Clever Education Initiative (CEI) is an education project based at the Joseph Beuys Gesamtschule in Kleve. It supports (secondary) school students from refugee and migrant families (children with German as a second language) individually with the support of volunteers, primarily from Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, but also includes students from other higher education institutions.

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Project vision

Our goal is to create educational justice in Germany in the long term, where migrant and refugee children are given equal opportunities to participate in a successful and self-determined life in our society.

Our approach

We provide a 1:1 concept in which one student gets paired up with one volunteer. In the volunteers, the pupils find caring mentors who help and motivate to learn German continuously and develop their cognitive and social skills. After all, these disadvantaged and mostly educationally deprived children should also be able to strive for a school career that corresponds to their full capacities. We are aware that school is often the only place where refugee and migrant families find an intersection with German society. Thus, it is even more important to build a perspective of integration.

International students

According to the 2021 press release, Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences has 53% foreign students, i.e. a particularly high proportion of international students. These in particular are also addressed by our education project. In this way the DaZ-students, sometimes even from their own country of origin, have mentors with whom they can identify themselves with since these international students are also looking for access to the German language and society.

University students meet local pupils

This project is aimed at all university students who live in Kleve and who would like to be involved in the DaZ-class on a long-term basis, one - or more times a week.

Social start-up

This project is a social start-up based on volunteer students which commit their time and energy to support school students depending on their time schedule. After the volunteering period ends, they will get a certificate by the school management that will enrich their CV for further professional career path and most importantly strengthens their ability to work in a culturally diverse background.

Klever Heimatpreis

The Start-up has been awarded the Klever Heimatpreis in October 2022.

The Heimatpreis is a funding program set up by the Ministerium für Heimat, Kommunales, Bau und Gleichstellung NRW (Ministry for Home Affairs, Municipal Affairs, Construction and Equality of North Rhine-Westphalia) to honor associations and institutions that are active throughout the district (which means that they must be active in or for the predominant district area).


We are a team of dedicated people from various study courses and positions.

  • "It's just such a love for the individual and also a great community between the children and the students" – Cornelia Bohn

  • "Clever Education Initiative started as a vision, but has become so much more than that. It has become a real space and meeting place where not only the children get a chance to develop and fulfil themselves, but also each of us has the opportunity to do so." – Felicitas Kaim

  • "Clever Education Initiative is not a project where I go once a week to teach refugee children my mother tongue. These children, who have barely arrived in Germany, have all come to a country in a more or less traumatic and awkward way, where they neither speak the language nor understand culturally what makes us tick. For me, this means giving the children a place to recharge their batteries, where they can be children again and get undivided attention. The best moments are always when the students start talking about their lives. Then the sun shines again." – Mia Langhoff

  • "Spending time with them has taught me so much about happiness because they are the most professional people when it comes to having fun in everything they do, even if it means ignoring what and if others are speaking. And you feel important, as if what you did has already become a part of their lives, with each improvement in their language ability and for each time they go "oohh, that's how they do it in Germany" ... " – Minh Pham

  • "I really loved working with kids from different countries and backgrounds, I was really happy seeing that they feel happy, safe and integrated into the society, my knowledge of Arabic language helped me but I realized that the kids keep teaching me every time and I'm practicing my German with them." – Mohamed Basha

  • "This internationality is special because it connects different cultures through learning and play, which is very important in today's multicultural world. What I like most about the project is that it has a 1:1 concept, which allows us as students to build a very personal relationship with the children and at the same time respond to their individual needs." – Tamara Tietze

  • "While being with the kids,I really don't feel the time anymore and it’s not like we are teachers and trying to teach them, it's more that we just pass to them our experience with the German community. I feel that I am learning from children more than I teach them." – Youssef Omran

  • "The most beautiful moment is when the children feel that we are really interested in their lives and they start bubbling over with joy and start telling their personally experienced, unique story!" – Victoria Park

  • "The pupils are full of excitement and motivation in learning something (not only German language). Each one is different from the others. Thus as a teacher, I need to enhance their talents (what they're good at) and try to help them overcome their weaknesses as much as possible without omitting the fun. From what I experienced with the pupils I teach, once they realise and find their own purpose of learning and experience the satisfaction of getting new skills or knowledge, they willingly ask for more lessons and are eager to learn more out of their interests (without being told to do so)." – Aurelia Saputro

    Join us now

    If you are passionate about the vision of this project please contact us! We are looking forward to hearing from you!