Refugees and Asylum - Examples of Pilot Projects
Migration and Inclusion

Refugees and Asylum - Examples of Pilot Projects

Alongside our support for research projects in the areas of refugees and asylum – and for cooperation between research bodies, politicians, and practical organizations - we provide targeted funding for pilot projects across Germany. These are committed to new ways of accessing services and strive to bring about lasting improvement and proactively influence the way all parties live together - asylum seekers, refugees, officials, volunteers, and local communities.

Over the next few pages, we would like to introduce you to a selection of the projects we support.

Contact at the Foundation

Raphaela Schweiger
Phone: +49 (0)711 46084-678
Grandhotel Cosmopolis - a Hotel with or without Asylum
In Augsburg, a former care home that was run by the local diocese has been transformed into a hotel, refugee accommodation, and an artistic workshop - in other words, an innovative residential and social project. This "grand hotel" offers overnight accommodation for those with asylum and those without asylum, thus enabling people to meet, get to know each other, and share their experiences. The asylum seekers, who live in a protected area of the hotel, are at the heart of the facility’s cultural and sociopolitical ethos.

One event held in summer 2015 was the Grandhotel Cosmopolis Peace Conference, which aimed to share the experiences of Augsburg with similar projects, both in Germany and abroad, and to promote a dialog with the city of Augsburg and local residents.
VOR ORT - a Project to Qualify Volunteers in Rural Areas for Refugee Work
The VOR ORT ("on the ground") project was launched by the Bayerischer Flüchtlingsrat (Bavarian refugee council) in 2014. As part of the project, dedicated individuals and local initiatives - primarily from rural areas of Bavaria – receive advice, qualifications, and networking opportunities to enable them to work with asylum seekers. The project reflects the fact that fewer asylum seekers in a rural setting have access to extensive support services compared to those living in cities. At the same time, the project aims to equip the general public with basic knowledge in order to combat prejudice against refugees, recruit new volunteers, and provide them with ongoing support.

Thanks to individual advice and support - coupled with a range of training programs - the project is able to reach a broad spectrum of volunteers in rural Bavaria. These volunteers are able to approach the Bavarian refugee council with any legal or practical questions they may have. Due to increasing numbers of refugees and a greater willingness among the population to help asylum seekers, many people are taking advantage of these advisory services. They range from charities working with asylum seekers to individual people who want to get involved.

By providing volunteers with the support they need, the VOR ORT project is playing a key role in terms of enabling people to make a long-term commitment to working with asylum seekers.
Mentors for Particularly Vulnerable Refugees - Xenion e.V., Berlin
Refugees are often only able to play a limited role in public life. Alongside the day-to-day assistance they require, they also need considerable support to help them go through the process of applying for asylum.

A key challenge is how to support particularly vulnerable groups, such as traumatized survivors of organized violence, refugees fleeing war zones, children and young people (traveling with and without family members), single parents, and older people. In terms of stabilizing people’s mental state, environment and therapy both play a key role, with reliable interpersonal contacts of paramount importance. But because many refugees live in communal accommodation with a distinct lack of activities, they have very little opportunity to encounter local residents.

This is exactly where XENION e.V. - an advisory association for victims of political persecution - comes in. By building up a network of mentors in Berlin Steglitz-Zehlendorf, the aim is to provide the professional support required to enable and encourage particularly vulnerable refugees to play a part in society and to facilitate proactive involvement on the part of dedicated citizens. Alongside an advanced qualification for mentors, the project focuses on the personal circumstances of refugees who have experienced severe trauma.

There are currently some 60 mentorships and a network of roughly 200 volunteers. The project continually receives applications from volunteers who would like to get involved.