Migrant organisations (MOs) have existed in Germany since the 1960s. The goal and purpose of these mostly voluntary associations are essentially based on the situation and interests of their members, migrants. In addition to religion, culture and language, dealing with issues such as integration and social participation, e.g. through voluntary work, always plays a major role. MOs are often the first point of contact for new immigrants and a meeting place for orientation, advice and social contacts.
In Leipzig, too, the network of MOs has grown in recent years and, thus, become more diverse and larger. However, this growth has also raised expectations: MOs should participate in networks, provide information to their communities and bring the migrants‘ perspective into the communal development. The city of Leipzig has long recognised this new mountain of tasks facing MOs and has thankfully supported us – just like all other migrant organisations – for years. A new project with the appropriate name Support for Migrant Organisations will begin in May.
What is especially nice for us is that we have the opportunity to carry out the project together with the City of Leipzig, more precisely the Department for Migration and Integration. Together, we support migrant organisations in Leipzig in the further development of their structures. A survey has shown that for the further development of their work, and thus their organisations, the MOs lack, above all, premises to work and exchange information, as well as structural support. By making our premises available on site, we will specifically support the MOs from Leipzig in their work this year. Our premises are to be a contact point during a moderated monthly meeting and will, thus, make it easier for the MOs to get to know each other, exchange experiences and network. Through monthly workshops, which we will plan thematically together with the MOs, they will share the necessary know-how and knowledge in the network, for example, to write more targeted funding applications or to better organise the exchange with offices. By maintaining and promoting social contacts among each other, the network is to be strengthened in order to be able to maintain and pass on the knowledge in the long term and, therefore, establish lasting mutual assistance within the structure.
We are looking forward to the project and the more intensive cooperation with the Department for Migration and Integration of the City of Leipzig and the migrant organisations in Leipzig.