Fiscal Host: Open Collective Europe
SPEAK is a social tech start-up connecting migrants, refugees and locals in the cities where they live through offering fun and interesting language and culture exchange experiences.
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Oh what a year! Online impact & team expansion!
Hi there! It's time for an update. 2020 - thé covid year... SPEAK cities around the globe worked together to staying safe and staying connected. Offline groups weren't allowed anymore yet we stayed focused on tackling the isolation barrier....
Published on April 29, 2021 by Chloé Van Soest
A community-based solution to social integration.
Migration and the integration of newcomers in the host society remains an important issue. Knowing the language is put forward as a key precursor for successful engagement in the new city. There are moreover many non-profit organisations developing social, cultural or career-oriented activities for newcomers, and especially for refugees. Yet it remains difficult to connect them to other migrants (foreign students, guest workers, expats…) and to locals. At SPEAK, the two programs 1) language groups and 2) the cultural events organized by the community, promote the engagement of a diverse group teaching and learning from each other and in this way to build meaningful relationships.
By democratizing language learning and leveraging social interactions, SPEAK wants to foster an inclusive community that enables informal networks of support to be strengthened.
We adopt an online2offline model that proposes a practical social integration solution. This enabling technology allows the majority of processes to be managed in an online platform, making it very agile to create courses and get participants enrolled. However, the experience is offline, in the real world, as true social relationships are built face to face.
The model is very simple, it offers two complementary experiences: language sessions and cultural events. Anyone can sign up to teach or learn a language and the events are free and open to everyone. The language sessions (courses) have a symbolic fee of € 35 for a 18 hours course. There are two key rules; those who teach or those who have financial difficulties can always apply for a scholarship and get in for free.