All our projects are free and always open to new participants. We welcome all participants and volunteers who want to be an active part of our projects.
Learning German is crucial for social participation. As many asylum seekers and sans-papiers do not have access to fee-based German courses, we provide free German lessons.
We offer courses for different levels.
On most sites we provide child-care during lessons.
New students can always join. No registration is required. We encourage regular attendance.
At several sites we serve free, hot lunch after the lesson. These lunches provide an important opportunity for social exchange.
Trips, Sports and Leisure
Weekly Trips in the Zurich Region
Once a week, Solinetz organizes a small excursion in the region of Zurich. Anyone who likes hiking is welcome to simply turn up and join. Solinetz pays tickets and food for refugees.
For all those who enjoy playing football on a regular basis.
Running on Thursday
For who want to train in a group. Together, we run and do exercises on the „Vitaparcours“ (Keep-Fit Trail). One of our goals is to participate in the Silvesterlauf Zurich.
Women’s Walk in the Neighbourhood
Local women go for a walk with refugee women. They meet in front of one of the refugee centres and go for a walk in the neighbourhood. Bring your children along.
Yoga for Women (Child-Care Offered)
For all women who want to practise Yoga once a week. Beginners welcome!
Velo-Züri: Cycling Lessons for Refugees
Cycling is great fun, cheap and increases your freedom of movement. As many refugees have not learned how to ride a bike, this group offers cycling lessons at different shelters (or centres?). Once participants have mastered the art of cycling, we go on little trips together as a group to learn about traffic rules and to explore the neighbourhood.
Reformierte Landeskirche (Reformed Protestant Church), in collaboration with Solinetz and the Catholic Church, organizes a holiday camp for refugee families every summer. The camp lets these families enjoy a few eventful and carefree days.
A trained seamstress teaches us how to use a sowing machine and to make our own clothes. If you are interested, just come round and have a look. Places are limited.
The Literary Circle meets regularly to read texts from the participants’ countries of origin. Participants write their own little texts. The group is open to anyone who likes to read, write and talk about texts. The project culminates in an open event/reading.
Zäme brunche (Brunch Together)
„Zäme Brunche“ aims to create a first point of contact, providing a space for refugees and people from Zurich to meet and get to know each other over a Sunday brunch. The event takes place once a month on a Sunday morning. Refugees can participate free of charge. For those on emergency aid, the bus or tram fare will be paid.
Kafi Tina (Tina’s Coffee Shop)
Once a month, we cook and eat together at Kafi Tina; refugees share recipes from their home countries with local people.
Anyone who likes to cook and would like to give or take a lesson is welcome to sign up.
(Frage an Séverine: Soll das Kochbuch hier weiterhin als Projekt aufgeführt werden?)
Im Herbst 2015 ist beim Rotpunktverlag das Kochbuch „Heimat im Kochtopf“ erschienen. Geschrieben von Solinetz-Gründungsmitglied Séverine Vitali, mit Fotografien von Ursula Markus.
Many school children are curious to meet a refugee in person. Whereas migration and refugees have received wide media coverage, personal contacts are rare. Our school visits group bridges this gap. We go into schools where face-to-face discussions allow for a valuable exchange between students and refugees.
Our group welcomes anyone who would like to join us on our school visits and is open to talk about his or her experiences.
Visits to Emergency Shelters (NUKs)
Emergency shelters (NUKs) are often located far away from the city or town centre. People on emergency aid are often isolated. With the CHF 8.50 they receive per day, they cannot afford public transport. Solinetz volunteers visit people in the shelters, thereby creating precious contacts.
Prison Visits Group
This group visits people detained at the airport prison at Zurich Kloten Airport to be deported.
We go to see the prisoners to break their isolation and to show them that there is someone in the „outside world“ who cares. We are there to talk, listen and to show solidarity. We receive requests for visits directly from the prisoners via a sign-up form.
Support and Encounters
The 1:1- project matches refugees with volunteers to form (individual) pairs. Volunteers support refugees according to their needs and help them to learn German, find a place to live or a job, translate letters, support them in different situations in their daily lives or organize activities with them. Regular personal contact in a give-and-take context fosters mutual understanding. Anyone interested in a „tandem“ is welcome to sign up.
Solidesk is a mobile help desk for refugees. Volunteers offer personalized advice on life in Switzerland, e.g. official letters, communication with authorities, finding places to live and jobs, legal advice, school, child care and leisure activities. Volunteers point the refugees towards professional help and advice centres. Solidesk volunteers cannot offer legal counsel. Solidesk is supposed to be a first point of contact, which points people in the right direction. Solidesk is always present during the German classes.
The Job Search Group is the point of contact for potential employers who can offer e.g. a job or internship for refugees. The group helps to match people and jobs. Every now and then, the group organizes group discussions on work/volunteering/internships, etc. and helps asylum seekers to find their way.
They point the refugees towards individual tandems and organize job-application workshops.
The Public Relations Group organises encounters and events in public spaces to raise awareness for the situation and the needs of refugees in Switzerland. We welcome anyone willing to help us promote more humane asylum and migration policies.
Regional Groups in Adliswil, Dietikon, Egg, Pfäffikon, Urdorf, Uster, Regensdorf and Winterthur
Solinetz has Regional Groups in different municipalities outside of Zurich. It is important for local people and refugees to meet where people live and to be able to build a common future. Hence, in Adliswil, Dietikon, Urdorf, Uster, Regensdorf and Winterthur, we offer free German classes and other Solinetz projects, to which we’re always happy to welcome new participants and volunteers.