.
For 2 years the team of Tulip Foundation has been working on the adaptation, introduction and documentation of a model for support for young refugees provided by young language mentors volunteers. That was possible due to the extraordinary work of young volunteers in Sofia, who spent a lot of time meeting young refugees for a few months, and the cooperation with other organisations working with refugees.
The Tulip Foundation’s team implemented the activities for development and piloting of the model for young volunteers acting as informal language mentors of young refugees in partnership with the colleagues from Gemeinsam leben & lernen in Europa in Passau, Germany, and Centrul de Voluntariat Cluj-Napoca in Romania. The model that has been developed in Germany can easily be applied by different organisations, that work with volunteers in the field of multicultural communication.
Based on the model that was adapted in the frame of the “Talk with me” project, funded under Erasmus + programme of the EU, and the practical experience of the volunteers and the refugees, we developed a full set of materials, which include project guideline, manual, toolbox and all the necessary documents for the application of the model. The set reflects the experience of the three organisations in three very different European countries. That gives us confidence that it will also work in other countries applied by other organisations.
We presented the model at a special public event “Talk with me” on 28 February at A-HUB. More than 20 representatives of different organisations working with refugees and volunteers attended the event like Bulgarian Red Cross, CVS Bulgaria, Council of Refugee Women in Bulgaria, UNICEF, Bulgarian Council on Refugees and Migrants, Friends of the Refugees Group, Centre for the Study of Democracy, etc.
Miroslava Georgieva presented in details the steps in the development and the implementation of the model, illustrated with stories, examples and pictures. The participants raised various questions about practical details of the activities like involvement of children, selection of appropriate safe and convenient place for the meetings of the couples, reactions of parents of refugee children and many others.
At the end of the event all participants received a full set of the developed materials for organisations, volunteers - language mentors and young refugees. Some of the colleagues congratulated the team of Tulip Foundation for sharing their innovative and effective practice.
The set of materials, that can be downloaded, includes: