On September 10 we invited the neighborhood, as well as anyone else who was interested in getting to know us, to participate in our creative projects. The day of the event was well attended despite the summer temperatures. In addition to refugees from different home countries, Café Connections saw people of various ages come by - including a young mother with her infant, several teens who spent the entire six hours with us, and older ladies and gentlemen who just wanted to see what was happening in their neighborhood. Creative Day was supported by the Schöneberg neighborhood fund, which enabled us to offer all workshops and food to visitors at no cost.
Our Iranian designer Mouod led a leather-working tutorial in which all participants had the opportunity to make their own leather bracelet with whatever lettering they wanted. Young refugees who had been attending our sewing workshop for months, offered their own sewing workshop and joined the neighbors in sewing pencil cases. Here the youth were able to use their acquired knowledge to introduce others to sewing. The fact that the young refugees were able to take over the role of helper and could show how much they've learned through the Visioneers projects- not only technically, but also linguistically and culturally- gave them an enormous amount of enthusiasm and pride. The interest in the sewing and leather workshops was so great that both went from 12-6 p.m.
Another exciting offering was a language course in Dari, one of the two main languages in Afghanistan. Since 2015, Visoneers has offerered a variety of language programs aimed at making the German language more accessible for refugees. The language course at our Creative Day, led by a 16-year-old refugee, allowed the participants to learn some of the most essential sentences in Dari, while experiencing firsthand how difficult the process of learning a new language can be. Despite the difficulties, laughter and good humor remained the focus not only of the language courses, but of the entire Creative Day.
There were plenty of refreshments during the event. In addition to fresh waffles, cupcakes and cakes, there was a cooking class where participants got to cook the Arab dish Molokhia. In the kitchen, a large group of cooking enthusiasts gathered to cook this classical arabic cuisine with a young Syrian. At lunch, close to 30 people gathered around the table. New neighbors sat by long-established residents, teens next to retirees and women, while adults and children from different cultural backgrounds conversed animatedly in German. For us it was a wonderful day, where we saw many familiar faces and got to know new ones, many of whom actively participate in our offerings.