DWBO: helping German daycare centres welcome refugee children


About the client

Diakonie Deutschland is the charitable organisation of Germany’s Protestant churches, providing aid to people in need, advocating on behalf of the underprivileged in politics and society, and leading discussions on the causes of poverty and social injustice. Its regional association, Diakonisches Werk Berlin-Brandenburg-schlesische Oberlausitz (DWBO), represents around 400 independent social institutions and educational and health services associated with the Protestant churches in Berlin, Brandenburg and Silesian Upper Lusatia, with more than 1,400 facilities and 52,000 employees.

The project


German, English, Kurdish, Farsi, Arabic, Vietnamese, Russian, Romanian, Albanian, Ukrainian and Somali

Since 2016, Berlin’s eight model child daycare centres (“Berliner Modellkitas”) have been an important part of the city’s strategy to integrate refugees into German society. DWBO wanted to share the child daycare centres’ experience of welcoming them with an accessible and informative animated film aimed at parents and staff. The animation is a guide for constructive communication between parents and carers, and gives an insight into the routines, values and care that children can expect in German daycare.

Using the eight model daycare centres located in different districts across Berlin, the film sought to answer questions that often come up when caring for children and families arriving in Germany, from how to overcome language barriers to dealing with cultural differences. Titled Working with Refugee Families: Insights from Berlin’s Model Child Daycare Centres, the animated film was published on DWBO’s channel on YouTube.

Our approach

To help reach as wide an audience as possible, DWBO worked with VSI Berlin to subtitle this into the key languages spoken by the larger refugee communities in Berlin. The short feature seeks to build a bridge between many different cultures and this aspect was central to VSI Berlin’s approach throughout the localisation process.

The project required translators with a particular sensitivity regarding inclusive and non-discriminatory language. With this in mind, we formed a production team of our most experienced linguists for this meaningful and important project. As one of the largest localisation service providers in Germany, VSI Berlin is part of the wider VSI Group, which meant we could also draw on our intercultural experience as an international network.


The VSI Group has a long tradition of working with public institutions and charitable organisations to help their message reach global audiences. These projects are particularly important to us and we are proud to have worked with DWBO to localise their animation and ensure it is accessible to people from many different backgrounds.