Training for a networking concept for refugees and Berlin civil society

First steps into a new life

The concept, part 1: Assessing the interests and competences of refugees in Berlin’s largest emergency shelter (NUK). The concept, part 2: Join up the refugees with suitable local organisations offering work/leisure activities/training etc. The concept, part 3: Targeted professional support and guidance for refugees on their way into German society. Our job? Discuss the concept and its implementation with staff of the NUK at the former airport in Berlin-Tempelhof.

The location itself is remarkable alone: Since the autumn of 2015, the former airport building at Berlin-Tempelhof is hosting Berlin’s largest emergency shelter (NUK), some even say it’s the biggest in all of Germany. During peak periods, more than 2500 people stayed here, being provided with a bed, three meals per day and a roof over their heads. This minimum standard is meant to be temporary. Refugees in NUKs should really move on to more suitable and permanent accommodation.

In reality, however, there are people who have been living at NUK Tempelhof since it opened – without any prospect of moving. It is crucial to establish sustainable structures for these people, connecting them with what’s on offer from local organisations – leisure activities, work or advice. It’s the only way to enable them to take their first steps into their new lives.

Commissioned by Tamaja GmbH, the agency denk:lokal has been developing such concepts since the beginning of 2016. We have been in contact with denk:lokal from the get-go, as a sparring partner for concept ideas. Our own specific contribution was to develop and moderate a two-day interactive workshop for NUK staff on integrating the networking structures into work processes and optimising communication processes between different departments.

A highlight of this training session was the short simulation game “Honour or Trouble – Volunteers in Refugee Aid”, a lively and, on occasion, slightly exaggerated simulation of working with refugees and volunteer helpers. Throughout the workshop, what became very clear was the fact that this line of work poses very special challenges to social care teams and volunteer coordinators at the NUK. Structured concepts are needed to provide relief.

Facts + Figures

Target group

Emergency shelter staff

  • Becoming familiar with the concept of networking
  • Analysing the work environment
  • Team building



2 days

Number of participants