Working in Berlin: We made it! Migrant women tell their stories

Two women in armchairs discussing
Image: Büro Frabe

In 2019, the Welcome Center Berlin will once again be organizing a story telling salon on the theme “Working in Berlin: We made it! Migrant women tell their stories”. This time with: Berlin Women and Migrant Women Projects BOX66, ISI e.V. KOBRA, MUMM, Raupe und Schmetterling e.V., TIO e.V. and VIA – Association for Intercultural Work.
The idea of the story telling salon: Women who have fled or migrated to Berlin in the last 10 years tell how they have managed to find a job or an education that corresponds to their qualifications and wishes despite all obstacles. We are looking for women with positive and encouraging stories that show other women where they can get help and what they can do to overcome migration crises.
The women should live in Germany for a maximum of 10 years and be happy to share their stories with a larger audience. They do not necessarily have to be able to speak German.
Would you like to be available to us as a role model? Or do you know other women who would be suitable? Then contact us by e-mail.

Apartment search exchange

The Welcome Centre Berlin supports voluntary and full-time initiatives and persons who help refugees in their search for accommodation. This regular exchange meeting is an integral part of this focus and should not only serve the exchange of information, but also provide insights into concrete needs and opportunities for action in this area. The next “apartment search exchange for refugees” will take place on 09.04.2019. Would you like to attend the next meeting and/or receive information on the agenda? Please feel free to contact us at

Anniversary celebrations

The Willkommenszentrum Berlin celebrated its first birthday on 9 October 2017 at Schöneberg Town Hall. There was a lively discussion on ways to improve the welcome structures in Berlin. The district mayoress of Tempelhof-Schoeneberg, Ms Angelika Schöttler, welcomed us, followed by Senator Elke Breitenbach and the Representative of the Berlin Senate for Integration and Migration, Andreas Germershausen, who spoke about the current culture of welcome in Berlin. This was followed by an interesting intervention by Koray Yilmaz-Günay, a board member of Migrationsrates (Migration Council) Berlin-Brandenburg eV, which initiated a lively debate during the panel discussion. In addition to Mr Germershausen and Mr Yılmaz-Günay, the event was also attended by the Pankow Integration Commissioner, Katarina Niewiedział, Mr Safter Çinar, board member of the Türkischen Bund (Turkish Association) of Berlin-Brandenburg, Ms Nuran Yigit, Deputy Chair of the National Advisory Board for Integration and Migration, and Mr Dirk Arp Stapelfeldt, Chairman of the LIGA Fachausschusses Migration (Migration Trade Committee). The event was hosted by Nele Allenberg, Director of the Willkommenszentrum. Following the official part, guests had an opportunity to socialise during the reception.

Apartment search exchange

Austauschtreffen Wohnungssuche

The Willkommenszentrum Berlin supports voluntary and professional initiatives and people who assist refugees with finding accommodation. Organising regular exchange meetings is part of this key activity. This is intended not only to facilitate the exchange of information but also to provide new insights into concrete action and opportunities in this area. The first “Apartment Search for Refugees“exchange meeting took place on Tuesday, 26 September 2017. The huge demand showed how difficult it is for refugees to find an apartment, and also how many different stakeholders are committed to seeking solutions. Representatives of the Landesamtes für Flüchtlingsangelegenheiten Berlin [State Office for Refugee Affairs, LAF), the Senatsverwaltung für Integration, Arbeit und Soziales [Senate Department for Integration, Labour and Social Affairs], the Türkische Bund [Turkish Union] in Berlin-Brandenburg and the GEBEWO -Social Services Berlin provided information on processes and problems in their areas and presented support measures. In the subsequent open exchange, additional problems and potential for improvements were identified.
The next exchange meeting is scheduled for 28 November 2017. Interested parties can register at anmelden.

Integrationsausschuss des Abgeordnetenhauses von Berlin (Integration Committee of the Berlin House of Representatives)

On 21 September 2017 the Willkommenszentrum presented its work to the Committee for Integration, Labour and Social Affairs of the Berlin House of Representatives. The team, those seeking advice and cooperation partners – especially the diverse range of external service providers offering advice on various topics during the opening hours of the Willkommenszentrum were the focus of the hearing. Priorities for future work are advisory services for integrating refugees into the labour market, improving the integration of women in the labour market, and support for initiatives and individuals who assist refugees with finding accommodation, and the reinforcement of welcome structures. We are very pleased with the positive feedback from the Committee on the work of the Willkommenszentrums – and we will begin the new year with renewed energy!

Migration Advisory 4.0 Conference

A lot of interest and a lively debate: At the “Migration Advisory 4.0” conference, held on 29 June 2017 at the Institut Français Berlin,
the increasingly digitised information and communications behaviour was highlighted by recently-arrived migrants and refugees and ways of contacting offline guidance providers in view of this phenomenon were discussed. Minor – Projektkontor für Bildung und Forschung [Project Office for Education and Research] and the Willkommenszentrum Berlin presented “Neu in Berlin [New in Berlin]”, their joint outreach counselling project in Facebook groups and thus provided a possible answer to the question: How to reach those seeking advice online? Numerous other initiatives such Wefugees and InfoCompass also attended and presented their ideas and approaches in the field of online counselling.

For more information about the “New In Berlin” project:

Opening of the Willkommenszentrum Berlin

On 18 August 2016 the Willkommenszentrum Berlin was opened in the presence of the Berlin Mayor and Senator for Labour, Integration and Women, Dilek Kolat, and the Senate Representative for Integration and Migration, Andreas Germershausen. The new Director, Nele Allenberg also introduced herself to the public and presented the objectives and tasks of the Willkommenszentrum.

With the Willkommenszentrum, the Senate is taking into account the growth of city and current population projections which predict an increase of 232,000 by 2030, including those from abroad only. The Willkommenszentrum will act as a central point for all newcomers, enable them to deal with several issues in one place and will contribute to better integration.