Working with Refugees and Asylum Seekers

geralt, pixabay

In the course section “Working with Refugees and Asylum Seekers” we explicated why people feel motivated to work in refugee aid and illustrated several motive types.

During the last years empirical studies showed that the motives of volunteers in the field are various. For example, a study initiated by the German Federal Ministry for Families, Seniors, Women and Youth (2017) came to the result that volunteers in refugee aid have slightly different reasons for their activities than volunteers in general.

The respondents were asked which of the following motives were crucial for their voluntary engagement, and the results were 1:

because i principally want to do something for others and help them (61%)
because i enjoy it (58%)
because i am convinced that it is important for the future of our country to integrate the refugees in a good way (56%)
because i have the feeling that my activites make a difference (47%)
because i am needed there (44%)
because i can make a contribution to the local life conditions (29%)
because I have noticed that the local organisations cannot cope with the situation without voluntary help (29%)
because I have my strenghts in this field and can succeed (29%)
because I am particularly committed to the refugees who came to my country (28%)
out of a sense of duty and moral obligation (27%)

Self Reflection

Please consider the answers of volunteers given in the study above. Which motives are similar to the motives you have yourself? Which motives sound strange to you? And why? We warmly invite you to share your outcomes in the forum. Click here, to get to the forum.




  1. Bundesministerium für Familien, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend (2017). Engagement in der Flüchtlingshilfe.

Course Syllabus