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Refugees in Saxony: Training as multipliers and strengthening of voluntary commitment

14. July 2016 -
Global crisis, armed conflicts, natural disasters and persecution are some of the main reasons, which force people to flee from their homes. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR in 2015 more than 65 Million children, women and men were fleeing worldwide – the highest number which has ever been recorded by UNHCR. While the majority stays as internal displaced persons in their own land or searches refuge in the neighbor countries, also many people came to Germany to seek protection. The helpfulness was tremendous, all over Germany voluntary initiatives were found. arche noVa supports some of them with a specially implemented fund. This summer a further project starts, with the aim to qualify refugees as multipliers and to strengthen civic engagement.

Our project supports refugees, who want to get involved in their new home communities and to be active in sports, culture or other social fields.

Arriving in Germany is often hard, lack of language, differences between Germany and their homeland and consequences of traumatic experiences during war and flight are some of the obstacles which refugees meet in their daily routine. But far too often it is spoken about refugees, not with them.

That is why we train at least 20 refugees from five communities in Saxony as multipliers. The women and men will be trained in communication and intercultural competence. Subsequently we will accompany and support the multipliers. In the long term this project contributes not only to active participation in society and reduction of prejudices, but the participants can support other refugees with the arrival in Germany and the integration also. This is a major step towards sustainable perspectives for refugees.

The second part of our project focusses on five welcome-initiatives in Saxony. Although the civic engagement is immense, the groups struggle with large fluctuation of volunteers. But the initiatives provide important assistance for integration, especially in the rural areas, where the financial support by authorities is often slight. To ensure the support on the long-term also with turnover of active members, we advise the alliances on the preparation of a review and evaluation of the previous activities.

Thereby the organizations can determine which concepts were particularly successful and why other approaches were less effective. This summary will be held in a manual and helps so to build sustainable structures and transparency and simplifies the start for new active participants.