Intercultural friendship through:

Bicycle

The Integrationswerkstatt started off simply as a space where community members could learn to repair their own bicycles, and perhaps share a coffee, thereby fostering contact between Germans and refugees. It has evolved include much more.
Click here to learn more about our bike program.

Café & Library

Take a seat in our little cafe, built from the full kitchen and espresso machine donated by some Unkel citizens, and perhaps pick out something to read from our multi-lingual lending library while your kids occupy themselves in our Kids‘ Corner with games, kids‘ books, and other toys.
Click here to learn more.

Music

Music is a universal language. Unkel’s citizens donated five guitars, a drum kit, two flutes, and an array of other instruments to foster intercultural understanding beyond language. Our first group music lessons were provided for free to teenagers from 5 different ethnic/national backgrounds, and yielded not just beautiful music, but also friendships. We’re looking forward to continuing and growing this program element

 

What else we provide

Interreligious Prayer Space

Our nondenominational prayer space combats loneliness and disillusionment among non-Christian locals who have to travel 25km+ to the next synagogue or mosque, many of which deliver a more radical religious message. Click here to learn how this space helps fight antisemitism and extremism in the Muslim refugee population, and fight Islamophobia in the native German.

Grilling

Sharing food and breaking bread is a great first step toward friendship and community. The Integrationswerkstatt space provides multiple locations for grilling, with a few grills already and more planned, providing the opportunity for both smaller, more personal picnics and the infrastructure for larger grilling events with dozens of people.

Sports

Team Sports and pickup games are proven methods of community building,  preventing radicalization, engaging youth and just making friends, not to mention the health benefits to the individual and society. The Integrationswerkstatt is already fully equipped for soccer, volleyball, and basketball, and plans have been laid for bocce and other sport opportunities as well.

Community Garden

Our Community Garden allows migrants to build roots in Unkel by being in contact with the actual soil, and allows for contact between all residents, new and old, in a productive activity, providing sustainable ingredients for grilling events.
Click here to read more.

Our team

What our supporters say

We consider the concept of the “Integrationswerkstatt”, planned and implemented by refugees and non-refugees together – with space for social assistance and an interreligious prayer space, with a bicycle self-repair café and diverse possibilities of encounter for “old and new neighbors” through playing sports together, playing music together, gardening together and playing together – to be a sound approach towards promoting integration. We advocate for and endorse this initiative.

Click herer to read the full letter of support.

Pastor Andreas Arendt Pastor of the Unkel Catholic Church
This is exactly the kind of hopeful story we wish to see as the norm, not the exception, for the Muslim-Jewish relationship, and the Integrationswerkstatt is a project, and a model, that the MJC, both as an institution and in its individual members, is proud to support and assist.
muslm jewisch conference-logo
Muslim Jewish Conference

Watch Lord Mayor Karsten Fehr’s full video of support here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tthqn_MmJc

Lord Mayor Karsten Fehr of the Community of Unkel
Karsten Fehr Lord Mayor of the Community of Unkel

I believe this project to be a genuine effort to integration, increased economic opportunity for refugees, and fighting against radicalism in both refugee and local German communities.

Watch Rabbi Michael’s full video of support here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z_NyAW-r5Y

rabbi michael even david
Rabbi Michael Even David  of London's Edgware Masorti Synagogue

In the Press

Though the Integrationswerkstatt normally only makes the press locally, we’ve translated many of the top stories for you.
Check out our stories from SWR (SouthWest Broadcast), the Rhein Zeitung and the General Anzeiger in the press corner.