For decades the GRC has been supporting refugees and migrants in Germany in many ways. The refugee counselling centres (asylum procedure counselling and asylum welfare counselling) advise and provide support on all matters relating to the asylum procedure. In addition, they provide orientation assistance while a refugee is staying in Germany and support, consisting, for example, of access to social services and medical treatment, matters relating to school attendance and searching for accommodation. The GRC provides a wide range of services for young people and families—counselling centres (for example, pregnancy counselling, family counselling, educational counselling), children's day care services, youth work, youth social work and assisted residential groups for underage refugees.
Migration counselling is an advisory service for all immigrants who are expected to live permanently in Germany and for recognised refugees. It provides support concerning language, education, training, work, profession and social services. Migration counselling facilitates access to integration courses and, where possible, accompanying child care during participation.
It is voluntary commitment in particular that helps refugees to feel accepted, safe and welcome. Here is some information for potential voluntary aid workers so that a positive feeling of togetherness results from the initial impulse to support refugees: "Together with Refugees" (pdf file).
The GRC tracing service helps, with a worldwide search, people who have been separated from their relatives through armed conflicts, disasters, flight, displacement and migration. The GRC works together with the Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross to achieve this.
Ever more tracing enquiries are being received by the GRC tracing service that concern unaccompanied underage refugees. In the first six months of 2015 alone there have already been 696 enquiries from families who are looking for their children or from children and young people who have been separated from their relatives while seeking refuge. 'That is almost twice as many as in the comparable period of the previous year. This trend demonstrates that the care of unaccompanied children and young people in the coming years has to be given more widespread support', according to the GRC Vice-President, Donata Freifrau Schenck zu Schweinsberg.
Traumatised refugees and victims of torture and other serious violations of human rights require effective, need-based help and support. Traumatisation is diagnosed and treated at several GRC locations. In addition, our staff provides. In addition, our staff provides interpreters, contact to psychotherapists and medical aid.
The GRC counselling centres also provide counselling on individual future prospects and repatriation support. Together with those seeking advice they examine whether repatriation is a possible option. The most important principle of the counselling is that the repatriation is voluntary. The GRC never acts contrary to the will of the person seeking advice.
In addition, numerous projects help to ease the arrival of the refugees. The GRC also gives provides refugees with the opportunity to get involved themselves, for example, within the framework of the Volunteer Social Year (das Freiwillige Soziale Jahr—FSJ), of the Federal Volunteer Service (der Bundesfreiwilligendienst—BFD) or as an honorary Red Cross aid worker in one of the numerous GRC communities.