How we were founded

Conn [ɛ] ction is an non-profit association that was founded by students of the TH Cologne and oft he University of Cologne. From the beginning it has been our goal to improve the situation of refugees in Cologne. In the discussion with the responsible authorities of various refugee camps,  the need for language translation has become increasingly clear. We therefore developed a concept in order to help language translators getting organized. Meanwhile Conn[ɛ]ction has  seven founding members and 32 honorary speech attendants.

What we are doing

The aim of Conn[ɛ]ction is to connect voluntary language translators and our cooperation partners with refugees. Therefore we cooperate with the German Red Cross and the Cologne apartment office and expand our cooperation network continually. At the same time we have created a pool of voluntary language translators that is available for our direct cooperation partners. We also pass on requests from our other partners to our volunteers. In this way, we provide easy and effective access to language consultancy for refugees.

How we work

Interested language translators contact us with information about their language skills and contact details and get registered in our language translators pool. If there is a refugee who has a doctor’s appointment or an appointment with authorities and need a translator, the responsible social worker will have access to the pool.
Conn[ɛ]ction is open for criticism and queries. There is also the possibility to get a volunteering contract if you work with the German Red Cross, which includes an accident insurance and a permission to participate in training of the GRC.

What’s next?

For us it is very important to create framework conditions for volunteers that allows them to feel comfortable and competent in their work. That is why we want to create a long-term support service. This is intended to offer support with any questions or uncertainties, to provide input to various key issues and exchange experiences. This organisational work will be done as a part of the seminar of social work „refugee work in the community“ at the TH Cologne. Thus, a group of students of TH Cologne also prepare to join us in establishing a voluntary long-term support service.

The Team

Madleen Stephan
Madleen StephanSocial Work (BA) at TH Cologne
Managing director
Marlene Auer
Marlene AuerSocial Work (MA) at University of Cologne
B.A. Social Work, Managing director
Julia Lingott
Julia LingottPsychology (MA) at University of Cologne
B.Sc. Psychology, Managing director
Theresa Achilles
Theresa AchillesSocial Work (BA) at TH Cologne
Ifeyemi Erdmann
Ifeyemi ErdmannSocial Work (BA) at TH Cologne
Ellen Alshut
Ellen AlshutSocial Work (BA) at TH Cologne
Pam Akua
Pam AkuaEducation and African Studies (BA) at University of Cologne