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Refugee Academy

In the coming decades climate change will produce tens of millions of refugees, adding to existing refugee communities resulting from military and sectarian conflict. Currently, only a few countries will even take refugees in, and when they do, a common way of managing them is a semi-permanent “quarantine” in the least desirable parts of cities. Yet many refugees are well-educated and professional. It hardly makes sense for a skilled dentist to be wasting away in an internment camp.

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 a Berlin­ based non­profit founded in response to the influx of refugees into Germany. Their philosophy is rooted in the UN’s universal declaration of human rights and a belief that refugees can be a national asset. 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 essence, their work is about designing new ways to think about migration.