Babbel Supports Refugee Initiatives in Large-Scale Campaign

  • Language learning app to provide refugee projects with courses valuing €1M
  • The initiative is supported by the Senate of Berlin, AWO, Kiron and Hoffnungsträger Foundation
  • Babbel’s experts providing in-house training for volunteer language teachers in Berlin
Babbel’s app helps people discover foreign languages and learn at their own pace. As diversity is one of its core values, the company feels a responsibility to contribute to efforts that aim to alleviate the current refugee situation in Europe. In order to help refugees integrate into German society, Babbel has partnered with several organizations to facilitate sustainable and effective language learning courses. Together with the Senate of Berlin, AWO Berlin-Mitte, Kiron Open Higher Education and the Hoffnungsträger Foundation, Babbel will provide various refugee projects with €1 million worth of language courses. These projects include support in various refugee projects — from the official refugee registration office in Berlin, Germany, to various refugee homes lead by AWO and learning German at Kiron’s online university.

“We know exactly what our customers want from us,” explains Babbel Founder and CEO Markus Witte. “But in providing help to refugees, we find ourselves in completely new territory. That’s why it was important for us to partner with organizations that possess a wealth of relevant experience and expertise. Offering free online courses is all well and good, but you also need to get the courses into the hands of the people that need them.”

“Language plays a crucial role in successful integration,” adds Michael Mueller, Mayor of Berlin. “With Babbel, we’re enabling refugees to begin learning German right from their initial registration in Berlin. This non-bureaucratic approach benefits everyone.”

The experience that Babbel’s partners bring to the initiative has already proved invaluable. Not only will these organizations deliver the courses directly to refugees, but they’ll also support them in setting up and using the app. A particularly vital insight from AWO came early in the process: to avoid putting certain groups of refugees at a disadvantage, it’s actually best to provide German courses in English or French rather than Arabic, as one might have assumed.

“Equality is a key consideration with all of the facilities we provide,” says AWO Berlin Chairman Manfred Nowak. “The majority of refugees have at least a basic knowledge of either English or French. By providing these two options for the Babbel courses, we’re able to cater to a very wide audience.”

In addition to providing free access to German courses, the Babbel team is helping to train volunteer teachers who deliver face-to-face lessons in the refugee centers. These training sessions have been running for several weeks, and are delivered by a team of linguists, professional language teachers, translators and education specialists.


In addition to the above initiatives, Babbel is proud to support:

· ABW Berlin · Europaschule Bremen · Refugee Home Neuruppin · Refugee hostel Planegg · Refugee Home Unterhaching · West Vienna Initiative

About Babbel

Babbel – the app that helps you speak a new language like you’ve always wanted to. When learning a language, nothing is more rewarding than a real conversation. 73% of surveyed customers feel that they’d be able to hold a conversation within five hours of using the app.

The Babbel language learning app for web, iOS and Android makes it easy to learn 14 different languages from 7 display languages. Bite-sized lessons fit into everyday life and are split into useful real-world topics, from introducing oneself, to ordering food and making travel arrangements. The app’s effective game mechanics ensure that learners stay motivated to achieve their goals, with the average user continuing to learn with Babbel for more than 12 months. Uniquely, every course is created specifically for each language pair by a team of education experts, linguists and language teachers. Fast Company Magazine recognised Babbel as the most innovative education company of 2016.

Babbel was founded in 2007 by Markus Witte (Chief Executive Officer) and Thomas Holl (Chief Technology Officer). Since then, the team has grown to over 700 people from more than 50 nations, spread between Berlin and New York. With no ads, and a transparent, subscription-based business model, the company’s focus remains firmly on getting learners conversational fast.The company recently surpassed 1,000,000 active paying subscribers.

For more information, visit www.Babbel.com