Newcomers have the opportunity to get basic information about unfamiliar surroundings in a familiar environment – the mobile Internet. To ensure that the website would be used to its full extent, aligning the offer with the media habits of the target group is crucial.
Equally important is providing a range of information in seven different languages that is actually relevant for the target groups. This is why the website is divided into four categories: living, learning, work and law. The introduction is facilitated by an attractive presentation of the contents in the form of videos and short clips. The Handbook provides an overview of important fundamentals, such as vaccinations, language courses, job search and application. Complex texts have been omitted; instead, important and central issues were excerpted and the information was conveyed quickly and compactly in an appealing format. The users are offered orientation guides that make it possible to find their way around without the direct help of others. Helping people help themselves gives them the sense that they aren’t entirely dependent on others and it thus creates confidence and independence.
An editorial office that consists of journalists with escape and migration backgrounds prepares the information in easily understandable form in seven languages. The contents are communicated intelligibly and specifically for the target groups. In addition to basic knowledge, current news are also shown and specific German colloquialisms are explained in an appealing format. The compatibility of the platform with all social media channels makes it possible to easily share its contents beyond its own website.
The composition of the editorial office inspires trust in people seeking advice, since the professional journalists have already been in a situation similar to theirs. The editorial staff know which information is significant to refugees. This peer-to-peer approach makes an essential contribution to the basic idea behind the project: integration can only succeed together, not through arbitrary information on numerous platforms. The editorial office bundles existing information and makes it relevant to the experiences of the affected persons. The team is supported by various partners, such as agencies, associations and initiatives.
Thanks to the Minister of State for Migration, Integration and Refugees, this will also be possible. The Federal Government has praised this project and referred to the significance of the media in the integration process and value creation. It stated that Handbook Germany was doing its part to utilise the opportunities of the digital shift and bring about a concrete improvement in the democratic living conditions.
Minister of State Annette Widmann-Mauz, Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration since March 2018, supports the Cabinet in the further development of integration policy. Support for the cohabitation of all people in Germany is intended to guarantee the conditions for a tension-free coexistence of citizens.
Since it was founded in 2009, the nationwide association of media creators with various cultural and language skills and roots has dedicated itself to promoting variety in the German media landscape. It was based on the idea that reporting as well as staffing was not adequately reflecting the actual composition of German residents. The independent network offers a forum for information and exchange and for mutual support and promotion. They create initiatives and implement their own projects, one of which is Handbook Germany.