Umbaja Congress 2016

During the second weekend of November 2016 (Friday 11. – Sunday 13.) UMBAJA e. V held its first Tagung at Königshof Hotel in Hannover. In a very promising, warm, and harmonic atmosphere and peaceful environment, the participants could meet, discuss, exchange, and have a good time together.

For our program, which took three days, we were able to win eleven Speakers from different backgrounds to enhance and ignite the discussion through their ideas and experiences within short presentations, comments, and reflections. In this regard UMBAJA e. V appreciated so many contributions from Mr. Maissara Saeed, (UMBAJA e. V), Mr. Kamal M. Idris, (Doctors without Borders, Norway), Dr. Günter Max Behrendt, (Landeshauptstadt Hannover – Fachbereich Soziales /Integration), Frau. Janika Millan, (German Sudanese Association for Development, Hildesheim), Mr. Sabestian Gunity, (Cameo Kollektiv, Hannover), Mr. Sigmar Walberecht, (Refugees council, Lower Saxony), Mr. Walid Farah, (Be friends organization, Paris, France), Mr. Yasir Abdalla, (UMBAJA e. V), Mr. Elemam Musa Elemam, (Umma Party, Holland), Mr. Bashar Abdalrehman, (Justice and equality movement) and Mr. Mohammed Refaat Alyousif, (Syria dream Project, Berlin). UMBAJA e. V thanks all of them for their contributions and the success of our Tagung.

The main questions we discussed during the first day (Friday 11.11.2016) were: why self-organized active groups are crucial solutions for refugees’ communities all over Europe, and how can people build these groups? How is the situation of refugees and migrants in Norway and Greece? What are the challenges which face the migrants' and refugees' self-organization in Norway and Greece? What does integration mean? What were/are the official Guidelines and plans for integration in Hannover city? What is the power of culture? How can people use cultural work for political empowerment and change? What are the examples of international culture work in Hannover and Germany? What information we have about global networking in cultural initiatives?

By the end of the first day, all participants were welcomed by Cameo Kollektiv magazine and they had their Dinner by Cameo at Steintorfledstr. 3 in a very friendly and warm environment.

 During the second day (Saturday 12.11.2016) we discussed and exchange about the following questions: what are the main working areas of the Refugees council in lower Saxony? What are the most important information people should know about the Refugees council in lower Saxony and its projects? What are similar examples like the Refugees council in Europe and worldwide? What are the challenges which face migrants' and refugees' self-organization in France, and how could people there overcome them?

We also raised many questions about freedom in Sudan after watching a documentary film about the topic. The questions were: what is the impact of Sudanese culture and social norms on the freedom in Sudan, and how the situation can be changed there? The big question which rose during that day was about freedom of women in Sudan, what plans that we can propose to make a radical change in the situation of Sudanese women inside Sudan and also in Europe? What are the lessons that people can learn from Syrian migrants’ self-organization in Turkey and Germany?

After an Afternoon break two workshops had been held, and the participants were divided into two groups. The first workshops discussed questions about challenges which face the self-organization and social and political engagement of refugees and migrants and how can we overcome them? How can people have a strong media work to reflect their activities?

The second workshops people discussed many questions about the finance and grants opportunities in European Union? And how can people build their capacities in order to be competent? What lessons can be learned from the experiences of the Sudanese communities in Holland?

The second day ended after we reported and reflected about the workshops we had, before we took our Dinner and having open space for networking and exchange.

During the last day (13.11.2016), we had concluded our discussion in this meeting by writing, discussing and agreeing about six principal points and we issued together a paper titled (Hannover declaration 2016).

Hannover declaration is a very important achievement through which participants are looking forwards to continue cooperation and to keep an active network.

Practically participants from South Germany, France and Holland explained their demands and desire to start establishing UMBAJA e. V branches in their area among their communities.

Most of the participants are so motivated to have Umbaja Tagung periodically. According to them it is one of very exceptional and rare opportunities to witness like such meeting discussing like such issues (self-empowerment &organization and integration) at European level. As well as most of them liked and appreciated the history and initiative of UMBAJA e. V.

UMBAJA e. V wants to express its thanks to everyone made this meeting possible. It made all of us very happy, motivated and strongly encouraged to keep on working on the upcoming projects in our association UMBAJA e. V.



UMBAJA e. V also wishes to thank our Funders:

Robert Bosch Stiftung

Lotto Sport Stiftung

Stiftung: do


Our thanks and appreciation to our cooperators:

Flüchtlingsrat Niedersachsen

Landeshauptstadt Hannover – Fachbereich Soziales /Integration

German Sudanese association for Development

Cameo Kollektiv Magazin



c/o Pavillon, Lister Meile 4,

30161 Hannover


Photo Gallery 

UMB 16