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European Social Fund Plus

Social Media Streetwork reaching out to marginalised people

Workers of the project

In today’s digital age, social media platforms are not just spaces for connecting and sharing; they are becoming vital tools for social work and support. The “Social Media Streetwork” project in Germany, part of the EhAP Plus Programme for marginalised immigrants, exemplifies this innovative approach.

Aiming to integrate those on the fringes of society into the mainstream, the project applies a simple yet effective approach: use of the most frequented social media channels – Facebook, Telegram, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok – as avenues to offer support and guidance to those in need.

Targeting newly arrived marginalised EU citizens, the homeless, and those at risk of homelessness, “Social Media Streetwork” provides immediate, accessible guidance and support. This is particularly crucial for mobile citizens who often rely on social media for basic information and peer advice upon their arrival in Germany. 

The project offers counselling and combats misinformation in seven languages: German, Polish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Croatian, English, and Italian. By delivering services in the native languages of these communities, the project ensures a more effective outreach. 

This multilingual approach is echoed by Social Media worker Bogdana Dilova, who explains: ‘We look for Facebook groups run by international communities, answering questions about unemployment, homelessness, and social benefits in Germany in users’ mother tongue.’

Financed by the Federal Ministry of Work and Social Affairs through the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) and co-financed by the EU Equal Treatment Office at the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees, Integration, and Anti-Racism, this project is strategically significant for Germany’s national ESF Plus programme. 

Creating Pathways

Social Media Streetwork is a testament to the transformative power of digital outreach in social work. By finding people online and connecting them with local projects of the EhAP Plus programme and its support services, the innovative initiative enhances the overall impact of the German ESF Plus programme. 

Dr. Rolf Schmachtenberg, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Work and Social Affairs, highlights the importance of proactive online engagement: ‘It’s not enough to simply put information online. We must actively reach out to people, enhancing the quality of information. This project represents an innovative way of achieving this.’

The project’s digital outreach workers provide answers to a wide array of queries, from providing protection against homelessness, to addressing multiple social security problems and ensuring access to help.

Project manager Agnieszka Skwarek notes the long-term impact of their work: ‘We witness the positive development of those we aid – from securing housing to overcoming personal challenges. It’s a source of pride to support their journey towards integration.’

Social Media Streetwork is more than just a digital initiative; it’s a pathway leading people from the margins to the centre of society. By leveraging the power of social media, it reaches out to the marginalised and connects them to the broader network of social services, fostering social integration in a modern and accessible way.

Project details

Project name
Social Media Streetwork (SoMS)
Minor – project office for education and research
Project start
Project end
Internet and social
Contact details
Alt-Reinickendorf 25
13407 Berlin
Agnieszka Skwarek
Total budget
€ 1 800 000
EU Budget contribution
€ 2 000 000