From the initiatives of the council of Europe of setting up an academy for democratic leadership for person with a refugee background, from 17 -18 October 2018, Migration Heute (MH) participated in the first pilot seminar of its project held at the German Federal Foreign Office, Auswärtiges Amt, Berlin. The seminar discussed the pre-conditions of establishing a such academy, infrastructures, expectations from refugee leaders, and how academy should foster refugees’ participation in policy ad decision making as well as to be a platform for refugee leaders’ empowerment and democratic participation to ensure the sustainability of European social cohesion.

The project is in response to the high number of refugees arriving in Europe since 2015. The council of Europe in this, is accessing the feasibility of setting the academy with a mission of fostering the democratic participation of people with refugee and migration background by consulting with those experts already working in the same subject and field. It is in this regard, Migration Heute member were invited to bring their expertise to solidify the ground by which the academy should be led.

During the seminar, Mr. Jean Ngendahimana, director of Migration Heute extended the appreciations to the council of Europe initiative of recognizing how important is refugee’s participation in the German political and democratic life for tomorrow’s cohesive society. However, He added that the academy should take into account the particularity of refugee leaders need and demands into its structures, framework and curriculum. He also shared Migration Heute perspectives on how the Council of Europe should foster and solidify the already existing refugee leaders’ networks starting from the seminar participants.

The event was also attended by Mr. Fadi Chamoun, Migration Heute Chief Executive Officer. Together with other participants, Mr. Chamoun says that it was an opportunity, to share MH activities in Germany, EU as well as on global level towards the change of narratives around migrant and refugees representation in the German public life, undocumented migrants and unaccompanied minors’ advocacy rights and entrepreneurship for migrants. Mr. Chamoun added that, after the seminar, due to the newly made contacts, some new partnership with new organizations are likely to happen very soon.