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Refugee Academy

The Refugee Academy is a Berlin-based non-profit that creates learning spaces for refugees seeking to assimilate. It was founded in response to the influx of refugees into Germany and represents a challenge to more conservative, dehumanizing methods for settling refugees.

Historically, the most common way of dealing with refugees is to quarantine them in the least desirable part of the city or country and shelter them there quasi-permanently. Optimally, refugees could find sanctuary in another country and be moved along. The world needs new ways to think about refugees – ways that do not stigmatize or ghettoize, but support new forms of assimilation and interaction.

The Refugee Academy is founded on the belief that refugees and immigrants can be a national asset. With their open education philosophy rooted in the UN’s universal declaration of human rights, the Academy provides native-language education to help migrants find work within Germany. It utilizes volunteers who are willing to teach, and the curriculum isn’t limited to any particular trade, skill or ideology. Beyond mere vocational training, the Refugee Academy emphasizes the creation of community and the social construction of a new homeland.  They organize city tours and classes to help migrants understand more about Germany. In a sense, their work is really about designing new ways to think about migration – work that is desperately needed in our current geopolitical landscape.

Please listen to Eric Cesal’s interview with TeeKay Kreissig, one of the founders of Refugee Academy, on Social Design Insights.

113 | Opening the World to Refugees


Our opening theme music for 2019 is "Bang Bang" and our closing theme is "Salvame" both by Eljuri from her album "La Lucha." The break music for this episode is "Holiday Time" by Hildegard Knef.