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News from 2015-08-31 / DEG

Support for refugee minors in Cologne

Over 7,200 refugees are currently living in accommodation provided by the city of Cologne - more than ever before. In Cologne alone, the number of unaccompanied refugee minors is expected to rise from 200 in 2013 to 700 this year. The youth service organisation "Auf Achse", which helps young people without permanent home, also supports refugee minors. DEG has supported the Cologne-based organisation as part of its social responsibility activities for ten years already.

During a DEG Forum, a series of lectures on issues of development policy, Norbert Wollner, director of "Auf Achse", and his colleague Cordula Götz presented their work which particularly aims at unaccompanied refugee minors. One example is the recently established accommodation "Plan B", a place that offers a new home to unaccompanied refugee minors from crisis areas and war zones. Since May 2015, the "Venga" centre offers an initial reception for unaccompanied refugee minors. It was fully occupied within a few days - as it is the case for all other "Auf Achse" centres.

Around 40 participants attended the presentation. Especially the question about personal commitment moved many people. In this context, Mr. Wollner referred to other helping organisations and the Kölner Freiwilligen Agentur ("Cologne Agency for Volunteers"), as "Auf Achse" does not cooperate with voluntary workers.

Kölner Freiwilligen Agentur as well as "Auf Achse" have been long-term partners of DEG, which DEG has supported as part of its social commitment. The focus is on measures with a link to DEG’s international activities.

At the DEG Forum DEG handed over this year’s donation. In addition to this, DEG is offering a young man recommended by "Auf Achse" an internship in its Facility Management department.

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