Students and staff members commit themselves to helping migrants.
“Last fall, when a reception facility for 500 refugees opened in the Ernst-Grube-Halle, basically right outside our door, it quickly became clear: we want to help, ” Maximilian Schreiter remembers.
The research associate at the Chair of Financial Management at HHL founded the “Voice of Hope” initiative together with colleagues and students.
The first few weeks were focused on acute immediate aid.
The international students helped out as interpreters for Arabic and Persian, opened a collection point for donations in kind, provided rooms for language classes and supported volunteer workers who provided sports programs and child care.
Soon, however, the HHL students and staff members wanted to do more and started to develop medium and long-term projects which reflect HHL’s core competencies.
Since this March, application training programs are held for migrants with a positive decision on their asylum request once a month.
“We have a lot of experience in advising our international students in reference to the bureaucracy of the German labor market. We are now passing this on to migrants from Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea or Georgia,” says Anke Plänitz from the Student Affairs department.
The school is cooperating with the IQ Netzwerk Sachsen and the RESQUE 2.0 project.
The workshops include individual coaching for the creation of a résumé and the cover letter, as well as a free photo shoot for the application with the two photographers Dominik Wolf and Thomas Victor.
Afterwards, the students and HHL staff members continue to support the participants with the application.
There is currently another “Voices of Hope” project. In the context of “Refugees on Rails”, a program that started in Berlin in fall 2015, refugees learn coding, i.e. programming of software and web applications. HHL and the Sage GmbH would like to bring the project to Leipzig now and are looking for additional partners that can support the project.