The German partner ifa Akademie chose to collaborate with a group of 18 seniors who regularly meet upon invitation of the German-Turkish Forum in Stuttgart. The age of the seniors was between 58 an d72. In addition to German-born seniors, there were seniors with background from Kosovo, Italy, Greece and Turkey.
The meetings took place at a community center in the city center of Stuttgart. This place was easy to reach with public transportation. Coffee and cake were offered to create a comfortable feeling. During the meetings, all modules were presented, explained and tested. Feedback was collected based on the interest of participants in specific topics. Participants commented that materials should be easy to understand, despite their well-researched academic quality. The role of the trainer is of importance too. In addition to staff from ifa Akademie, a social worker and expert for adult education served as trainer.
Participants very much enjoyed working in groups, plenary discussion and exchange of life experience in relation to migration. It was criticized that during some piloting sessions, not all materials were available in German language. Some videos and films were in English only. Senior with migrant background were not familiar with English and pointed out that they preferred to speak German or the language of their country of origin, but not English. Questions came up on how matching of migrants and senior volunteers could be organized and how often volunteers should meet with their migrant fellows. All feedback and outcome of the piloting was integrated into the refined materials. The module on special needs in Germany was adapted respectively.