WHO WE ARE
The Migration Initiative was founded in February 2016 by a group of students concerned about migration issues in the modern world. The initiative aims to catalyse student and community engagement with migrants in Geneva, as well as across the world including places like Lesvos, Idomeni and Calais. While the Migration Initiative is based out of the Graduate Institute, Geneva (IHEID), we are open to engaging with any organisations, initiatives, or individuals who hold to principles in line with our own.
Defend migrants, asylum seekers, refugees and other victims of forced displacement rights and denounce inhumane anti-migrant policies.
Create a platform for exchanges of knowledge and experience to generate new ideas and promote reflection.
Raise awareness and open a more human perspective on current migration issues.
Get students engaged with the concrete reality of migration, and reinforce the link between Swiss civil society and migrant communities
Promote and participate in the integration of affected groups in Geneva through a variety of social projects.
OUR VALUES AND VISION
As mobility is a human phenomenon, we acknowledge that we are all migrants. We believe that all human beings deserve the same rights and dignity, and we promote respect of all people in forced or voluntary migration, in their individuality and diversity.
Through a variety of projects, we wish to open a space for critical reflection on human mobility, and facilitate inter-personal exchanges between students – and civil society more generally – and migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. We believe that personal change and mind opening is the first step towards a better future society.
Everyone is welcome to get involved with our mission and our projects! If you are interested please contact us on Facebook, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
MI French classes are held twice a week from 18:15-19:45 on Mondays and Wednesdays at Maison de la Paix to help refugees and vulnerable migrants in Geneva to improve their French levels – whether for work, for study, or just to better communicate here in Geneva. We are continuously accepting volunteers to teach French (no formal training required and it is not necessary to be a native speaker).
The Intensive Summer French course, a 3-week course for incoming international students and refugees living in Geneva, is organized by the IHEID with the collaboration of the Migration Initiative.
Following the success of the French classes, we recently began providing English classes under the same model. Classes are held at Maison de la Paix from 18:15-19:30 on Tuesdays. We are looking for teachers – you do not require formal training or to be a native English speaker as long as you are confident in your ability to teach.
The Migration Initiative has successfully lobbied for IHEID to facilitate the provision of scholarships for refugees to attend IHEID and further their studies. Currently a full annual scholarship is available for refugees who have already received a residence permit in Switzerland and meet the academic requirements of entry for Masters or PhD programmes. The Initiative continues to collaborate with the Institute in promoting the scholarship as well as assisting the candidates with any application-related queries.
We hold one large fundraising event a semester to raise funds for small NGOS that support migrants and refugees. In the past, we have raised money to NGOs with projects in post-hurricane Central America, (in partnership with LANI Initiative), in Greece, to support children education and women empowering projects, and to an NGO helping Rohingya refugees.
We organize lunch discussions, invite alumni to share their research and professional experience related to migration, organize film screenings, excursions, and interdisciplinary panels such as during the Swiss Sustainability Week
Activities with the migrant and refugee community in Geneva, such as picnics in the beginning and end of the year, holidays parties for Halloween, Iftar, and Christmas. We also share information about local volunteering opportunities including with Essaim d’Accueil that organises regular events and meetings between locals, students, migrants and refugees. If you are interested in their work, please see their website or Facebook page.
If you are interested in a particular project, please feel free to email directly the Migration Initiative at the addresses below: