Communities on the Rise

In a strong community, people are willing to engage in activities that help other people. This improves everyone’s quality of life and makes people less lonely – Kussay Chichakly

We all want to live in a community where people accept us the way we are. We want to be free to pursue our religion and be open about our sexual orientation without being judged. We want to feel safe when we walk home at night and we want our privacy to be respected.

To create such communities, we have to rely on the generosity and compassion of others. By being there for those around us, including people who have arrived from other countries, we offer each other the opportunity to develop our talents and use our creativity, which we can then invest in pursuing activities that contribute to the common good.

In March, Liberties is exploring the concept of inclusion and caring communities with a new video series, #GrowYourCommunity. The series features five newcomers to Germany who, thanks to support from their communities, have started their own business.

Building your own company is hard. Especially for a newcomer in Germany. At a minimum you need a visa, a bank account, some financial capital, a registered address, a tax advisor, a license and a registration. In the World Bank’s ranking for ease of starting a business, Germany occupies the 125th spot. Behind countries like Mali and Romania.

For newcomers, the language barrier, uncertain long-term perspectives and a lack of social networks make it even more difficult. Yet many still see starting a business as their best chance of making a living and giving something back to the communities that have welcomed them. Liberties has met five newcomers who’ve come to Germany in recent years.

Salma and her son Fadi, proud owners of a catering company; Munzer, a graphic designer and co-founder of BureauCrazy, an app that guides users through Germany’s bureaucracy; Kussay, a fashion designer who started his own fashion label; and Mohamed, a computer engineer from Iraq who co-founded a non-profit organization that promotes a vision of a society where people from different cultures, religions and worldviews live together.

Like all of us, Fadi, Munzer and co. have their own unique set of skills. They have ambitions and dreams. And thanks to the right support, they are now able to invest some of their resources into helping others.

Check out our stories about Munzer, Fadi, Salma and co, and how they are making our world a better place. Enjoy the series, and whenever you can, do something to help your community grow. Because happiness is found in helping others.