A Berlin-Poland collaboration supporting volunteers working with refugees

Solidarity Here and Now is a project dedicated to volunteers engaged in supporting refugees. This project is an answer to their needs when it comes to the psychological, motivational, inspirational and educational support.

GSBTB’s Open Art Shelter Manager Hania Hakiel is one of the initiators of the project, which is supported by Allianz Kulturstiftung and hosted by the European Solidarity Centre.

In November, the project hosted its first workshop series in Gdańsk, Poland.

GSBTB’s Volunteer Coordinator, Wael Eli, attending the workshop.

GSBTB Open Art Shelter Manager Hania Hakiel and Volunteer Hanna Nordqvist.

Solidarity Here and Now aims to:

  •        enable volunteers to give an account of their experience and share it with each other;
  •        help them understand their situation from the psychological perspective;
  •        shed a light on inter-cultural and ethical perspective of their work;
  •        give them practical understanding of some aspects of the situation of their clients.

Below is a video summarising the group’s time in Gdańsk.

This first event was attended by GSBTB’s Volunteer Coordinator, Wael Eli, and Open Art Shelter volunteer Lindsay Bellinger, together with 14 other participants working with migrants and refugees in Russia, Poland, Serbia, Czech Republic, Greece and Germany.

Hania, together with another Open Art Shelter Volunteer, Hanna Nordqvist, were the workshop trainers in one of the groups. Hanna is a Grinberg Method practitioner, working across writing, performance and body-work. In 2014 she co-founded the centre for body-work “KörperRaum Mitte” in Berlin. She is active in the NGO “Medizin und Menschlichkeit” (“Medicine and Humaneness”), through which she offers workshops about boundaries and inter-personal communication for medical students and young health professionals.

In the video below, GSBTB Open Art Shelter Volunteer Lindsay Bellinger describes her experience (video in English and Polish).

During the workshop, the group produced a fantastic toolkit for NGOS to help them better prepare and care for their volunteers who work with refugees.

The toolkit is available for free download here

Photos: Grzegorz Mehring/gdansk.pl and Natalia Jażdżewska/Archiwum ECS