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Workshop on 'Training Syrian refugees in German municipalities'

On Wednesday, 13 December 2017 the Service Agency Communities in One World held a workshop in Wuppertal to present the project 'Training Syrian refugees in German municipalities’, which will be launched in 2018 as part of the ‘Municipal know-how for host communities in the Middle East’ initiative.

Commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in 2018 the Service Agency will be launching a new project to support German municipalities in training Syrian refugees. The project aims to prepare Syrian refugees for involvement in the future reconstruction of municipal structures in Syria. In 2018 the Service Agency will provide extensive support to six model municipalities within the scope of the project. The project will also offer other services to all municipalities in Germany. At the one-day workshop in Wuppertal the Service Agency presented the project, its phases, and the professional and financial services it will be offering to the 15 municipalities taking part. The workshop focused on concrete implementation at the local level, and on the support needed by the municipalities.
As well as the Service Agency project, the City of Wuppertal and the 'Syria of Tomorrow' initiative also inspired participants with their presentation of an ongoing training programme for Syrian refugees.

In mid-January a declaration of interest form will be published on the initiative's website. Interested municipalities can then apply to become one of the six model municipalities in the project 'Training Syrian refugees in German municipalities' in 2018. The six model municipalities will be selected in February.

The background: As a result of the Syrian civil war, Syrians have been coming to Germany in particularly large numbers since 2015. German municipalities initially faced the challenge of providing basic public services to so many new arrivals in such a short space of time. Following these efforts, the municipalities are now turning their attention to issues for the future. As well as integration issues, municipalities are also interested in making an active contribution for the reconstruction period that will follow once the conflict comes to an end.

Once peace has come to Syria, reconstruction will be a core task for municipalities. This will include both infrastructure, and the development of municipal administrations and local governance structures. To professionalise local administration and build operational structures, professionally trained personnel will be required in Syrian municipalities in the future. German municipalities can already make a valuable contribution to this by training Syrian refugees in administration and local governance. The service agency will be offering support for this under the 'Municipal know-how for host communities in the Middle East' initiative.