Skip to main content
Menu
Further opportunities Further opportunities

We are creating an even stronger network of people

StartHope@Home assists refugees and migrants in Germany to start businesses in their country of origin. Those interested can also receive advice during the corona pandemic. Katherine Kellein and Ziad El-Sabbagh, coaches in Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia, explain how it all works. StartHope@Home is a programme run by Social Impact, a social innovation agency. It is one of the partners in "Perspektive Heimat".

How has your work changed during the corona pandemic?
Katherine Kellein (KK): We now offer advice and training sessions online or by phone. Participants previously joined us once a week in our Social Impact Lab to take part in individual coaching sessions and group events. 

What are the challenges posed by this new way of communicating? 
KK: There is often a lack of WIFI access in the accommodation where participants are living. So it's only possible to provide coaching by phone, which makes it more difficult to work on anything more detailed. It's hard for instance to perform a calculation on the phone. We therefore aim to use solutions based on internet credits or access via a hotspot. 

How important is it for participants to have good digital skills?
KK: We have to adapt, because there can be major differences between participants. Many don't have access to a computer. On the other hand, we recently used video conferencing to coach an Iraqi participant. He had a computer and e-mail address, which meant he could download the online tools. So we were able to share our screen with him and work closely together with him on a mobile phone repair shop that he wants to open in Iraq. 

Ziad El-Sabbagh (ZE): I consider each individual's situation. How much time do we have and how receptive is the person? Sometimes I only pass on the necessary contacts – for example to a specialist working in the advice centres in the person's country of origin. It's important for participants to understand that people are waiting there who will continue to support them. 

Trust is essential for meaningful collaboration. How do you establish that without direct contact?
KK: You can certainly interact better sitting face to face. So it takes more time during the corona pandemic to get to know someone via screen or on the phone. 

ZE: Everyone has to adjust their thinking. We need to communicate more frequently, and often contact participants several times a week to build confidence with them. The transition was definitely easier with those we already knew personally from before corona.

Are there any language problems? 
ZE: We speak in English or French if we can't use German. We also have coaches who are proficient in other languages. I can also provide advice in Arabic, for example. We haven't needed to translate any online content yet. 

Have you learned anything for the time after corona?
ZE: We've realised that a lot can be achieved online. So we will also use this method more in future. Networking is very important. We are cooperating even more closely with the repatriation advisors who work directly with people in their accommodation. They often help to establish contacts and even organise technical assistance. We also put those who we advise into closer contact with one another, so they can share their experiences.

How have your participants reacted to the new situation caused by the pandemic?
ZE: They still remain motivated. I've noticed that their urge to go back home has become stronger. People are clearly becoming more emotional and thinking more about their home country and their families. 

KK: We're aware that some people are becoming anxious. They often ask what's going to happen and when the borders will reopen. It's difficult for them to obtain reliable information about their country of origin. They often don't know what the situation is there and what that means for their return. That's why we're increasingly relying on our partners in the countries of origin. 

"It takes more time during the corona pandemic to get to know someone via screen or on the phone."

Further opportunities

  • Preparing & initial help from ERRIN

    Want to return to Afghanistan and need support? Are you for example looking for accommodation or further assistance with training and job hunting? The ERRIN network is here to help.

    more information

  • Support with job hunting

    Looking for a job, training course or practical placement in Gambia? Baden-Württemberg's industrial education organisation provides you with support to do this.

    more information

  • Working without a job qualification

    It is very difficult to find work in Germany without a job qualification. But it is possible. If you have a fixed job, you can apply for a visa.

    more information

  • Basic course in photovoltaic systems

    Energy from the sun. Photovoltaic systems. Solar electricity. How do these work? Our course answers questions on this subject. The course is available at various places in north and east Hesse.

    more information

  • Basic course in job hunting

    Here you learn how to hunt for jobs in the international labour market. You are given information about job search websites. Trained specialists help you.

    more information

  • Basic course in construction technology

    Here you learn how to build or repair buildings. Specialists will teach you. You get lots of practical tips. The course is taught in Bebra (north-east Hesse).

    more information

  • Basic course in hairdressing and cosmetics

    Here you learn the basics of hairdressing and cosmetics. Professionals show you drying and dyeing techniques, for example. The course is taught in Osnabrück (Lower Saxony).

    more information

  • Vocational training

    The dual training system in Germany involves working in a company as well as theoretical learning. You attend a vocational college. Although you need a place and a visa.

    more information

  • Basic course in the building trade

    Here you learn the basics of the building trade. Professionals show you how to lay blocks and plaster walls, for example. The course is taught in Osnabrück (Lower Saxony).

    more information

  • English as a second and foreign language

    Here you can improve your English. This opens up new prospects for you. Good English is especially important in tourism and gastronomy.

    more information

  • Working without qualifications

    It is almost impossible to find a job in Germany without qualifications. This means you will probably not be granted a work visa. This is where you can find advice centres near you.

    more information

  • Financial help to return home

    You might not have to pay to return to Kosovo. Please ask whether financial help is available to you.

    more information

  • Basic course in plumbing, heating and air conditioning

    Here you learn the basics of plumbing, heating and air conditioning: professionals show you how to solder pipework. The course is taught in Osnabrück (Lower Saxony).

    more information

  • Basic course in service provision

    Here you learn which services offer good job opportunities. Professionals give you valuable tips. The courses are taught in north and east Hesse.

    more information

  • Qualification in welding

    Here you can improve your English. This opens up new prospects for you. Good English is especially important in tourism and gastronomy.

    more information

  • Working without a job qualification

    It is very difficult to find work in Germany without a job qualification. But it is possible. If you have a fixed job, you can apply for a visa.

    more information

  • Basic course in irrigation technology

    Here you learn the basics of irrigation technology. Professionals give you valuable tips. You learn how to use water economically in gardening and agriculture.

    more information

  • Working without a job qualification

    It is very difficult to find work in Germany without a job qualification. But it is possible. If you have a fixed job, you can apply for a visa.

    more information

  • Application training for new opportunities

    Here you learn how to write a CV correctly. This increases your chances of finding a suitable job.

    more information

  • Start-ups for women

    Here you can gain the basic knowledge you need for a start-up in your country of origin. This course is intended for women. It is kept simple and is also suitable for those who can't read or write.

    more information

  • Improving your career prospects

    This course helps you prepare for the job market. You can extend your career knowledge and improve your personal abilities.

    more information

  • Build your own solar cooker

    Cook with the sun's energy: here you learn how to build a solar cooker yourself. The course is taught in Bad Hersfeld (north-east Hesse).

    more information

  • Working with qualifications

    Would you like to work as a specialist in Germany? Your options depend on your profession. You also need to speak German and have your qualifications recognised.

    more information

  • Basics for hotel, gastronomy and tourism

    Here you can attend a course if you would like to work in gastronomy, in a hotel or in tourism.

    more information

  • Basic course in baking

    The basics of baking: professionals show you how to bake bread, rolls and cakes. You also learn about sales. The course is taught in Bebra (north-east Hesse).

    more information

  • Basic course in tourism

    Here you learn the basics of tourism. Professionals give you valuable tips for successful travel programmes. The courses are taught in north and east Hesse.

    more information

  • Find advice in your area

    Are you thinking about returning to your home country? Here you can look for a counselling centre to advise you on returning home.

    more information

  • Cooking with solar energy

    Use solar energy to cook. Prepare food with renewable energy. How does that work? Our course answers this question. The course is taught in Bad Hersfeld (north-east Hesse).

    more information

  • Financial help to return home

    You might not have to pay to return to your home country. You might also be able to get some cash.

    more information

  • Introduction to electrical installation

    Here you can learn the basics of electrical installation, e.g. tool design or the structure of circuits. The course is taught in Duisburg (North Rhine-Westphalia).

    more information

  • Advice on career opportunities

    Thinking of returning to your homeland? We can advise you. You will receive information on career opportunities and suitable training courses.

    more information

  • Basic course in hairdressing

    Here you learn the basics of the hairdressing trade. Professionals show you how to cut, dye and style hair. The course is taught in Bad Hersfeld (north-east Hesse).

    more information

  • Basic course in working with wood

    Here you learn the basics of woodworking. Professionals show you how to build cabinets, for example. The course is taught in Osnabrück (Lower Saxony).

    more information

  • Basic course in painting and varnishing

    Here you can learn the basics of painting and varnishing. Professionals show you how to paint or wallpaper walls. The course is taught in Osnabrück (Lower Saxony).

    more information

  • Help for women in need

    Are you seeking help because you feel threatened? Are you experiencing violence or being exploited?
    Women in need are helped at SOLWODI. The advice is free of charge and individual.

    more information

  • Sales training

    Here you practice how to sell products successfully. Professionals give you valuable tips. The courses are taught in north and east Hesse.

    more information

  • Basic course in vehicle technology

    Interested in cars and technology? Here you can gain a basic knowledge of vehicle technology. You can even work on cars yourself.

    more information

  • Computer course

    Here you can gain practical IT skills. You learn about the main programmes and find out how to search for something via the internet. That helps you both in your career and personally.

    more information

  • Welding: course with certificate

    Here you learn how to work with metal. At the end of the course in Bad Hersfeld (north-east Hesse) you can sit a test and be awarded a certificate.

    more information

  • Tourism

    Here you gain a basic knowledge of tourism. This allows you to prepare for working in this sector.

    more information

  • Working with a university degree

    Are you an academic and interested in working in Germany? Your options depend on your area of expertise. You need to have your degree recognised.

    more information

  • Basic course in business start-ups

    Got a business concept? Like to become self-employed? Like to work in accounting? This will give you the basic knowledge you need!

    more information

  • Bicycle mechanics

    Here you can learn the basics of bicycle mechanics. This involves a lot of practical work, learning key technical terms and extending your knowledge in mathematics.

    more information

  • Basic course in drinking water filters

    Learn the basics of operating drinking water filters for use in homes. Professionals give you valuable tips on clean water.

    more information

  • University studies

    Studying at a German university is definitely a good choice, although you do have to meet various requirements. This is where you can find information.

    more information

  • Basic course in working with metal

    Hier lernen Sie den Metallbau kennen. Profis zeigen Ihnen, wie man Metalle bearbeitet. Der Kurs findet in Osnabrück (Niedersachsen) statt.

    more information

  • Basic course in gastronomy

    Here you learn the basics of gastronomy. Professionals give you valuable tips for working successfully in restaurants. Courses are taught in Bad Hersfeld and Bebra.

    more information

  • Information telephone

    Are you thinking about returning to your home country? Here you can get some basic information about returning home.

    more information

  • On the path to being self-employed

    Like to start your own business? Here you can discuss the benefits and disadvantages. You also learn the basics of economic calculation.

    more information

  • Setting up a business

    Want to set up your own business in Germany? This requires good start-up planning.

    more information

  • Courses in textiles, crafts, maths

    Training for women. You will learn basic practical skills in the areas of sewing, knitting, crafts and mathematics. The coursesarerun in theRhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

    more information

  • Variouscareer-relatedcourses

    Training in many areas. For example sewing, computers, cookery, make-up, nursing care, bookkeeping, English, German for tourism. These coursesarerun in Mannheim, Germany.

    more information

  • Various practical trainingcourses

    Training involving theory and practical courses. For example warehousing, logistics, vehicle mechanics, tailoring or nursing care and hygiene. In Meppen, LowerSaxony, Germany.

    more information

  • Introduction to electrical engineering

    This is where you can learn the basics of electrical engineering, including tool design, key mathematics and the structure of circuits. The course is taught in Duisburg (North Rhine-Westphalia).

    more information

  • Plumbing, heating and air conditioning

    This is where you can learn about plumbing, heating and air conditioning. Installing or maintaining systems, for example. The course is held in Duisburg (North Rhine-Westphalia).

    more information

  • Online course in business and economics

    Die Lernplattform „Kiron“ bietet Module auf Hochschulniveau: theoretische Grundlagen von Wirtschaftssystemen und praxisnahe Betriebswirtschaft.

    more information

  • Online course in social work

    The Kiron learning platform offers courses at university level. It conveys a wide spectrum of theoretical and scientific knowledge about social work.

    more information

  • Business game: running a company

    On this course you will play the role of an entrepreneur. It involves some simple exercises. These exercises are practical. You will learn basic business principles.

    more information

  • Introduction to painting and decorating

    Here you can learn the basics of painting and decorating, e.g. coating techniques. The course is taught in Duisburg (North Rhine-Westphalia).

    more information

  • Start-up opportunities

    Got a business concept? Want to become self-employed in your country of origin? Need help to start? At StartHope@Home you will find courses and advice.

    more information

  • Financial help to return home

    You might not have to pay to return to your home country.

    more information

  • Introduction to metal construction

    Here you can learn the basics of metal construction, e.g. understanding materials and handling different tools and machines. The course is taught in Duisburg (North Rhine-Westphalia).

    more information

Contact Find opportunities Find adice Find advice