How did you come up with the idea of founding AsylPlus and what was your goal?
In 2013, the Tölz integration officer asked me about a German class for refugees. At the time, I was tutoring math at a middle school in Bad Tölz and heading an internship project. I agreed, provided that the class would only take place online on a computer. Demand grew quickly, intensified by national and international press. Thanks to a petition in the Bavarian state parliament, our offering was put on an equal footing with classic German lessons for refugees.
What successes has AsylPlus achieved to date?
We see the fruits our work best on site, with refugees successfully completing training as bakers, painters, mechanics, physician’s assistants or geriatric nurses. Or, immigrants incorporate the knowledge they gained in training in their home countries and successfully complete their training here.
Are you active in certain locations or specific facilities?
Our headquarters are located in Bad Tölz, where the city provides us with laboratory space and a training room. We play an active role for the accommodations in Bad Tölz, Geretsried and – in the future – in Wolfsratshausen. If necessary, we can provide on-site training – we were recently in Munich and Aschaffenburg. In addition, help groups all over Germany can loan computers from us.
What lies ahead for AsylPlus in the years to come? Do you plan to expand your offering?
In 2019, we developed a new training concept – the “Classroom” which we hope to expand together with LMU Munich in 2020, covering around 40 modules on different IT topics, including social media. If we receive the means necessary from the Bavarian Ministry of Internal Affairs, we will be adding jobs too: from volunteering with asylum seekers to internships and 450-euro jobs all the way to full-time jobs for qualified workers such as Noor Harkeem, trained by us.