There are many migrant women in Lucerne. They have fled their homeland because of oppression, war, poverty and hunger. They now live in Lucerne but speak little or no German. Often, they cannot afford German courses. But language skills are central to being able to participate in the local society and social life in the first place. This is why these migrant women end up living in isolation at home or in a parallel society.
For this reason, the Sentitreff has launched the “Opening Doors” project. This is a language course for mothers and financially weaker women. There they learn German and more about everyday life in Lucerne and Switzerland. They meet other women and can exchange ideas, while the young children of these migrant women are looked after in the Sentitreff in age-appropriate groups – so they too learn German in a fun way.
Once a week, women from all over the world sit together at the Sentitreff for the German course. They learn the language, deal with everyday topics such as shopping, directions, personal interests, etc. and can exchange ideas with others outside their family.
The teachers, so-called moderators, often have a migration background themselves or live in a binational partnership. They are in a position to know what it takes to have a good life in Switzerland. For some women, they are also encouraging role models.
While the mothers learn German at OPENING DOORS, their young children are looked after professionally. They learn German through songs, stories and rhymes. In this way, the children come into contact with what for many of them is a completely new language in a playful way.
The so-called Sentitreff is a meeting point in the Baselstrasse in Lucerne. It is situated in a district with many people without a Swiss passport. The Sentitreff aims to integrate the migrants on behalf of the town Lucerne.
The Happel Foundation supports projects according to the principle of “help for self-help”.
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The Happel Foundation Switzerland is a charitable Swiss foundation based in Lucerne.