A cozy, bright room full of people talking and laughing.
If you listen more closely, you will pick out not only German but quite many other languages. The people here are seniors from different countries and take part in the class “Die vergessene Generation” – The forgotten generation.

This class is offered by „ZEIK“– Zentrum für Empowerment und interkulturelle Kreativität (center of empowerment and intercultural creativity).

It allows older refugees to make new contacts while learning the German language. The class is well-attended with usually 11 to 15 participants and it is open for everyone who wants to join.

Ali Reza Amahdi is the teacher of this class. We met him for an interview. We were very impressed by his enthusiasm about ZEIK and his class.

He told us that older refugees who have very little language skills often need their children’s help when visiting the authorities or a doctor’s appointment. They also have inhibitions attending events or making new contacts.  Withal, common language classes prefer refugees with employability, so there are rare offers for the older ones. That is why they founded this class.

The ZEIK itself arose from a project of the office for education and consulting for migrants, the so called ZBBS. In this project young migrants volunteered to support refugees with visiting the authorities or other questions concerning migration. Different people came together and step by step a multicultural group with a common idea has formed. The idea is that everyone has some special skills he or she can yield. How about originating offers like self-help groups or democracy projects?

While talking to Amahdi we realized that democracy, which goes without saying for us, is very appreciated by refugees because it allows freedom of expression and defends against corruption. Therefore, refugees feel the need to advocate for democracy and tolerance. The ZEIK itself is not wedded to any religion and is open for everyone.

The offered projects and events are very diverse and pursue different approaches. There is a basic pc-class, a class for Kurdish language, guitar lessons, a programming class, drawing, or “Bühne frei für Geflüchtete”. This project presents a different country once a month in terms of food, music, presentations and much more.

All projects are open for refugees or other citizens of Kiel. You can also offer projects or classes yourself.