We are active

(FINALIST 2017) Integration in a small town: helping refugees make their way.

“Preserving the human dignity of refugees and organising self-help for accelerated integration into society and the labour market”: this describes the initiative in a nutshell. Engagement by citizens and numerous negotiations with authorities prevented the deportation of refugees to Hungary. Under the slogan “We are active”, almost 120 citizens protected refugees by organising a human chain and providing countless services.

Mobilising citizens as mentors for tasks such as language learning or job orientation was key to a successful integration work. The initiative aimed to help people to help themselves. Therefore, an office was established and staffed with refugees on a voluntary basis, with engaged citizens supporting them. The office’s main tasks were to organise volunteer work by refugees for the local population and job orientation visits for refugees in local companies. For job orientation, a comprehensive concept was worked out based on the principle of traineeship. After actively involving refugees, the project changed its name to “We are active”.




Angelika Schwarzmann

Mayor of Alberschwende