About "Encuentro - Stark in Gesellschaft"

The pilot project „ – Stark in Gesellschaft“ forms part of the sociocultural association Treibhaus e.V. and aims at supporting understanding, empathy, diversity and participation especially within the district of Mittelsachsen. Middle Saxony. Our work is focused on inter-cultural, anti-racist and migratory work.

Therefore, the 14 different modules are focusing:

  • Integration through education

This category aims at enhancing intercultural skills in addition to raising basic awareness and empowerment to confront racism. Participant-oriented German courses for migrants and refugees provide improved communication opportunities. Furthermore, varied and participatory seminars and workshops are organized. These offers, in combination with further education courses, should help build a foundation for an equal togetherness. Inter-cultural skills, resources, and offers can be exchanged via the communication platform IKI.

  • Integration through participation

This project focusses on social participation. Our consultation services for migrants and the youth Forum Interkultur promote a foundation of social participation and ability to act. The participatory platform Meinungsboard gives e.g. immigrants the opportunity to publicly share their experiences, questions, wishes, and ideas. These can also be broadcasted on CourageRadio. On a political level, this component is supplemented with continuous networking and lobbying. To include as many people as possible, basic information about the association are translated within the module Poliling.

  • Integration through gathering

Informative and socio-cultural events at the refugee accommodation in Döbeln focus on communication and encounter. Furthermore, Treibhaus e.V. has been the main organizer of PRISMA, an inter-cultural week, for several years. As hosting and sending organization within the European Voluntary Service, we want to support the acquisition of important skills for an active participation in social life and in cultural exchange. By working together in groups and with the help of experienced musicians, youths can express themselves and simultaneously create something with others via the musical module Polyton.

Besides, the development and practical implementation are intended to serve as possibilities for other initiatives who wish to integrate these modules in their work practice.
Another important aspect will be the cooperation with other multipliers and protagonists in the district of Mittelsachsen and beyond.


1. Language courses for migrants

Within the framework of the pilot project “Encuentro”, Treibhaus e.V. will be offering participant-oriented German courses regularly for migrants and refugees in the “Haus der Demokratie” or other locations in the region as of 2012.  This offer should enable people with a migratory background, living in Central Saxony, to have access to specific language assistance. By participating in the language courses, communication opportunities with fellow human beings can be improved, thus, resulting in also improving the foundation of participation in the societal life of the attendees. The language courses are adjusted according to age, sex, language level, and goal orientation of the specific target audience.

The necessity of participant-oriented language courses is founded on the idea of establishing an equal involvement in societal life (integration) for people with a migratory background living in Germany. Affected are most of all the areas of education, qualification, and the labor market. Within these areas, equality is hardly possible without sufficient language skills.  

Through basic knowledge of the German language refugees, regardless of their legal status, can learn to better understand their own situation and, furthermore, exercise their rights and expand their opportunity for action.

The development and implementation of the participant-oriented language courses is a cooperative project between trained professionals, students of the University of Roßwein, interested migrants, and Treibhaus e.V.. The key feature is the active involvement of the participants in the shaping of the specific language courses.    

Unfortunately, besides language barriers, there are a lot more mechanisms, these often being structural, through which migrants experience disadvantage. However, with the help of a successful completion of the German courses, the foundation for a better participation in every day life is strengthened through which the self confidence of the participant is also increased.

Offer as of 2012


2. Democratic and Intercultural Education Series

Especially interested young people have the opportunity to inform themselves and learn about the topics interculturality, migration, development of democracy in society, and antiracism, within the framework of the module “Building Blocks of a Democratic and Intercultural Education Series“.
To realize this, regular information evenings, seminars, and workshops are to be offered between 2011 and 2013.
Beyond that, Treibhaus e.V. is planning a first intercultural movie week in Döbeln for 2012.

The Treibhaus e.V. has put together a very good and well-rounded educational offer on politics and culture for many years. In the context of “Encuentro- Stark in Gesellschaft (Strong in Society)”, the sections interculturality and migration have been emphasized and discussed more intensely and elaborately. The goal is to offer a continuous, broad, and participant-oriented educational offer in these areas, for young adults especially.   

Educational and informative events

The educational and informative events on interculturality and migration occur quarterly and are open to all who want to inform themselves comprehensively and meet interesting conversational partners. Twelve varied information evenings are planned on these topics between 2011 and 2013.

Seminars and workshops

Advanced skills can be won and used by participating in a total of six seminars and/or workshops. These are taking place between 2011 and 2013 on the topics democracy, interculturality, migration, and discrimination. Planned seminars are “Betzavta”, “Eye to Eye”, “Critical Whiteness” and also a theme oriented forum theater, for example.


3. Further Training for Multipliers

The module “Further Training for Multipliers” should primarily create, develop, and refine  intercultural skills of teachers, childcare specialists, authorities, social workers, and volunteers. Two advanced trainings and three specialist conferences are planned between 2011 and 2013.

The participation in the advanced trainings and specialist conferences is open to all multipliers, with or without prior knowledge in the fields of interculturality and migration. Networking, to become more capable of acting and to improve the efficiency of strategies, is a desired and thoroughly possible effect of the interaction of diverse multipliers and their experiences. Furthermore, social problems such as racism and discrimination should be moved from the outskirts into the center of discussions.

Further education trainings

Between 2011 and 2013, one seminar will be held yearly especially for the various multipliers that come in contact with the topics of interculturality and migration in their professional occupation. The participants of the further education trainings provided by us will be trained to unveil discriminatory and racist points of view and also structures of arguments, and simultaneously build or refine intercultural skills that are needed to make an equal togetherness possible in the first place. The transfer of the offers are ensued by experienced speakers and aspires the successful implementation of the acquired skills in every day and work life.

Specialist conferences

The project Encuentro will be organizing a larger specialist conference for all multipliers, such as teachers, child care specialists, authorities, social workers, volunteers, and, of course, for everyone else interested, yearly between 2012 and 2013. The conferences should be theory oriented and, at the same moment, function as a platform for the exchange, discussion, and networking of the participants on topics related to migration, interculturality, integration, and discrimination.


4. IKI- „Intercultural Information Platform“

The intercultural information platform, IKI, is a dynamic communication platform for everyone interested in a lively exchange on intercultural topics, or for people who want to share their competencies and resources with others.

The IKI should inform many different people from the district of Central Saxony/ Saxony about available intercultural competencies, resources, and offers. They are encouraged to participate and to spread the word about these offers. People actively using the IKI can influence the further conceptual development of the platform.

In this respect, the IKI offers every interested person the opportunity to create new networks, make new contacts, to exchange experiences and classified ads related to intercultural activities and projects in the district of Saxony. Within this framework, information about stays and contacts in various countries, language tutoring, help with homework, and much more, can be found and shared.

In order to adequately implement this idea, the IKI is divided into three large sections:

Regular current information about intercultural projects, seminars, workshops, and events in Saxony are available on the Infoportal.
This site is maintained by the Encuentro-Team, but users can enter appointment suggestions themselves.

The Bunte Brett should promote the exchange of resources and skills related to the intercultural competencies of private individuals. Here the users have the opportunity to share and exchange language skills, international experience and contacts, and much more helpful information.

The third emphasis is on guidance and information on the possibility of a European Voluntary Service (EVS) at a non-profit organization in Europe, for young people between the age of 18 and 30. As of 2012, Treibhaus e.V. will function as a coordination center for the European Voluntary Service (EFS) and as of 2013 as a hosting and sending organization.


5. Social counseling for migrants

In the facilities of Treibhaus e.V., we offer ongoing counseling to support migrants and refugees of Central Saxony with social or individual problems.

Regardless of whether it is about understanding institutional formalities or solving other problem situations, people seeking support will receive advice and help from the employees of the Encuentro team.

Special lawyers will be mediated for legal problems if necessary.

Counseling Offer

Thursdays 2.00 p.m. - 5.00 p.m.
Haus der Demokratie
2nd  Floor (Encuentro-Büro)

Contact persons:
Jan Klement & Kati Voigt


6. Forum Interculture and Project Workshop

The Forum Interculture and Project Workshop should offer young people with various social and cultural backgrounds, a platform to encounter, exchange, and on this basis, actively participate in the formation of their life environment.

The Forum Interculture will be launched Spring 2012 and is based primarily on the dedication and initiative of young people between the ages of 15 and 25. With competent support, the participants should debate their environment and corresponding identities, gain understanding for the life situations and ideas of others, and develop an outlook of future collective activities.

In the Project Workshop following the forum, participants should develop ideas and basic approaches on how the region of Döbeln should, in their opinion, be changed, and with which possible projects these changes can be implemented.

The results of the Project Workshop will be collected and, with good publicity, given to political decision makers with the appeal of becoming active.

The further development and implementation of the self designed projects lie chiefly in the hands of the youths. Beginning in Fall/Winter 2012 and over the entire period of 2013, participants should actively implement their self- developed projects and thereby creatively and dedicatedly mold the community.

Our main concern for the module Forum Interculture and Project Workshop is to motivate and activate youths to actively create and implement projects and therefore changing something in their environments. Through this engagement and through the group processes in general, participants should, over all, experience and learn a tolerant and respectful interaction with each other.

Begin: 2012


7. Opinion Board “Meinungsboard”

With the module “Opinion Board” particularly people that have immigrated to or were assigned the county should have the possibility to communicate their experiences and questions and also their wishes and ideas. Political decision-makers can use this participatory platform to obtain a picture of the public opinion, also inquiries and comments can be directly answered by them if possible. As of 2012, there will be an internet platform as well as mailboxes at different places in the county for this purpose.

Through an improved communication between politics and people, and the possibilities of expression of opinion and influence arising out of it, democracy can be lived, politics can be brought closer and political interest can be promoted. The multiperspectives and open presentation of problems and new developments of the region promote integration, in the sense of voicing especially the societal voices that were mostly barred access to public dialogue and debates.

The digital opinion board functions in a manner similar to a guest book or a forum, in cooperation with various partners of the county. Under rough theme areas opinions and comments can be expressed explicitly low threshold, whereas discriminating and inhuman contributions will not be tolerated. The responsibility of activation lies with the project team.

In connection to the module “Opinion Board” an annual video message, which summarizes the tendencies and opinions of the comments collected in the months past, will be addressed to the county commissioner. These will also be made accessible to the public through different media.


8. “CourageRadio” - Giving Youths a Voice

With the project module “CourageRadio – Giving Youths a Voice” we especially want to reach youths in the region of Döbeln who wish to become involved with the radio medium. An important ambition is to include teenagers with different cultural backgrounds, so that their diverse life realities, stories, and experiences can be transported through the radio medium.

An online radio station shall be created together. Through courses instructed by experienced radio broadcasters, we, first of all, would like to give interested youths the chance to learn the basics of  radio broadcasting. Radio journalistic and technical knowledge and further media skills shall be transmitted to shape the basics for successful radio show.
Afterwards the participants will be able to prepare and broadcast radio programs. The possible application of the radio medium will be very diverse. So far the following offers are planned:

  • Regular intercultural radio (with the key subjects being - music, culture, religion, life situations). Especially the interests of migrants should be shown appropriately. The shows can be heard regularly in Café Courage and on the internet. It is intended to find further broadcasting locations.
  • A collective radio play production. Out of which a completed small scale project with a consistent working team shall emerge.
  • Documentation. The radio can possibly be used to document the most important events of the association (intercultural week, La Libertad Festival) and regional occurrences.

The radio landscape in Saxony/ Central Saxony should be enriched by “CourageRadio”, a regional courageous intercultural radio by young people for young people.

The project is based on sustainability and transfer. If possible “CourageRadio” will continue on as a community project after the program time frame has been exceeded.

Project launch is intended at the beginning of 2012.
We are still looking for project sponsors.


9. Ongoing networking and lobbying in a range of topics

During the three year running period of the model project, the key subjects migration and integration will continuously be carried into various networks and adapted with other regional activists. The goal is to help better the living conditions of migrants and to contribute to an open social togetherness. Besides effective lobby work, the impetus of the development of a regional integration concept, that does justice to the life conditions of migrants, is a concern of the model project.

Past and future networking of the project stretches over the region of Saxony, especially in the region of Central Saxony. The active participation of meetings, in networks, and with partners that discuss the interests and issues of migrants has priority. Through creating and strengthening a good interconnected and active alliance, which is perceived especially by politically responsible positions and the public, the range of efficiency and the possibility of social engagement should become extended.

The long term goal is the political exertion of influence concerning an improvement of the personal living condition of migrants, especially refugees and asylum seekers. A continual exchange to this cause through regular meetings of all involved and perspectively sub projects, should be designed and implemented together.  

A further long term goal is the encouragement of the development of a regional integration concept, that does justice to the life conditions of migrants for the region of Central Saxony, in cooperation with the German civil servant responsible for the integration of foreigners in the district.


10. Poliling - More than a language

Language is an important key to togetherness – in the framework of this project module, it is our concern to translate important information into various languages so that as many people as possible have access to them. If possible, other associations and initiatives should also be encouraged to such an offer.

Through this project module basic information in particular to the Treibhaus e.V. ( mission statement, offers, opening hours, contact) on the homepage and on flyers, important event notifications, and also information about Döbeln and the region of Central Saxony should be translated into various languages. The signposting in the whole Haus der Demokratie ( House of Democracy) in the Bahnhofstraße 56 in Döbeln should also be translated and contribute to the low-threshold offers.

Perspectively, this approach could be a role model for other associations and institutions, so that language diversity could increasingly be spread and established as an inherent part of the public. The goal is to encourage the participation of people of all cultural, social, and linguistic backgrounds.

In the framework of a future workshop of the Treibhaus e.V., the working title of this module “Multi – more than a language” was created. In the multilinguistic studies multilingualism means the competition of  several languages, because of this we changed the name to “poliling”, following polyglossia. Polyglossia denotes the ability to speak several languages.


11. Regular offers at the refugee accommodation in Döbeln

Within the framework of this module, informative and sociocultural events, among others, should be implemented, on the basis of analysis of demands and existing offers in the region, at the refugee accommodation in Döbeln. A, preferably diversified, target group specific concept should promote easy access to educational events and also promote the autonomy and ability to act of the communal accommodation residents, that have partially been living there for several years.

Like in many other communal accommodations, there are no professional social workers at the refugee accommodation in Döbeln. Therefore, regular offers should react to the residents' often high demand for dialogue and information. These offers should encourage exchange and communication and also simplify access to various counseling offers.

A basic aim of the module is to involve the residents of the refugee accommodation in the structural development of the offers. A concept of sociocultural and education policy events will be developed and shaped in regards to the individual needs and interests of the target group.

Apart from offers with this specific orientation, the empowerment approach is especially focused on. Many of the residents living in the accommodation have had racist experiences in various forms, intensity, and manifestations, in Germany. Special empowerment offers within the structure of this module should support the development of positive coping strategies and, therefore, increase the individual degree of autonomy, ability to act, and self determination.


12. "PRISMA" - The Intercultural Week in Döbeln

The intercultural week, PRISMA, has been an important cultural event in Döbeln for many years. The event first of all promotes meetings, but also concentrates on placing topics into the focus of the events that promote or hamper equal togetherness between long-time Döbeln residents and the newly migrated. At the same time, we also look beyond the boundaries of the city of Döbeln. Treibhaus e.V. is a significant initiator and coordinator of PRISMA and is supported by several associations and other institutions, and also individuals.

A intercultural week – a little bit of exoticism, a little dismay? Surely, the reproduction of cliches is not always unavoidable in such events, but this action week intends something else. In large cities the concept of the intercultural week has been evolving for the past few years to an event that has increasingly rid itself of portrayals of typical cliches. We hope that PRISMA has this attribute, which we work towards every year.

Even though the percentage of migrants living in the district of Central Saxony cannot be compared to that of a large city, the program of events and its impact are usually very assorted.

Those involved with the preparation have agreed on following guidelines:

  • to perceive one another – get to know each other – move closer together
  • integration is everybody´s business
  • to use cultural diversity

The week should not turn into “foreigners presenting themselves”, nor should it be a “let´s talk about...”. Instead, a self critical view of integration organization is asked. Presumptions and attributions should be avoided, and no stereotypical views about the “strangers” and their “cultures” should be hardened. Döbeln´s migrants are optimally involved in the organization and the implementation or else the goals are not viable.  

The goal to involve a broad spectrum of regional players such as the city administration, community projects, schools, creative artists, welfare organizations, churches, etc. must constantly be worked on. The events should cover a wide range of issues: integration, immigration and asylum policies, antiracism, one-world themes, and, of course, intercultural and interreligious encounters. A high level of voluntary support is a mandatory necessity for a successful implementation of PRISMA.

yearly offer in September


13. European Voluntary Service and Youth Exchange

Within the framework of the model project, Treibhaus e.V. , as a hosting and sending organization as of 2012, shall offer young people the possibility to complete a 6-12 month voluntary service in another country. Furthermore, the association intends to become a partner initiative and organizer of European youth encounters starting 2013. The goal is to simplify the acquisition of important skills for an active participation in social life and to support cultural exchange between youths, to promote understanding, empathy and participation, irrespective of borders.

Treibhaus e.V. has been active as a sociocultural sponsor in the region of Central Saxony for many years and has thereby initiated and implemented many projects in the field of youth work. The association now wants to also orient itself on a European scale and become a part of a European organization network.

An important concern within the framework of the model project's intended reorientation is giving youths of the region of Central Saxony the possibility to come in contact with the idea of a European community and experience the chances that are offered by this societal concept, also on a personal level. Youths should be able to make own experiences on a European level in various exchange projects in diverse countries and profit from these. We want to, furthermore, offer youths the possibility to realize their own ideas through a European voluntary service within the framework of the sociocultural work of the Treibhaus e.V. and for them to get to know their various project' s work.

Part of the module is, next to the thorough guidance of interested youths and the support of applying for sending and hosting, the definition of a good and sophisticated project for accepted volunteers as with their continued support.

Here the various modules within the model project offer many opportunities.

Offer starts 2012.

14. Intercultural band project “Polyton”

In the framework of the project “Encuentro – Stark in Gesellschaft”  (Encuentro – Strong in Society) a band with musicians of different cultural backgrounds will be formed. With this project we want to address several groups that are otherwise hard to reach. The Haus der Demokratie (House of Democracy) offers suitable rooms for the implementation.  Specific workshops also give people without extensive rudimentary knowledge the possibility to make fast progress on an instrument of choice. The public rehearsal room offers them the possibility to try various instruments beforehand.

In all cultures and religions of this world people use music as a means of expression for their wishes and longings, joy and life experiences. Music connects to a high degree, especially self made music. Every participant will find a possibility to express him or herself individually by learning an instrument and simultaneously create something together by playing in a band.   

The primary method is groupwork, whereby this will only be instructed for a specific time period. Because the alignment of music and expression will not be prewritten, the project allows a high amount of participation of the single attendee. Because Treibhaus e.V. has always been avid to promote young emerging artists and offer them performance possibilities, the members of the emerging band will soon have the chance to preset their songs to an audience. This usually strengthens the self confidence of the band members and gives a big motivational boost.

Through the band project, new youths will regularly stop at our house and simultaneously gain insight to the offers and an opportunity to play a part in the association.

Room plan
see posting in the house

Workshop offer as of 9/2011

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