No matter whether you are a refugee or a local, a student or working full-time – as an intercultural mediator, you can take over responsibilities for a successful togetherness in our society.
Start with a Friend is based on the idea that connections make societal partaking possible. We like to see our intercultural mediators as bridges in that process. They are the ones who meet up
with refugees and locals and “match” them according to their interests and needs.
Why become an intercultural mediator?
A chance to contribute to the process of integrating refugees into our society
Encounters that you will profit from personally and lastingly
Useful information material
A new perspective on Germany and social togetherness
Being part of an innovative project
Taking part in community events like going to the opera or a basketball match of ALBA Berlin
The academy's key points
One-year training: participation in up to four workshops
Supervised start as an intercultural mediator for Start with a Friend (3-4h/week)
An advanced training certificate
Participation is free / Travel costs are not covered
You will learn core competences of an intercultural mediator that have been defined particularly for Start with a Friend:
The Tool Kit for intercultural mediators
Legal groundwork for consultations with refugees
Project management within NGOs
Working as an intercultural mediator
Your competence will come into play directly. In four different fields, you can implement what you have learned in our workshops:
Be a multiplier: As a member of our team, you can inspire locals once a month to get involved with Start with a Friend.
Be an interviewer: Once a week, you will get to meet a refugee to find out about their expectations and needs.
Be a befriender: Based on your interviews, you can bring people together according to their interests and maybe create friendships between locals and refugees.
Be a consultant: You will give advice to the tandems you brought together and help them overcome obstacles.
Requirements for participation
Fluency in the German language
Openness and respect / good people skills
Reliability, trustworthiness, and sense of responsibility
No previous knowledge required – the wish to contribute actively is what we focus on but a weekly 3-4 hours should be planned.
Application for the Start with a Friend Academy
Please send us a short letter of motivation (max. 1-2 pages) explaining why you would like to become part of Start with a Friend and become an intercultural mediator in our
SwaF-Academy. Furthermore, we would like you to add a short CV.
Please note that the training workshops can only take place in Berlin and Cologne at the moment. People from other places can apply but will have to pay their travel expenses themselves.
Please send the paperwork to :
and put “SwaF-Academy” in the subject line.
We invite especially refugees to apply as intercultural mediators.
There is no fix date to start so we accept applications at any time.
The academy’s pool of experts
The academy is a group of committed coaches who contribute by sharing their professional expertise for the qualification of intercultural mediators. Our offered workshops cover the following
Asylum law and asylum policy
Migration and its causes
Mediation in a conflict
Empathy and mindfulness
Education and didactics
Storytelling and strategy
To further develop our offer, we would like to hear from interested coaches.
Please contact Franziska Birnbach if you are interested:
The Academy is carried out in cooperation with LE-AD Mercator Building Center for Leadership and Advocacy