Albert-Einstein-Gymnasium Frankenthal

Finalist for the region South-West

FIFT-Team

“HOW DOES THE INTEGRATION OF REFUGEES SUCCEED DURING CORONA? “-QUICK ANSWER: WITH OUR “FIFT-TEAM “INTEGRATION-BOX! OUR BOX SOLVES THIS PROBLEM IN A EXCITING, PLAYFUL AND FRESH WAY.

A. SUMMARY
But to start off slowly, we are the FiFt-team, and our task was to create a solution for improving the integration of refugees. During the process, we came up with our idea of the box, which connects refugees and people born here in a playful way. So we try to solve the main problem of establishing contact between refugees and people born here. The box contains five envelopes, each with one task. Each task has to be done within two months. After this period, evidence of completing these tasks must be uploaded on Instagram with the #FiFT-Team. As soon as all tasks have been completed successfully (and with a lot of fun), participants get the opportunity to win a prize money which can be used for new and exciting activities together. Besides, the bond between refugees and the class can and will be strengthened.

B. THE FIFT-TEAM
We are the twelfth form of the advanced social studies class of the Albert- Einstein-Gymnasium Frankenthal. We have set ourselves the task of taking part in YES! as a class with the utmost motivation and commitment. With a lot of team spirit and cohesion, we came up with the idea of the box and developed and presented it with a lot of shared energy. Now we feel very honoured to have reached the national final and can’t wait to do our best again and grow as a community.

C. PRINCIPLE
The box contains: a USB stick with an introduction video and an explanation of the tasks and the general handling, a note with the roughest details and, of course, the heart of the box: the five envelopes, each with one exciting and fun task, such as eating ice cream together with everyone having to try at least one new flavour. And last but not least, a handful of surprising goodies for the participants.

D. TARGET MARKET
Our box targets two groups of people: on the one hand, young refugees who have experienced little to no integration due to many different reasons and, on the other hand, the curious, sociable students who want to improve and change this situation. The contact restrictions set by Covid resulted in little to no opportunity for refugees to integrate – even if they wanted to. There is a lack of information, and most activities have not taken place for a long time. Since the topic has more or less disappeared from the news, the citizens born here lost sight of the problem.

E. NEXT STEPS
Our first step will be to start a trial run at our neighbouring school and send them a box containing an envelope with an assignment on a friendly cooperative basis. The class has a total of two months to complete the task with the refugees. With the help of this trial run, unforeseen problems will appear on the surface and can be solved immediately. This will also be an excellent opportunity to gain experience in mediating contacts between refugees and a class.

Their YES! topic

New challenges due to Corona and lockdown: How can we strengthen the integration of refugees?

by Paul Berbeé and Katia Gallegos Torres, ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

It is now five years since almost one million asylum seekers arrived in Germany in autumn 2015. Since then, much has happened: Hundreds of thousands of asylum procedures have been completed, language and integration courses have been organised; many refugees have found a new home in Germany and have gained a foothold in the education system or the labour market. On the anniversary of Angela Merkel’s famous quote, “We can do it”, the assessment of the integration of refugees was predominantly positive: Compared to previous groups of refugees, integration had even been somewhat faster. However, whether this success story can be continued positively in the future seems uncertain due to the Corona pandemic, which has kept the world in suspense since spring 2020. Even though there are only a few reliable data and scientific findings available so far, there are many indications that refugees are particularly strongly affected by the economic impact of Covid19:

Even before the pandemic, refugees often worked in jobs that were particularly hard hit by the lockdown and increased unemployment (e.g. in the catering industry or in temporary employment agencies).

Immigrants suffer more than other population groups from the restrictions in public life: The school closures affect those children and young people particularly severely whose parents cannot support them and who do not have access to digital technology at home.

Many refugees live with many people in a confined space, making it difficult to comply with hygiene rules and leading to potential conflicts.

Due to the cancellation of classes, childcare, integration courses and many support services, personal contact with local teachers, volunteers, and other caregivers has become much more complex and rare. This is a big problem for language acquisition and cultural exchange.

Possible questions:

Which actors play a role in refugee work, and what difficulties do they face? What innovative approaches can you concretely implement in your locality to reach refugees even in times of pandemic and to support them in a meaningful way?

In what ways should policy consider the specific needs of refugees during a global pandemic and a deep economic crisis? What new tools are needed to mitigate severe long-term damage?