Sarah Rosenthal the is co-founder and CEO of Start with a Friend, an organization that brings together refugees and locals all over Germany. A graduate of economic science at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Sarah Rosenthal already focused on integration policies during her studies. In her diploma thesis, she analyzed the equality of opportunities and educational disadvantages of immigrants in the German education system.
Together with a group of friends, Sarah Rosenthal founded the tandem project Start with a friend in late 2014. With their collective knowledge of asylum policy and social integration, they wanted to create a project that allows sustainable connections between locals and refugees. The idea is to connect refugees and locals in tandems on a personal level based on interests and backgrounds. At the same time, Start with a Friend allows locals with a limited amount of spare time to engage in a fruitful integration project. In addition to the tandem, locals, and refugees regularly get together for numerous events in their communities and share mutual activities.
Start with a friend is currently underway in eight German cities. It started in Dresden in June 2016. Julia Karnahl is part of the Dresden team. In addition to her regular work as an editor for the Dresden-based publishing house jungvornweg where she specializes in education projects, she has worked for different volunteer projects and has helped to build up Start with a Friend in Dresden.
Until now, Start with a Friend has brought together over 700 tandems of locals and refugees (July 2016). For this, start with a friend has received a number of awards such as the national „start-social-award“ and the „Deutschland. Land der Ideen“ award.