The Evangelical reformed Church (ErK) is one of 20 churches, which belongs to the Evangelical Churches in Germany (EKD). To the ErK belong 144 parishes with about 180.000 members. In opposite to the so called “Landeskirchen”, in Germany, which are more regional focussed, the reformed church is spread all over Germany from Munich in the south until Hamburg in the north. That´s why ErK was involved in different activities and event for the refugees, who comes to Germany or left Germany to Scandinavia in the last month. ErK is working in a lot of different specialized fields (e.g. diconia, youth, gender, theology, formal and non-formal education, interreligious and intercontinental exchange etc…). In view on the present project the following sectors are most important.
a. Non-formal-education: Together with the Konföderation Evangelischer Kirchen in Niedersachsen ErK runs the Evangelische-Erwachsenenbildung Niedersachsen, which is one of seven so called “Landeseinrichtungen” for adult Education in the Federal state of Lower Saxony. The Evangelische Erwachsenenbildung Niedersachsen organizes about 6.000 trainings with about 75.000 participants per year. The Evangelical Erwachsenenbildung Niedersachsen has quality certificates of “Learnersorietated Quality Management in Training and Education” ( Lernerorientierten Qualitätstestierung in der Weiterbildung (LQW) and “Akkreditierungs- und Zulassungsverordnung Arbeitsförderung” (AZAV).
b. Diaconia: The diaconia of ErK is member of the diaconia union in Lower Saxony, which runs about 3.000 different institution in the framework of family care (e.g. kindergarten, family counselling, etc…), Health and caretaking (e.g. senior centre,…) and others (e.g. support for homeless people, prisoner,…). In view on the present project the focus is on that 38 institution, who are working with migrants and refugees. The diaconia is working with different quality label in the different sectors.
c. Parishes: To ErK belong 144 parishes, which are working on religious services and many different voluntary and professional social and civil society services. Many congregations are very active in the work with migrants, refugees and asylum. The actual quality system of the parishes is based on anual reports and monitoring, which are done the church districts. Responsible for the work of the parishes is the local board of the parish.
What are the activities and experience of your organisation in the areas relevant for this project? What are the skills and/or expertise
of key persons involved in this project?
The Evangelical reformed Church has a lot of experiences as project partner and/or co-ordinator in European projects in the framework of Leonardo da Vinci, Grundtvig and Europe for Citizens.
In view on the refugee movement in Europe, the synod of the ErK decided an extra financial fond for the work with refugees in 2015, which is especially given to parishes, who are working with refugees. Another important aspect of the present activities of ErK are recommendation for parishes, which offers help and support for refugees. In many congregations’ voluntary and professional workers, helps refugees in different ways. There are language courses, special cultural events or courses for integration. Many members of ErK helps refugees in an individual way. There are many people, who take contact to the parish to get advice or to get to know, how they can help or they come to ask for training opportunities.
The diaconia in ErK is working in very different ways with refugees in the parishes, the kindergartens or in the local places for counselling. As annual event ErK offers trainings for voluntaries in the parishes. Special skill of the diaconia is the individual support of refugees.
In 2015 the Evangelica adult education – as department of the ErK – offered different kind of trainings for helpers of refugees (e.g. escape and trauma, children refugees, the history of prosecution and migration, interreligious dialogue etc…). The special skill of the Evangelical adult education are trainings for voluntary and professional workers, languages courses and trainings about different topics of the society.
The Evangelical-reformed Church is member of the “World Council of Reformed Churches” (WCRC) and is working together with the Europe department of the WCRC. The networks of WCRC will be used as network for dissemination and spreading of the results of project into a wider European context.