Tell us about the community that you engage? eg. economic conditions, political structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with engagement efforts.
Migration processes have increased during the past decades. Germany, too, is a country of immigration. In 2009 the number of persons with migration background in Germany amounted to 16 million - more than 715 000 persons than in
2005. The proportion of the population with migration background has increased from 18.6% to 19.6%.
When compared with the host population, immigrants face higher risks of poverty and ill health. These risks stem from the immigration process, which can entail adverse living and working conditions, as well as social exclusion.
Through lack of language skills and cultural differences migrants' access to and information on (German) health care is hampered.
Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project
Ramazan Salman is the son of Turkish parents immigrating to Germany in the early 1960s. When he was a boy he experienced that he was always and again needed as an interpreter for his family and relatives when they needed to go to the doctor. His German was very good since he grew up in an environment where he was almost the only Turkish pupil around. So he was well integrated into both worlds - the Turkish community and the German world around. From his childhood on, he learned about the difference culture makes. He realized that there was a need to build bridges between cultures i.e. between the different languages as well as the non-verbal cultural characteristics. After his studies, in the early 1990s he founded the Ethno-Medical Center as a registered association and along with it launched the first German community interpreting service for the social and health sector. It served as a model for many more community interpreting services all over Germany and Europe. The next step was then not merely to help when there was an urgent need to see a doctor but to help spreading information on healthy living and prevention to those who would not be reached by usual prevention measures and information. First of all there was a focus on the prevention of drug abuse and infectious diseases (e.g. HIV/AIDS) which lead to the launch of "Interkulturelle Suchthilfe" (intercultural addiction treatment) - the forerunner of "MiMi". Encouraged by the great initial success he developed this train-the-trainer-concept to a more general level, encompassing now 17 different health topics.