The decision of the Munich city council
On the occasion of the 850th anniversary of the city of Munich in 2008, Save Me was the first campaign in Germany to request that the city council would decide on the admission of 850 refugees and show in this way that a complementary admission of refugees is intended in Germany. Save Me was willing to look for 850 mentors who would welcome the refugees in Munich. The call of the Save Me campaign eventually fell on fertile soil: the Munich city council did not only decide on the campaign and the admission of 850 refugees, but Christian Ude, mayor at that time, also used his political influence and requested that the Federal Government would decide in favor of a permanent participation in the UNHCR resettlement program in the future.
The resettlement project of the city of Munich, Save Me and Initiativgruppe e.V.
The resettlement project in Munich, consisting of Save Me, Initiativgruppe e.V. (IG) and the city of Munich, has existed since 2014. The Housing and Migration Office is responsible for the accommodation, while the social pedagogues of Initiativgruppe provide for intense guidance for the resettlement refugees and assist them for example during visits to the authorities.
Within this project, Save Me is responsible for making the program known to the public as well as for assisting the refugees in international affairs (e.g. obtaining a passport, family reunification), the organization of the arrival as well as the assignment of the refugees to voluntary mentors.
The first steps in Munich
Before the arrival in Munich, Save Me organizes volunteers who buy necessary things at IKEA as well as groceries for the first week and prepare the accommodation for the refugees. At first, the refugees stay at the first reception facility in Friedland where they are received personally by a team of social pedagogues of Initiativgruppe as well as members of Save Me who will later on accompany them to Munich.
Especially in the first weeks, there are many questions, and the new arrivals receive particularly intense assistance. The refugees come to the Save Me office in order to get information about legal matters or about family reunification, or somebody meets them in their accommodation for this purpose. Save Me assists them first of all in cases of issues with the authorities and organizes family reunifications. Furthermore, the resettlers attend a detailed orientation course, organized by Save Me, during which the receive information about Germany and Munich and get to know each other better by means of playful activities. Soon after the arrival, together with volunteers we organize a city tour so that the refugees get a first orientation in their new home town Munich. Moreover, we instantly look for suitable mentors who also welcome the refugees and provide help and advice in order to facilitate their first steps here as well as their integration.