On October 29, Israeli non-governmental humanitarian aid organization IsraAID received the German Chancellor’s Integration Award in recognition of its work with Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan refugees in Germany.

IsraAID’s team in Germany was granted the award at a Berlin ceremony in recognition of its Brückenbau (“Bridge Building”) project providing psychological support in Arabic for at-risk refugee women and victims of gender-based violence living in shelters, as well as training and counseling for shelter staff.

The program, which helps these mostly Syrian and Iraqi women to build better self-help structures, improve interactions with shelter staff and strengthen personal and child safety, is run in partnership with ZWST, the Central Welfare Board of Jews in Germany.

IsraAID has been operating in Germany since 2015, when one million asylum-seekers and refugees reached the country, most fleeing the brutality of the Syrian civil war and the threat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

IsraAID’s team in Germany is a multicultural mosaic of Arabic-, Hebrew-, German- and English-speaking psychologists, social workers, art therapists and educators.

Actress Susan Sarandon visiting IsraAID’s program in Germany with IsraAID co-CEO Yotam Polizer. Photo: courtesy

Yotam Polizer and Navonel Glick, IsraAID co-CEOs, said: “Through our work with IsraAID, we have seen the power and potential of the refugees we work with as they write a new story for themselves and their communities. Only through working together with communities experiencing crisis can we build a better future, both for refugees and their hosts. We stand committed to this cause, and IsraAID will continue to support the needs of refugees and their hosts in the countries we work in for as long as we are needed.”

For several years, IsraAID has been at the forefront of the international response to the global refugee crisis, with teams in Bangladesh, Germany, Greece, Kenya, South Sudan, and Uganda. Since the height of the Syrian refugee crisis in 2015, IsraAID has provided medical, psychosocial and educational support to over 100,000 refugees in Greece and Germany alone.