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Why Josoor?

Turning Crisis into Opportunities

Natalie Zarzour

June 4, 2018

65 million people worldwide had to leave everything behind. Millions support them in re-building a home - but there is no organized network for exchange and support among them, or a place for cooperation where true integration is facilitated.

2015: the year that changed Europe

In 2015, millions of people were on their way through Europe in search of a new home, having had to flee their countries. Millions welcomed and supported them, helped them settle down and find their way around in their new homes. Although this has been the most prominent crisis, it is far from the only one. With other refugee crisis such as in Central and Eastern Africa or Southeast Asia, there are now more than 65 million displaced people worldwide. That’s the highest number ever recorded - and they are all faced with similar difficulties and challenges.

Josoor’s team consists of people who are all either refugees from the Middle East or who volunteered to support refugees. We joined forces because we felt that something is missing - and formed the idea of ​​Josoor to fill that gap.

Cooperation and exchange at eye level

Josoor shall provide refugees and supporters with a community where they can find help and actively participate and contribute. It shall be a place in which exchange on eye- level is not only possible but the norm.

From the first moment of arrival in their host country on, refugees shall be able to get involved in and contribute to their community in different ways, as fits their interests and abilities. Their dependence on locals shall thus be reduced and their agency strengthened. Participation of refugees shall be promoted, and they shall be enabled to use the months and years of waiting for their asylum meaningfully - instead of being forced into the role of passive aid recipients whose hopes and motivation are slowly replaced by frustration and depression.

Supporters shall find a community where they can share experiences, worries, problems and joys - and a space where they can support each other. We want to counteract isolation and prevent frustration by making the work of volunteers more efficient and joyful.

Most important, however, is that Josoor shall be a place of cooperation. Where we work together to analyze problems and develop solutions, develop and implement ideas and, if successful, spread them internationally.

Last but not least, Josoor shall also promote the often mentioned integration of refugees into local societies. Especially in times like these, in which populism, racism and xenophobia are rapidly increasing worldwide, Josoor shall be an alternative to the growing division of society.

Building bridges

Because everything has to start somewhere, we start in Europe in Arabic, English and German. As many languages ​​as possible shall follow as soon as possible - and eventually, Josoor shall be available in all countries which host larger number of refugees, worldwide.

Josoor means "bridges" in Arabic. We chose this name because we want to connect people - refugees and volunteers among and with each other, across language barriers and borders and bridge the gaps that divide them. We believe in Josoor because we are convinced that this crisis holds big opportunities - if we only work together.

What You Can Do

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