Make a difference in queer lives
As we.are.village in Berlin has become more widely known in the international community, we have developed two new important programs—Queer Bridges Berlin, focused on supporting queer refugees and new immigrants to Berlin and the Village Academy which will train applicants from around the globe in our successful methodologies.
Queer Bridges Berlin
Berlin is known as an international rainbow city and on a daily basis is home to increasing numbers of refugees and immigrants from Ukraine and the Middle East as well as from Africa, the Balkans and other regions that offer few opportunities for out queer people in their societies. we.are.village is excited to invite your support for our Queer Bridges program that will support the inclusion and active participation of queer refugees and immigrants into our community.
While we have always welcomed our newest residents in our programs, we have had to learn and better understand their experiences of homophobia and trauma in their home countries as well as the difficulties of living in a new country. The challenges of learning a new language, finding work and experiencing a new culture while trying to understand how they can live openly and proudly, make it particularly hard for newcomers to connect to others and leaves them open to exploitation by others.
With Queer Bridges, we are creating a project in which queer refugees, exiles and other immigrants can establish contacts, create trusting networks, and feel empowered to build their own life perspectives and skills, while they are getting to know queer life in Germany. Our offerings include discrimination-sensitive, trauma-aware spaces in which participants are sustainably integrated into the we.are.village community and Berlin networks.
Typically other programs supporting refugees and newcomers are based on one-on-one or group counseling and support. From our discussions with programs that work with queer refugees and the participants themselves, we discover that no other organization is helping them build their social and cultural networks and experience true community participation. All too often, queer refugees who were isolated in their countries of origin, find themselves more isolated in Berlin, lacking cultural support as well connection with the vibrant queer community they had heard so much about before they arrived.
Our methodology breaks newcomers out of social isolation by inviting them to meet other queer people with different origins, identities and experiences. The intersectional approaches used in our offerings are discrimination- and trauma-aware, ensuring a trusting and caring atmosphere. In order to expand these approaches for refugees, awareness-raising measures for dealing with people who have fled and/or experienced trauma are offered in the form of workshops and training for the team and workshop leaders.
We focus on creative body-, contact- and experience-based methodologies, which often emerge from ideas or needs from the community. With this emphasis, we are increasingly becoming a contact point for queer migrants with disabilities or impairments. We empower migrant members to represent themselves and their own communities and to contribute to programs of care and solidarity with one another. This in turn strengthens the Village as we learn and incorporate these systems into our structures.
The Village Academy will offer free facilitator training to applicants from around the globe to teach them how to run our successful experiential learning and connection programs in their home countries.
To date we have positively impacted the lives of over 7000 participants who are living in or have visited Berlin or have attended our overseas training programs. Now we want to expand our impact by training facilitators from other countries in the techniques and programs that have made the Village such a success in Berlin.
The first class of trainees will begin in 2024. The training program will focus on participatory learning methodologies, self-empowerment, body awareness techniques as well as how to create and maintain a responsive organizational structure that meets local needs.
We are committed to make the training free in order to support emerging queer communities in the global south as well as in other regions where political and cultural institutions discriminate, harass or threaten queer communities. Ultimately the impact of the Village Academy will broaden the opportunities for queer people to actively engage in their countries of origin and increase the numbers of queer people that will be able to benefit from our activities.
Through your generosity today, your tax-deductible generous donation will bring the Village model world-wide and help our community to grow stronger and create a network of like-minded groups throughout the globe.
More info upon request or via a direct call.