Many conflicts that may arise when different cultures clash and that have intensified along with rising numbers of immigrants are rooted in both sides’ fears of “the other” and a lack of processes that foster the building of relationships. The Culture Coaches program aims to defuse the hidden conflict potential. It builds on the assumption that mutual understanding is the best way to initiate a change of behavior among both groups.
Culture Coaches aims to promote the transcultural integration process by initiating a debate on culture and values. The concept is based on mutual understanding of the respective cultures of the countries of origin and the host country. The project intends to achieve this goal by training integration experts, the eponymous Culture Coaches. These are people who can act as knowledgeable intermediaries between the host society and the refugees. They are familiar with both German culture and the culture of refugees’ main regions of origin. Culture Coaches are specifically selected and trained for their role. They are then available through a coordination office to organizations in the host country to serve as external consultants, trainers, and process supervisors. They can be consulted for specific mediation tasks or on-the-job training on a case-by-case basis. Culture Coaches specialize in the following seven areas: 1) education, 2) reception centers / refugee shelters, 3) economy / business / executives, 4) public authorities, 5) health care / hospitals / doctors, 6) police / fire brigade, 7) living environment. The pool of Culture Coaches can facilitate, support, and optimize integration in various areas of society.
Culture Coaches is a project of Zohre Esmaeli Foundation gGmbH.