The idea of the Lighthouse Welcome Center
The Lighthouse Welcome Center was opened in the initial reception facility Bayernkaserne in the north of Munich in December 2014. It is the realization of the basic idea of the three partners Lichterkette e.V., Innere Mission Munich and Ingvild Goetz Philantropy to develop a welcome-project for refugees together. For two years the Lighthouse Welcome Center has been refuge for recently arrived refugees, who were registered there and taken care off. They only stayed at this place for a few days to weeks.
More than 100 trained volunteers welcome newcomers between 8am and 8pm to let them know everything that is of importance, related to the facility, the area, but also the city of Munich (e.g. language courses, medical aid, public transport). Not only is the yellow-white painted building the first touching point to the local population for refugees, but interested citizens of Munich also approach it to inquire about news in the reception facility or to see where help is needed.
In December 2016, the initial reception facility in the Bayernkaserne was closed and the Lighthouse Welcome Center moved within the premises.
The Lighthouse Welcome Center from 2017 on
Since May 2017, the Lighthouse Welcome Center has been at its new location in the Bayernkaserne behind the entrance Heidemanns. 50 and has proved itself as a refuge for refugees who live there in the decentralized accommodations of Munich city. Most of the inhabitants already speak some German and participate in courses, in apprenticeships or have a job and thus need other information than newcomers. Therefore the Lighthouse-volunteers hold longer and more intensive conversations, practice German conversation with with the inhabitants, play games in order to practice the language, look for suitable courses, leisure or sport facilities for them or simply help them to become better orientated in Munich.
After three years of existence, accompanied by wide-spread media attention, the project acts as a reference to the city as well as the federal state, cooperates with educational and cultural institutions and receives donations (in kind and monetary) by companies.
For further information or inquiries, please contact:
Harriet Austen (project coordinator)
00 49 (0) 89 30 77 87 78