Complex Toolbox for Volunteers

TALK WITH ME - Voluntary language mentors for young refugees

Education and training

Equality and non-discrimination


The Erasmus+ project "Talk with me: young voluntary language mentors for young refugees" was developed by three partner organisations: “Gemeinsam leben und lernen in Europa e. V.” (GLL) from Germany, “Tulip Foundation” from Bulgaria and “Centrul de Voluntariat Cluj-Napoca” from Romania. Together, they devised a European project format for a language mentoring programme, in which young volunteers and young refugees meet on a regular one-to-one basis and talk to each other in a relaxed, informal setting. The overall aim of this project is to improve the integration of refugees in different European countries and to support volunteers who are working with refugees across Europe. We hope that our European model of a volunteer language mentoring programme is useful for other NGOs and helps them set up their own mentoring programmes. And of course, we hope that this project leads to long-lasting friendships between young locals and young refugees. This is the key to integration: to be able to speak the local language, to have someone to talk to, and to be connected within the local community.

Gemeinsam leben & lernen in Europa

The NGO „Gemeinsam leben und lernen in Europa e. V.“ (GLL) is a private grassroot NGO in the region of eastern Bavaria, with its head office in Passau.

The main emphasis of GLLs work is to promote volunteering and initiate cooperation, activities and projects among the different individuals, organizations and communities who are all working to eliminate discrimination and inequality, wherever it appears. So therefore members of the organisation are local communities, districts, social organisations, private companies, decision makers and citizens.

The promotion of equal opportunity for everyone is combated by voluntary projects and mainstreaming activities in the field of a) promotion of lifelong learning, b) fighting discrimination and racism by promoting tolerance and diversity, c) advancement of volunteer work within the community, d) the support of disadvantaged target groups, e) educational work, f) gender mainstreaming activities and g) innovative form of mainstreaming activities. GLL promotes mutual understanding and learning of each other as well as cooperation between all age groups as well as the people in Europe.

Our main target groups are disadvantaged groups like migrants, refugees, socially excluded people, disabled people or people with health restrictions, because they are particularly affected by discrimination and inequality. GLLs goal is promote their integration into society by means of the volunteer activities and measures of their association and active involvement of the various target groups.

As an expert in the field of volunteer work, GLL provides some innovative measures for promoting and supporting volunteer work within the community. GLL runs an online platform on volunteer workplaces, provides training as well as advice and support services for volunteers. Moreover, GLL supports other NGOs recruiting new volunteers, organises an annual volunteer fair or information sessions on volunteering, and initiated a lot of volunteer projects, where a lot of people with various backgrounds (age, gender, race, religion, education, profession) become active on local level. Volunteers run and implement most of our projects; a lot of them are unemployed or disadvantaged in some ways. GLL has also initiated and coordinate several Grundtvig learning partnerships and Erasmus+ projects in the field of volunteering.

To promote active citizenship, participation and empowerment of refugees and migrants, GLL runs a so called “Community room” – a physical nice little centre a free place for meeting, learning, and encounter. Additionally GLL runs an international womens’ club and café, organises social activities, offers counselling and training for refugees and migrants to become volunteers (e.g. as intercultural trainers in workshops for children) and involves refugees and migrants in their own volunteer programmes. GLL runs three successful volunteer language mentoring programmes for kids, young and adult refugees, who can’t speak German. Additionally GLL provides online information platforms for refugees and migrants, providing all relevant information living, learning, working in Germany in different languages. Through its information campaigns and sessions, film festivals and programs GLL tries to raise public awareness on the social exclusion of migrants and refugees and promotes ways of inclusion.

Local projects are linked on European level (e.g. through Grundtvig learning partnerships and Erasmus+), as the promotion of intercultural learning and understanding within Europe plus the exchange of best practices and face-to-face cooperation with European partners is a core issue within GLL.

For its efforts in the field of integration of migrants, promoting the European ideas and volunteering GLL had won many awards, such as the “European Citizen’s Prize” of the European Parliament (2015), the award “Europa-Lillie” by the Europa Union Professional (2014); the “Active Citizens of Europa Award” by Volonteurope (2014)


Leopoldstraße 9
D- 94032 Passau

Partner 1

Cluj-Napoca Volunteer Centre (CNVC)

The Cluj-Napoca Volunteer Centre (CNVC) was legally founded, as an independent organization, in December 2004. Before this date, CNVC was functioning as a department within the ProVobis National Volunteer Centre. Through its official formation, CNVC continues and enhances, extends and innovates the activity of the ProVobis’ Local Programs Department. Therefore, the history of our organization is longer than the time passed from its legal inception, being based on the experience that the employees and volunteers of CNVC hold in the field of volunteerism.
The mission of the Cluj-Napoca Volunteer Centre or Centrul de Voluntariat Cluj-Napoca (CNVC) is to develop volunteerism as a means of involving citizens in solving out the problems of the Cluj-Napoca community.
Our vision is that of a solidary Cluj, in which all citizens get involved in solving the problems of the community, by offering their time, knowledge, skills, energy, talents and experience for a healthier, more beautiful community. We dream about a community in which getting involved in a volunteering activity represents an accepted and shared value, for all community members.
The objectives we are aiming at in our activity include :
– Increasing the number of volunteers within the Cluj-Napoca public institutions and NGOs;
– Increasing the degree of the community involvement of Cluj citizens, through volunteering activities;
– Increasing the innovation degree in the area of volunteerism (by implementing volunteering pilot projects);
– Increasing the visibility of volunteerism among the citizens of our community.
The services offered constantly by Cluj-Napoca Volunteer Centre, are deeply linked to its mission and objectives of promoting volunteering as an inexhaustible resource of citizens’ involvement in solving community problems. For this mean, Cluj-Napoca Volunteer Centre is providing services for volunteers (campaigns and events to promote recognition of volunteering involvement, training sessions for volunteers), for NGO’s and public institutions (recruitment and recommending volunteers, consultancy on volunteer involvement strategies, training and support for volunteer managers) and for the community (development of volunteering programs, campaigns and events to promote volunteering).
The Cluj-Napoca Volunteer Centre has been an active resource center for the volunteering movement in Cluj-Napoca, becoming a constant provider of quality volunteering programs for the community. In the 10 years of activity the organization has managed to implement a big diversity of volunteering programs and to offer support into raising standards in volunteer management in other local NGOs in Cluj-Napoca.


Centrul de Voluntariat Cluj-Napoca
Nicoleta Chiș-Racolța (Executive director)
str. Virgil Fulicea nr. 1 ap. 1
400022 Cluj-Napoca

Partner 2

Tulip Foundation

Tulip Foundation has a mission to encourage social responsibility in Bulgarian society by enhancing co-operation among civil society, the corporate sector, national and local authorities to improve the quality of life and developmental opportunities for the people by:
• Raising funds for social investment from individual donors, the business sector and public and private sources
• Providing financial and technical support to civil society organisations addressing social needs of the community at a national level
• Contributing to the effectiveness, sustainability and diversity of social programmes in Bulgaria by making targeted grants
• Serving as a professional vehicle and provide expert advice, consultancy, assessment, monitoring and evaluation of projects and programmes
• Promoting transparency, accountability and professionalism to comply with the highest ethical standards
• Working in partnership with other civil and business organisations at national or local level for greater social responsibility and sustainability of the civil sector in Bulgaria
Tulip Foundation provides grants, training and networking opportunities for civil organisations as well as forums for exchange and cooperation with the business. Various programmes of the foundation bring together organisations and people that are willing to contribute to the society. Tulip foundation is leading a few national campaigns (“Solidarity between generations”, “Volunteer initiative of the year” etc.) and is systematically working for encouraging volunteering and community engagement. For some years now the Tulip Foundation runs the Marketplace programme which is aimed at cooperation between profit and non-profit organisations (companies and NGOs). in the form of exchange of goods, materials, services and voluntary work.
Tulip Foundation is active in identification, adaptation and introduction in Bulgaria of new up-to-date models and approaches in social filed. Over the past years the team has initiated and brought to practice a number of brand concepts like family group conferencing, marketplace, social impact analysis, Pass of the gift programme etc. etc.
Tulip Foundation’s staff members have developed their experience in identification, adaptation and introduction of new methods in social work over the last 7- 8 years. They are experienced in delivering trainings to NGOs, social workers, police inspectors, teachers, pedagogical advisors etc. The team has worked in cooperation with numerous civil organisations around the country as well as municipalities, agencies and ministries, Parliamentary commissions etc.

The activities of the Foundation are funded by public and private donors.
Tulip Foundation is managed by a Board consisting of three to seven members who are elected for a term of four years after being assessed for potential conflicts of interest. They accept and defend the values of the Foundation and perform their tasks voluntarily without remuneration, including determining the general policy of the Foundation; supervise the administration of the organisation; establish the expenditure policy, budget and annual financial statement.


Tulip Foundation
Maria Petkova (Director)
1 Reka Osam street floor 1 ap. 2
Sofia 1124, Bulgaria

The overall aim of this project is to improve the integration of refugees in different European countries and to support volunteers who are working with refugees across Europe. We hope that our European model of a volunteer language mentoring programme is useful for other NGOs and helps them set up their own mentoring programmes. And of course, we hope that this project leads to long-lasting friendships between young locals and young refugees.

This is the key to integration: to be able to speak the local language, to have someone to talk to, and to be connected within the local community. With this project locals and refugees can meet, get to know each other, overcome stereotypes and prejudices and discover what they have in common.

Roles of the volunteers


Planned the project

Managed the project

Have been involved in the implementation

Eu program

in Germany: on local level price money and some of the state of Bavaria

Thanks to this project I have not only find a friend, but also improved my German and learned so much how things work in Germany.
Moo (22 years) refugee from Syria

This was my first volunteer activity. It is so great to see that my work has an impact. And I discovered the joy of volunteering and became also a member of the board of your organisation and helped to found the youth departement of our organisation.
Philipp Carstens, Germany

integration volunteering language learning mentorship

Quality Standards of project with volunteers

I declare that my project meets all the quality requirements here listed

  • There are clear, planned outcomes for the local community based on identified needs.
  • Volunteers bring added value to the project and don’t replace paid staff.
  • Volunteers are recruited, trained and managed according to the quality volunteer management cycle.
  • The conditions of the opportunity are inline with the relevant legal framework in the country/ region concerned. Eg regarding insurance, expenses payments, agreements/contracts etc.
  • The volunteers are celebrated and thanked for their time and commitment.


  • The organization providing the volunteer opportunity demonstrates an inclusive approach. Volunteers from all backgrounds and situations are welcome.


  • There is the opportunity for the learning acquired through volunteering to be validated, if the volunteer desires it.