We have a mission: the empowerment of stateless people! Our journey began with a single thought. It was important to us to create a space where affected people could support each other, exchange experiences and share their knowledge.
So, why politics?
While this space can help to create a sense of belonging and to own our voice, we recently began to recognise that in our world the clocks tick a little differently. Politics decide who has access to certain rights and who doesn't. Therefore, we have decided to broaden our areas of work - and in a sense our horizons as a new organisation - and start doing policy work and what is often called political 'advocacy'.
First of all: What does advocacy mean?
No - it has nothing to do with avocado. Just kidding.
“Advocacy” means to publicly support and defend a certain cause. In our case: statelessness. This is exactly what we aim to do: We want to stand up and fight for the rights and fair treatment of stateless people.
How do you do that, you may ask?
At first, this kind of work was totally new for us and we only got to learn the Do’s and Don’ts in the last few months. So far, this is what we have learned about how to start:
Define the right goal
Find the correct team
Find the correct support
#1 Defining the goal:
As a team, we formulated the following goal: We want to realise equal rights for stateless people in Germany in order to enable full participation, inclusion and belonging.
For this, we knew that we will have to reform policies and transform processes.
This goal statement is maybe not as broad as the usual “end statelessness”-objective, but it is still pretty broad. So, we will explain how we are going about this in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned 😎
#2 Finding the right team:
Sounds cheesy, but it’s still true: teamwork makes the dream work. How do you find people who are crazy enough to pursue the goal of transforming policies? We have to admit it was probably a good mixture of coincidence, faith and very transparent communication about what we’re trying to do and the fact that we are still figuring out how we will do it.
The group that is working on this project consist of six phenomenal people:
Sadaf Balutsch (Policy research & working student), Denis Neselovskyi (Legal Expert), Charlotte Sievers (Project Lead), Margarida Farinha (Research & Community), Christiana Bukalo and one other wonderful person who prefers to remain anonymous (Research & Editing).
Each one of us brings our own experiences from the fields of statelessness, migration, voluntary work and, in parts, personal experience of naturalisation. Only one of us, Sadaf, has been involved in policy work before. Click here to see how we work together.
#3 Finding the right support
Another thing that is almost as important as the right team is having enough resources (e.g. funding) to do this work.
We have been lucky enough to find an innovative and forward-thinking organisation that supports exactly that: Individuals and groups who want to make a difference to the structure of our current democracy and are fully committed to the cause: Join Politics.
What is JoinPolitics?
Join Politics refers to themselves as a political start-up that provides support to talented people and teams who stand up for a cause and want to drive political change. We applied for the program in fall of 2021 and got accepted to it at the end of the year. We are now part of the JoinPolitics Seed Phase ‘22 and have been receiving financial support as well as training and capacity building opportunities since January 2022. Check out their program here.
Why are we sharing this?
Our “advocacy”-journey started in January 2022, so all of this is still new to us, and yet it is crazy what has already happened in this short time.
We have decided to be completely transparent about our journey because this community is a meaningful part of our work. Here in the community, we will keep you up to date. You will learn about every further step, about the results of our work, and maybe it even serves as an inspiration for other groups in other countries.
Our community is growing and with every single member and every single conversation it confirms that this work can help to create more space and raise awareness for our challenges. It is time to change something and finally realise the “right to have rights” for stateless people.
We are looking forward to walking the path together with you.
Anything you want to share about policy work in your surrounding? Let us know 😊!