From a humanitarian point of few, there is no doubt at all that we have to help people in need. Neither should any discrimination regarding nationality play a role, nor is it acceptable that refugees are prevented from seeking safety and peace in Europe by closing of borders and other defence measures. Shifting the task of coping with the current refugee issue further to the east does not pose a solution. At least not for as long as people can’t find shelter in conditions fit for human beings, not for as long as the camps cannot provide enough food and protection from violence, not for as long as they do not enable children to get access to education. We do oppose any politics that only aim at moving problems out of sight. We strongly believe that all of these problems only can be solved with a view that takes in a wider angle: Whoever leaves their home rarely ever does it without good cause. Apart from war and violence, political, religious or philosophical discrimination in any form whatsoever is just as good a reason as is an economical one. Every human being is entitled to physical wellbeing, an entitlement which is impaired by hunger, insufficient health care of lack of proper housing. As citizens of wealthy industrialized countries we don’t have a privilege on sustainable livelihoods. With that in mind we are well advised to let people who seek shelter in our countries partake both in our rights and obligations. At a time where the internet provides us with the option of global, technically barrier-free communication and where modern means of transportation enable us to span great distances at affordable prices, static, homogenous societies become a thing of the past. A coexistence where being different is more and more commonly accepted allows individuals to take steps towards each other, to learn from each other, based on mutual respect and tolerance. Based on this assumption, integration is not a one-sided task but a mutual obligation, requiring patience and consideration from all those involved. From an economic point of view, western industrial nations will gain profit from the interest shown by people from the Mediterranean area or the Middle East. Young people, equipped with abilities and motivation could change our ageing societies, adding some new young and strong pillars of support. State and economy can and will be the main beneficiaries of this development, if they approach the task with a positive attitude.
Our charity organization doesn’t have a master plan for all the challenges we are faced with while trying to tackle things. The same applies to the pressing political challenges. Despite that, we want to explore and develop strategies and ways through which we, hopefully, not only will achieve full integration of refugees into our society (or at least gaining foothold in the society) but encourage and promote the idea of supportive cooperation on a national and transnational level. All this is a most welcome side-effect of our daily work and conversation with refugees and the constant confrontation with the problems refugees and dissidents encounter likewise.