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Germany’s First Lady Daniela Schadt wanted to learn more about an initiative that builds on a simple idea: Cook together, eat together, connect. On the 18th December 2014, she came to cook at the Social Impact Lab in Berlin and meet with the founders of the social enterprise “Über den Tellerrand kochen,” a social enterprise supported by SAP’S CSR program.

The idea of “Über den Tellerrand kochen” arose from a growing challenge for many countries, including Germany: According to the UN Refugee Agency, the global refugee number surpassed 50 million people in 2014. In Germany, more than 300,000 refugees came to seek shelter, peace and a home. To welcome them, and give them a face and voice, the founders of “Über den Tellerrand kochen”, invited people - refugees and residents – to cook together. After all, cooking and eating together has a unique power to unite people, also across cultural and language boundaries. They want to show how simple it can be to reach out to our fellow human beings and how easy it can be to create a feeling of togetherness – regardless of culture, origin and history. And refugees  need opportunities to meet people and make friends in the country that is now their home.

The positive response to this initiative has surprised even the founders Ninon Demuth, Bontu Guschke, Gerrit Furrier and Carolin Stremel. They have since
created several products: a cookbook with international recipes and personal stories of refugees, cooking classes led by refugees and many meetings, where people cook together and implement new projects.

Daniela Schadt was joined by Shaikh, the cooking teacher, Gabriele Hartmann, SAP Corporate Social Responsibility and SAP non-profit partner Norbert Kunz, the founder of Social Impact. During the her visit, in which the joint preparation of food again played a central role, Daniela Schadt used the opportunity to talk to the founders of “Über den  Tellerrand kochen” as well as to Shaikh, a refugee from Pakistan and cooking teacher for the day. She was very enthusiastic about the idea of the social enterprise as a way to drive social innovation and how small organizations can set important issues in

our society in motion.

Fostering great ideas

“Über den Tellerrand kochen” is one of about 160 social startups in the Social Impact Start program. Enabled by SAP and supported by the German Ministry for Families, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth selected business founders get help during the initial start-up phase.  This includes: individual coaching, professional expert advice on specific foundation subjects in the field of social entrepreneurship, mentoring by SAP employees, co-working space, access to potential funding partners as well as assistance in funding applications.

No opportunity to participate in the cooking events?

You may not have had the opportunity to participate in the cooking meetings? There is an alternative: buy the cookbook, and cook and enjoy the delicious meals with friends. That is a small, yet significant step on the way for better cooperation between refugees and their host country. The cookbook is bilingual (English and German).

Recipes for a Better We
ISBN 978-3-95760-002-8