I am very pleased to be a part of the Sprachtreff project,” says Fadi Alnaamat, who will support the “Sprachtreff – for Integration in the countryside” project in St. Wendel when it reopens after the corona-related closure. He came to Germany from Syria in 2015 as a refugee himself; back then he wanted to learn german as quickly as possible in order to find work. In St. Wendel he received help from volunteers, which is also how he is knows of the importance of the work the volunteers do and what learning success individual support can provide. Now he would like to pass on his own experiences as part of the project.


Bärbel Zägel recently began supporting the work of the Sprachtreff. She lives with her family in Marpingen and has been actively involved in the Protestant parish there for many years. A special encounter early on in her work with refugees left its mark: In December 2014, she was given the task of looking after a young mother from Syria and her little daughter. Even before arriving, she felt the adverse attitude of the other house residents. This only reinforced her desire to greet the new arrivals with open arms and a lot of love. “Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Lk 6, 31) – the golden rule that unites all people is something that is always close to my heart,” she recalls.


She soon took over the coordination of the volunteers and developed information material for helpers, organized meetings and was available for questions and problems. For the past three years, she and Pastor Christine Unrath have been organizing the Intercultural Youth Leisure Week in Marpingen during the autumn holidays. Bärbel Zägel will, above all, accompany the Sprachtreff in the youth club in Marpingen and support volunteers and refugees in their joint work.

Text: Fadi Alnaamat, Bärbel Zägel, Judith Schumacher

Photo: private