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Author's profile photo Bernd Welz

Refugee Initiative Wins Prestigious German Award

“Super! Thanks for the material. It is great that you can download the videos. I hope that many will share their experience later with the learning groups”  – Carmen Goerl

“The – not only linguistic – integration of so many people will occupy us for years to come. The earlier this month started MOOC from Der Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband and openSAP demonstrates how even volunteers without teaching background can run languages courses very effectively. I can say honestly, in just a few days, I have learned and urge all interested volunteers to participate – it’s free!” – Christian Reinboth

“The course is very well constructed. Even I, as pc-amateur, can handle it”  – Gerd Schmidt

“I would like to regularly see such teaching examples and get good tips. Many thanks for the additional material and the further reading links”  – Carola Langer

This is just some of the feedback we received as part of our joint initiative, Auch du kannst das. Deutsch für Asylbewerber. Ehrenamtlich. In February 2016, openSAP and SAP Corporate Social Responsibility teamed up to collaborate with Der Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband, Germany’s largest humanitarian organization, and launched a a course to enable volunteers in German speaking countries to deliver German language classes to refugees in their local communities.


This week, we received the wonderful news that we, in collaboration with Der Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband, have been awarded a prestigious award in Germany, Ausgezeichneter Ort im Land der Ideen 2016 (Excellent place in the Land of Ideas) by Deutschland – Land der Ideen (Germany – Land of Ideas). The topic for this year was NachbarschafftInnovation – Gemeinschaft als Erfolgsmodell (Neighborhood Innovation – Community as a successful model)


Through the creation and successful delivery of this free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Auch du kannst das. Deutsch für Asylbewerber. Ehrenamtlich., over 8,800 volunteers learned how to set up German classes with the aim to enable refugees to communicate with neighbours, new friends, and prospective employers, and settle in to their new communities.


We are proud of our teams’ great collaboration on this initiative to put this idea into action and successfully enable such a large number of volunteers. Thank you to everyone involved from both SAP and Der Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband and congratulations on receiving this great honour.


Bernd and Alicia


Bernd Welz                                                           Alicia Lenze
Executive Vice President,                                    Head of Global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Scale, Enablement & Transformation                  Corporate Affairs






About Germany – Land of Ideas (Original in German)

The “Germany – Land of Ideas” initiative was started in May 2014 by Federal President Horst Köhler and works with different partners to carry out projects and hold competitions to focus attention on the country, its people and their ideas.

Germany has specific economic, geographic and cultural location factors which shape its image. Like any location, however, it is primarily defined by its people. They, their ideas and their activities form the basis of and provide cohesion for society. This is where the “Germany – Land of Ideas” initiative comes in with a platform. The initiative seeks to use its projects and competitions to encourage people to make their ideas and innovations public and visible, thereby creating a social climate characterized by imaginative flair and a wealth of ideas. Each person is needed and can contribute towards the success. Individuality in diversity is a definitive element of the Land of Ideas. Positioning Germany in this sense requires numerous players and partners from many different areas of society – politics, economy, culture, and science. The initiative works with them to award prizes to ideas in competitions, make them visible in projects, and continue implementing key issues.

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