Do you want to know more about Welcome Dinner Cologne?
Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions.
If your question is not listed, just send us an email.
What happens after your registration?
As soon as we receive your registration we will start the process of matching the guest with the host. During this matching process we will make sure that the guest and the host are not living too far from each other; that the number of guests does not exceed the capacities of the host and that you have at least one language in common. After the matching, we will phone the guest and host and give you each others’ contact details (phone numbers and email addresses). Then the host will contact the guest and arrange a date for the dinner. The host should then inform us of the date of the dinner by email.
How do we get in touch with the guests?
We promote Welcome Dinner in language schools and other institutions with connections to refugees. When we do that, we take into consideration that the guests can either speak some German or English. If guests don’t speak some German or English, we try to find someone who can translate for the dinner. Guests can also register online. During the online registration process it is indicated that some language skills in German or English are important.
Who are our guests?
Originally, the project was set up to welcome refugees. However, we are also happy if we receive registrations from other immigrants.
How do we get to know our hosts?
We promote the Welcome Dinner on our Facebook page, we talk to journalists, and we distribute our information among our friends. Through these channels we have already received a lot of registrations from potential hosts.
What is important when preparing for the dinner?
As soon as the matching is finished and the contact details are exchanged, the planning for the dinner can start. We provide the host with all the necessary information about the guest including details of their home country, language skills and any eating preferences they may have. If a dinner cannot take place and needs to be cancelled at short notice, we ask you to let us know and schedule a new date with the guest. We recommend contacting the guest again one or two days before the dinner to make sure that everything can take place as agreed. It can, for example, happen that a refugee had to move to another city with short notice.
What shall I cook?
You are the host. So, you should cook whatever you like to cook. Though some guests may have mentioned dietary restrictions (e.g. vegetarian, halal, no pork) which will need to be considered. Other than that there are no rules. The main point is that it tastes good.
What is halal?
We are happy that you want to cook for a guest. Though please note that your guest may be restricted to eating halal. That means that they eat according to the eating habits “permitted” by the Koran – so it is important that all meat products have been slaughtered according to Halal tradition, and no pork products are eaten. Please note this includes (non-halal) gelatin which may contain pork. Veal, lamb, chicken or fish can be eaten. You can find halal meat in Turkish supermarkets. However, some regular supermarkets have also started to offer halal certified products.
It’s dinner time. What now?
What you are cooking, how much time you spend with each other and whether you meet again after the dinner is completely up to you and the guest. Maybe the guest will invite you in return. In any case, it would be great if you would send us a picture of the meeting (of course only if the guest agrees). We would then put the photo on our webpage and on our Facebook page. We hope you enjoy the evening. Bon appétit!
After the dinner
It is important to us to know how the dinner went, what kind of experiences you had and whether you encountered any problems. We would really appreciate it if you could send your feedback via email or if you could post your experience on Facebook. A lot of our hosts send us a photo and a small report about the dinner that we can then publish on our blog or on Facebook.
Do other German cities offer Welcome Dinner as well?
Yes, Welcome Dinner has been implemented in many other cities. The following initiatives are currently being set up or already active: Aachen, Berlin, Bonn, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Edewecht, Frankfurt, Göttingen, Hamburg, Hannover, Jena, Kiel, Mainz, München, Potsdam and Stuttgart
How can I bring Welcome Dinner to my town
Welcome Dinner has become a worldwide movement. However, there are still a couple of white spots on the map. If you want to bring Welcome Dinner to your town, we are happy to support you by sharing our experiences, documents and website with you. Just drop us a mail.