132 Square Meters, 10 Employees and One Goal: a New Floor for a Berlin Café

In April 2016, ten IT employees at the Mercedes-Benz sales entity volunteered at Café Connection in Berlin-Schönefeld as part of a team-building exercise. The community cafe urgently required help to renew its floor and renovate its cellar.

Café Connections in Berlin is a meeting place for young and old. Anyone who is troubled will always find a friendly ear there. Refugees, for example, use it to make contact with residents of Berlin or surf the Internet.

Although the café usually serves as a meeting place for others, this time it was in need of help itself. The floor was very shabby and posed a risk to any children crawling on it. The cellar also needed new shelves to store donations for refugees. This prompted ten helpers from a Berlin-based IT department to take the day off work to tackle these challenges. The aim was not only to give Café Connection a facelift but also to bring the team closer together.

Workshop room, children's play room and corridor - a total area of 132 square meters received a new floor thanks to the Daimler employees. They also installed new shelves in the cellar, and created more storage space for donated items. "It's a different environment but it's a lot of fun," said Erik Batke, Team Manager in Daimler's IT division. "We have implemented various measures in the past aimed at improving the way we work together as a team. It is nice not to be working for our own benefit for once, but to be able to help others instead," added Dennis Voortmann, a Project Manager on the team.

The club Visioneers – volunteering with a vision initiated the project in partnership with Daimler. The organization is involved in various different areas of society, and organizes volunteer projects in Germany and Latin America. Visioneers has been carrying out various activities specifically for refugees at Café Connections since September 2015. The weekly courses on offer include sewing and crafting as well as German and music lessons. You can find out more about Visioneers at www.visioneers.berlin.

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