social work

Bring people into mainstream society

Justin studies social work at IUBH Dual Studies in Dortmund. During his practical work phases, he has an exciting job at the “Kick-off for Diversity and Integration” project.


My name is Justin and I am studying social work at IUBH Dual Studies in Dortmund. My company partner is a Dortmund sports club called SF Brackel 61 e.V. During the practical phases of my degree programme, I work for the club’s “Kick-off for Diversity and Integration” project. The project focuses on people living on the margins of society. This includes, for example, refugees, people with a migrant background, children from low-income families, people with disabilities and seniors. We want to integrate them into mainstream society. To achieve this, we offer different courses and groups that anyone can join, free of charge.

social workLearn to speak and read German

One of my responsibilities is tutoring the language and reading group for refugee parents. While their children are doing sports, we read texts and books together, watch short films or simply talk about the weekend. The books and texts are at the B1 and B2 language level. The films aim to help the parents get to know their surroundings better, so they focus on the Ruhr metropolitan region, for example. After watching a film we talk to the group about it in German, occasionally using English to facilitate understanding. “We”, refers to my supervisor Hans Walter von Oppenkowski and me. He helps me prepare the group lessons and gives me guidance.

Supplementary school classes as special project

My own project, which I manage alone, is providing supplementary school classes. It takes place four times a week for children aged 9 to 18 who play in the sports club and their siblings. In these classes, I help the children with mathematics, German and English. The class is always one hour long and scheduled directly before sports practice because it has been proven that doing sports releases new synapses and this helps you better retain what you have learned. The timing is also convenient for the parents since they avoid additional transportation fees. We do exercises together on subjects they are currently working on at school. Either the children bring their homework or other school material, or I look in internet for appropriate materials for each corresponding school class. Most of them have difficulty with spelling. For this, I look for suitable dictations on the internet, correct their mistakes and give them tips. Unfortunately, the five children who attend this programme only come irregularly. However, one child has already improved his grade in mathematics.

social workMany organisational tasks

In addition to these two projects, I also help in the gym, for example with sports for the two to three year olds. Since I have a full schedule of courses during the day, I take care of organisational tasks afterwards. This includes looking for reading material for the language class and teaching materials for the supplementary school classes. Part of my job also includes applying for funding. This is important to cover personnel costs and material. To a large extent, the sports club is dependent on such funding. I am in touch with the relevant contact persons at the Football and Athletics Association Westfalen e.V., city and state sports associations and other clubs and institutions with funding initiatives, and complete the application forms.

I also take part in seminars and similar informational sessions so I am fit for my job at the club and stay up to date. Subjects include teaching German as a foreign language, asylum law and alternative residence permits, and sports and language. These seminars are usually free of charge. If costs are involved, the club pays for them.

I also help with planning club activities. Starting in 2019, we will offer a career orientation programme for youth in grades 9 and up at the general and intermediate secondary schools (Hauptschule and Realschule). This year, our “walking football” for seniors will start. This kind of football is gentle on the joints because one plays very slowly. Unfortunately, there are not yet any programmes for people with disabilities because we are already running near full capacity. Volunteers are always welcome here.


Justin is 23 years old. He has been studying social work at IUBH Dual Studies since 2018. In his free time, he enjoys doing sports from basketball to table tennis, listening to music and spending time with friends.

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