In Aalen, there are numerous integration projects that are initiated and carried out by the City of Aalen or other permanent and voluntary parties. The following list shows the integration projects and schemes that are currently being carried out in Aalen.
The projects relate primarily to the areas of language promotion and education, sport and health, employment and economy, the promotion of intercultural dialogue in Aalen, youth affairs and societal topics.
The Aalen Public Library houses an international zone that offers literature for migrants, foreign students and refugees. The material is also directed at children. The Public Library is an ideal place for people to meet. People from the most diverse sections of the population take advantage of what the Public Library has to offer and, in the process, consistently come across many new faces. The special provision for children is leveraged so as to also reach their parents and to provide support during the process of learning German. Similarly, the International Book Corner serves to supplement the language and integration courses in Aalen.
In addition to bilingual children’s books and picture books, German language books for independent study, literacy books, audio books and books formulated in simple language, books on culture in Germany are also available.
A variety of events are also proposed for the International Book Corner in the medium term. Thus, for instance, readings with authors, children’s plays or a bilingual picture book cinema screening are to take place in the International Book Corner.
The idea of the International Book Corner was put forward by the Aalen Lions Club and the Municipal Administration. The Lions Club also supports the project both financially and conceptually.
Download - International Book Corner (949 KB)
In recent years, the Naturalisation Ceremony of the district of Ostalbkreis was held, in cooperation with the City of Aalen, in Aalen Town Hall during the run-up to the International Festival.
The act of handing over the naturalisation certificates demonstrates successful integration in an impactful manner. All residents of our city benefit from this. Naturalisation means a great deal more than a certificate and subsequently being provided German nationality documents. Rather, it is a commitment to our shared future in Aalen and in the Ostalbkreis district.
It is also important to leverage the cultural diversity in Aalen for the good of Aalen in the best possible way. A Naturalisation Ceremony is a very good example of what successful integration can look like. It embodies a little of the welcoming culture that is lived out in Aalen.
During the Naturalisation Ceremony held in 2016, naturalisation certificates were distributed by the Lord Mayor Thilo Rentschler and the District Administrator Klaus Pavel. A total of 16 people from various countries decided to acquire German citizenship. Aalen Fire Brigade’s marching band was responsible for the musical arrangement at the celebration. A joint standing reception was held after the celebration prior to attending the 33rd International Festival.
The naturalisation ceremony 2017 was accompanied by the chamber orchestra of the music school. Nineteen people were awarded citizenship by the mayor Thilo Rentschler and the district administrator Klaus Pavel.
The International Football Tournament takes place at regular intervals in Aalen and is organised by the city’s Commissioner for Integration. Footballers from various nations, migrants and refugees take part in this tournament and spar with one another in a spirit of fair competition, the event’s motto being “Sport unites”.
In 2015, the tournament was held at the Rötenberg Hub as part of the Intercultural Week. The competitors were: three teams from the refugee lodges, a Municipal Administration team, an Aalen aakademie team and a team from the Rötenberg Hub.
Lord Mayor Rentschler and Ms Bolsinger, Head of the Rötenberg Hub, took it upon themselves to back the tournament. Alongside the winners’ trophies, attractive prizes like shopping vouchers for the City of Aalen, vouchers for the Limes-Therme spa and for the football club VfR Aalen were up for grabs.
Spectators and fans witnessed exciting games with plenty of goals being scored, the team from the Rötenberg Hub ultimately departing from the venue as the deserving winner.
In 2016, the tournament was held at the Spieselstadion stadium in Wasseralfingen, likewise as part of the Intercultural Week. The participants included teams from the migrant associations, the refugee lodges, the Haus der Jugend (Youth Club) and other amateur teams.
The tournament’s deserving winner was Team Africa, the runner-up was the Multi-Culti Team from the Haus der Jugend (Youth Club), and in third place was the Amitié I Team. In addition to a trophy, vouchers for the City of Aalen, for a cinema showing and for the VfR Aalen were up for grabs.
A team of voluntary helpers runs the Bicycle Workshop in the Friedrichstraße 50, former Bohlschule in Aalen. Here, used bicycles are repaired for and with the help of refugees and are sold at reasonable prices to refugees and to people on low incomes.
This project appreciably increases refugees’ mobility. It thus makes participation in daily life easier. Additionally, they receive instructions from the voluntary helpers that enable them to carry out minor repairs independently, thus yielding a new employment option.
The project was provided financial support by Aalen Lions Club.
explorhino is a versatile educational institution that brings STEM education, i.e. mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology, to Ostalbkreis. For nine years now, explorhino has been exciting children and young people from kindergarten to pre-university age with a varied course program. Additionally, since March 2018 an interactive hands-on museum explorhino Science Centre in Aalen has been opened.
With the MINTegration project, explorhino also wants to open refugees and immigrant children doors to the astonishing world of science and technology. Through play, fun and inner motivation, and by working independently, the children learn to discover scientific phenomena for themselves. At the same time, their linguistic and social-communicative skills are nurtured through collaborative experimentation and exchange.
So far, MINTegration has regularly taken place at the Ellwangen Refugee Reception Centre and Unterkochen shared accommodation for refugees. More facilities will be joining the project soon. Since spring 2018, the project has been registered with "Physics for Refugees" of the German Physical Society.
The events are basically open and are aimed at all immigrant children and young people aged between 4 and 17 who enjoy experimenting or simply want to learn something new.