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Methods Germany

Volunteer – Methods

Intercultural Competence

The Protestant Church of Baden has published a guideline and guide for recommended action regarding intercultural competence and intercultural receptiveness on their website in 2012.


Every person has their own story, their own life, and were thus also – in varying degrees – shaped by different cultures. This has an influence on the way people interact with each other, how they share lives with people from different cultural contexts. In different regions, different networks, in minority groups (including subcultures), but even within the same family, different cultural values may apply.

What is intercultural competence and…?

Intercultural competence is the ability to communicate with people from a different cultural context, but also the ability to create a mutually satisfying interaction between people from different cultures. This competence can be developed early on in life, but can also be developed and supported. This is called intercultural learning. The basis for intercultural communication is emotional competence and intercultural sensibility. A person is interculturally competent if they can communicate with people from different cultures and comprehends their specific concepts of perception, thinking, feeling, and acting. Previous experiences are used without bias and prejudice and extended, the willingness to learn more is pronounced.

…intercultural receptiveness?

Intercultural receptiveness means the conceptual consideration of cultural diversity and the difference of coworkers and client groups, regarding categories such as ethno-cultural differences, gender, (dis-) ability, age, etc. and overcoming access barriers which are based on these differences – in the interest of consistent customer focus. Intercultural receptiveness serves the removal and prevention of supply gaps. For migrants, this means: Removal of access barriers which are based on ethno-cultural differences. Intercultural receptiveness is part of quality and organizational development.

The Diakonische Werk Württemberg has developed a training and method handbook in their task force “Interkulturelles Lernen” (Intercultural Learning” in 2001. A first idea of a definition and the meaning of cultures can be found in the following German-language PDF.

Intercultural Competence Training:

The cooperational project “Mitten im Leben – Fit durch interkulturelles Training” (Right in the middle- fit through intercultural training) in Baden, Germany.

untitledThe partial project “Mitten im Leben – Fit durch interkulturelles Training” (Right in the middle- fit through intercultural training) in Baden was supported through European Integration Fund and further financial support from the Protestant Church of Baden. The project provides access to intercultural training for different target groups. The training is mostly undertaken in in-house events or on site. If desired, the training sessions are combined with processes of organizational development.

Further information on the project “Mitten im Leben – Fit durch interkulturelles Training” (Right in the middle- fit through intercultural training) and current statistics can be found on

Jürgen Blechinger – Evangelischer Oberkirchenrat Karlsruhe
Referat Diakonie, Mission und Ökumene und Interreligiöses Gespräch
Bereich Migration und Islamfragen
Blumenstraße 1–7
76133 Karlsruhe
Telefon: +49 (0) 721 91 75-521
Telefax: +49 (0) 721 91 75-529

Volunteer Academy

The Diakonische Werk Baden has established a so-called volunteer academy and a volunteer exchange. Get a first overview in the following German-language flyer.
Further information (in German) can be found here: .