About Hispi

A few words about us

Since the summer of 2015 about 400 volunteers have helped to teach German to refugees. Altogether we offer 11 daily units on up to four levels. Our offer extends to a vast range of people, from (primarily) illiterate migrants to advanced learners (B1). Our Hispi is colourful. At Hispi, people from a diversity of cultures, countries and societies meet to be able to learn, to be noticed, to feel good and to help. Here, everybody is allowed to be him- or herself and to grow beyond what she or he was before. In 2018 Hispi became part of SOPHIA::Akademie gGmbH. This makes sure that we, as a former citizens’ initiative, can receive donations and grants.

What people say about us

Our participants

Our team

I’ve learnt my foreign languages by having contacts with native speakers, and I would like to give some of this experience back here. The best recognition for a volunteer is seeing and experiencing the progress made, when in our weekly get together the new citizens from different countries talk to each other in German.

Friedhelm V.
My involvement with Hispi?
Language is sooo incredibly important, and I have always liked teaching languages. I hope that I can help the newly arrived at least a little with getting to know our language – and German is definitely not an easy language to acquire.

Heiner H.
Teaching at Hispi is – for me – connected with the heart. Every student (and every teacher) has their own baggage, and it is a pleasant feeling to see that we are all helping one another. In times like these, it is important to show your engagement maybe more than ever.

Kristina S.
There is always something going on at Hispi. Very different people and different cultures meet here, work and laugh with each other, get to know each other and stand in for one another. Everybody can be the way they are. Just as it should be.

Bastian W.
Commercial clerk, occasionally a teacher at Hispi and free time Rock’n Roll artist.

Gerd G.
I like being involved at Hispi, because I am grateful for the life I can live, and thus I can give a little back to our society. I really enjoy conveying our language and our culture.

Brigitte K.
As a long standing political journalist (Rheinische Post) I have always worked near, with, and for people. Since 2016, after every course at Hispi, I have been thinking ”You always come back a new person“! That is motivation as well as the gratitude of the refugees.

Klaus H.
At Hispi, there is a lot to learn and to laugh about. For everybody.

Annchen S.
I get involved at Hispi, because at the beginning it was important for me to help the many refugees voluntarily and sensibly. Meanwhile I would not like to do without this activity, because I got to know so many interesting and lovable people and at the same time am rewarded with thanks, recognition and smiles. I just like it, and it also broadens my horizon!

Conny D.
Conny D.
I like languages, and I also like familiarizing other people with them. That’s why I love enabling refugees to be familiar with our language and teaching German at Hispi.

Gudrun S.
Ich bin so gerne im Hispi, da wir dort einen Ort schaffen, in dem sich alle angstfrei und zugewandt begegnen, um mit einander zu lernen und sich gemeinsam weiter zu entwickeln.

Karin J.
I really like being at Hispi, because we are creating a location where everyone meets everyone else respectfully, without anxiety. We meet to learn from one another and to further our development.

Karin J.
Being able to help in an utterly uncomplicated way – that’s what I like about our Hispi.

Ulrike H.
For the refugees: No successful integration without knowing the language. And for us helpers: A ’Thank you’ after each lesson is a great joy and motivates me to go on.

Karsten M.
I get involved at Hispi, because I would like to help refugees to integrate – they have often found their way here under crucial circumstances. As a rule people in Germany are able to lead good lives. Isn’t it – just looking at it the Christian way – only fair to give something back?

Michael W.
When I had a number of problems in my life I started helping others – now I am feeling fine!

Ingelore S.
At Hispi ”Wir schaffen das!“ (famous quotation by Angela Merkel in 2015 meaning ’We can do this!’) becomes ”Just do it!“ … as a team, with creative means and modern technology; teaching here is real fun!

Jana P.



Between October 2017 and March 2018 Hispi was supported by startsocial.
This is a national competition to foster voluntary social engagement under the patronage of Chancellor Angela Merkel. With the slogan ’Help for helpers’ startsocial annually awards 100 scholarships lasting four months and seven cash prizes to outstanding social initiatives. In every round more than 500 experts and managers contribute their know-how as voluntary coaches and jurors. The competition was started in 2001 and thus is a pioneer as far as counseling social initiatives in Germany is concerned.

Martinstaler [commemorative medal] of Düsseldorf

On November 24, 2016, Hispi was awarded the Martinstaler of the town of Düsseldorf in the category »New ways of engaging citizens in volunteer work«

Ehrenamtspreis SPD Düsseldorf [prize for volunteers of the Social Democratic Party]

On June 11, 2017, Hispi was awarded the Ehrenamtspreis in the category »migration and integration«.

Camel – Our most important prize

This is arguably our most important prize. One of our participants created it in his first work experience. ”Hispi – Team – Love“ – just great.