Fighting racism and prejudices by speaking to refugees rather than speaking about them
Exchange at eye level
How can people be made aware of the living situation of refugees? This is what Hanna Rau, a student from Freiburg, asked herself in light of the news and images of the refugee crisis in 2015/2016. Shortly afterwards, Zeugen der Flucht was founded with a lot of motivation in a shared kitchen in Freiburg. Zeugen der Flucht e.V. is an anti-racist educational initiative with locations in Freiburg and Dresden, whose team consists of young people with and without refugee experience as well as many volunteers.
Putting faces to refugee movements
The association visits schools with refugees so that they can tell them about their flight and the individual reasons for it. In this way, they bring young people into contact with refugees – at schools, because they reach everyone there, regardless of their other backgrounds. In return, the refugees who tell stories about their lives receive attention for what they have experienced.
«We felt the need to do something. Many people didn’t understand what it means to flee from war, what it’s like to no longer have a home.» Hanna Rau, Chairperson
Talking to each other instead of about each other
The aim is to create encounters between members of society who rarely exchange ideas in everyday life. Debates about flight and migration are often shaped by prejudices, fears and media coverage. However, those who talk to each other and share personal experiences will adopt other perspectives and better understand the living situation of other people. Through exchange at eye level, the topic becomes more tangible and provides more understanding.
The association wants to contribute to anti-racist education. To this end, class visits and project days are organised at educational institutions. This enables a direct exchange and encounter between refugees as contemporary witnesses and pupils at eye level. Through personal encounters and openness at the joint meetings, the students can develop their own differentiated opinions on the topic of flight and learn to critically question information. The media image is complemented by the personal story and topics such as flight and migration become accessible and understandable. This helps to reduce prejudices, as the meetings counteract a mood of fear and uncertainty that often leads to discrimination and prejudice.
How Zeugen der Flucht contributes to the 17 Global Goals
Peace, justice, and strong institutions
Reducing prejudice and racism among young people
Better integration of refugees into society
Teaching social skills in schools
Empowerment of refugee women by giving them their own voice
Partnerships for the goals
New type of collaboration between schools and refugees
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