HHL Initiative `Voice of Hope’ Committed to Refugee Crisis
As a response to the current refugee crisis, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management has taken action and formed the initiative “Voice of Hope”. HHL is located next to a refugee registration camp that accommodates almost 500 refugees from countries such as Syria, Afghanistan or Eritrea. In a first step, the founded initiative focused on actively supporting the people arriving in the camp. Thus, HHL opened a collecting point for donations in kind, which are allocated to the refugees through the central coordination body. Additionally, the initiative spread the word across the university in order to find language interpreters. This group of 15 students supports in all kind of activities like sport courses, child care, counselling sessions or by translating the weekly activity plans. Moreover, HHL handed over three rooms to organizations and students offering children activities (e.g. painting, handcrafting, playing), language courses and other social activities (e.g. games evenings). Meanwhile, the initiative also received money donations via their graduate students, which have been used to purchase teaching materials and picture dictionaries in order to support language efforts by the refugees. This activity has been executed in close cooperation with a book selling company.
Due to the fact that the registration camp is directly located next to HHL, the business school is in the process of organizing a “Neighbors meet Neighbors” event, where the refugees can introduce their typical food to the HHL community and where they can get in touch with the university, students and locals.
Besides these concrete measures, HHL is also working on medium‐ and long term projects, which are set up according to the core competencies of HHL.
Firstly, HHL will award three Fridtjof Nansen Memorial Scholarships specifically designed for refugees who wish to continue their education in Germany. The full scholarships for the two Master in Management programs (MBA and M.Sc.) are reminiscent of Fridtjof Nansen (1861-1930), who was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to the international aid to refugees. The scholarships will cover the tuition fees as well as parts of the cost of living. Refugees with a first academic qualification, who have gained some initial professional experience, provide records of excellent academic and extracurricular performances and apply for HHL's full-time M.Sc. program starting in March 2016 or the full-time MBA program starting in September 2016, are eligible for this support. For the M.Sc. in Management a first degree in business studies is required, for the MBA program a first academic degree regardless of the field of studies. More information: www.hhl.de/nansen-scholarship.
Secondly, the initiative is setting up application trainings and business founding counselling to support refugees’ integration into Germany’s job market. The programs will consist of group seminars for 15-20 people and individual advisory sessions over a longer period of time. At the moment, HHL looks for cooperation partners to tap the upcoming demand.
Thirdly, HHL plans to support coordination bodies with organizational features within a field project where students work over approximately three months. With this project HHL aims to give some structural advice to a relevant institution in order to work effectively and responsibly.
And finally, HHL cooperates closely with the Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics to clarify the responsibility of corporations ‐ and its limits. First ideas for an according project are developed. Another field of action is research related to the refugee crisis ‐ a PhD thesis focusing on opportunities and challenges of labor market inclusion for Germany is in progress.
If you have further questions, ideas or if you want to cooperate with us, please contact our initiative under: voiceofhope(at)hhl.de