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Barkawi-App Helps Refugees Learn German

Helping others has a long tradition at the Munich Management Consultancy Barkawi Management Consultants: Countless individual initiatives have been funded, including incubators for African maternity wards, operation theaters in Burundi, a school in the middle of Africa, surgeries for children with cleft lip and palate, a new face for burnt Indian women and many more.

But the current refugee situation requires more help than money – personal initiative: Barkawi's managing director Carena Barkawi is involved in the district of Munich as a German teacher for asylum seekers, to help them quickly become fit for life and work in Germany.

"The refugees are extremely inquisitive, willing to learn and grateful for this help. But German is a very difficult language", says Carena Barkawi. "Many of the refugees already have an impressive vocabulary, through the help of all the helpers and the amount of free time on hand, but can hardly apply any of it, because they are often missing the conjugated verb in the terrible irregular German forms. This is where I wanted to offer contemporary help!"

Almost all of the refugees have smartphones, because in many of their home countries, landlines don't exist. Additionally, their smartphone is often the only way to stay in contact with their families. So why not use this medium to reach out to very many, instead of just distributing learning sheets to very few?

In a 48-hour initiative, Carena Barkawi developed and programmed an app, with which the newcomers can train the various forms of approximately 80 of the most common German verb: "reading", "knowing", "having", "being" and many more in the right combination with "me, you, he/she/it, we, and they".

This is what the free app "KonYuga" asks in over 500 combinations and then provides the correct answer.By doing many little things, we can achieve great goals. And not only the app quite rightly says: I can, you can, we can!