About the Welcome App Germany
In 2015, about one million people from different countries and for several reasons have fled to Europe and especially to Germany. Also in 2016, the refugee flow has not decreased due to ongoing wars and persecutions. Something similar will be expected in 2017, as the reasons why people flee from their home countries have unfortunately hardly changed. The people who arrive here are now our new neighbors - some temporarily and some forever. That is why it is important that we all help these people to get their bearings and get settled in Germany.
The Welcome App Germany - initiated by HeiReS® (short for Heinrich & Reuter Solutions GmbH) - is intended to help with orientation and integration in Germany. The app provides detailed information on important general topics about living and everyday life in Germany. This is combined with an added value of local contacts and contact addresses of the different areas in the local habitats.
Language barriers can often cause misunderstandings and therefore lead to conflicts quickly. All the information contained is therefore transmitted into the mother tongue of the people arriving here. Important information about life in Germany is mainly given as a print-out when people have arrived in a municipality. Spreading information over digital media like smartphones is much more meaningful and reaches people in a more direct way. Around 80% of the refugees have a smartphone or access to one, as it is a central medium for orientation and information, as well as to keep contact to their home countries. Therefore, an app with the possibility of constant updating and extending information is the right way.
The information contained in the Welcome App is not only relevant and useful for refugees. Everyday life in public authorities and counseling centers can be more efficient when dealing with people who are well informed. This way, time for preliminary information and their translations can be saved. The Welcome App Germany offers the greatest benefit to the various user groups when as many cities and counties as possible participate in it. Only through these regional peculiarities, the local added value can take effect.
The first step of voluntary integration consists of understanding information with the help of digital media. The second step is dialogue and concrete interaction with local counterparts within communities. The third step can lead to a positive multicultural coexistence through a better understanding of others and a sense of togetherness.