Migrant Crisis in Europe

Social Entrepreneurs attend Lex Mundi Annual Conference in Berlin

One of the social challenges of our time is the migration crisis, particularly in Europe. Germany took in more than 1 million refugees last year, primarily from Syria and Iraq, and this influx creates significant demands on the German infrastructure as well as raises questions and challenges around culture and integration.

During the Lex Mundi Annual Conference in Berlin, the Foundation hosted a lunch discussion for its Board of Directors to meet with local social entrepreneurs. The lunch was designed to better understand the refugee situation on the ground and to hear examples of how local social entrepreneurs are working to find solutions. The two organizations that shared their time and stories with us were:
Francoise Greve from Sea-Watch e.V., a non-profit organization that rescues refugees from boats in distress at sea. Many thousands of refugees, seeking protection from war and persecution, have died while crossing the sea in unsuitable and overcrowded boats without skippers, navigation or safety equipment. Sea-Watch has purchased old ships exclusively with private money and then outfitted the boats with a crew of volunteers consisting of skippers, medics and sea rescuers. By the end of 2015, Sea-Watch had rescued approximately 2,000 people. Recently, they have raised funds for additional vessels in the Aegean Sea as well as new search areas near Malta, Italy and Libya.

Esther Bernsen from Über den Tellerrand, a social enterprise that uses food and cooking as a mechanism for cultural exchange. Two years ago, UdT began publishing recipes and stories by refugees and offering cooking classes led by refugees from different countries. Their mission is to promote an active exchange among refugees and the local population, giving refugees the opportunity to build a network of friends and giving Europeans a better understanding of the culture and lives of the refugees. The food-based programs are the basis for mutual interest, respect and friendship. The Board was also joined by Moder Sheek, one of the organization’s chefs who is a refugee from Syria. Mr. Sheek shared his personal story of living through war in Aleppo, Syria and then his three-year journey before settling in Germany.

The event led to a fascinating discussion that allowed attendees to learn how social entrepreneurs are involved in addressing this one important issue — from rescue to integration and everywhere in between. The group also discussed the ways that lawyers around the world might play a role in supporting the efforts of those social entrepreneurs that are assisting refugees around the world.

If you or your firm are doing any pro bono work related to the migrant/refugee crisis, please reply to the newsletter and let us know.

NEWS

Fighting Climate Change with Circular Economy Innovations

News On Purpose – August 2021

According to a new report issued by the United Nations on August 9, 2021, our planet is warming faster than predicted. Extreme weather, fires, flooding and drought are becoming common headlines around the world.

NEWS

2020 Year in Review

News On Purpose – May 2021

In the face of uncertain times, Lex Mundi member firms rallied together to give back to their communities. In 2020 alone, 74 member firms matched with 99 social entrepreneurs on 202 matters. This is a record high for the Foundation! These numbers are a testament to Lex Mundi attorneys’ commitment to pro bono services.

NEWS

Government Support for Social Enterprises Critical Amid a Pandemic Economy

As COVID-19 continues to ravage some countries, others seem to be turning a corner. Governments around the world are being tested, and whether a country is still fighting to contain outbreaks or has found a path toward easing restrictions, without active measures to ensure businesses survive and thrive post-pandemic, economies will continue to suffer.

NEWS

Ensuring survival of social impact organizations during covid-19

The economic fallout of COVID-19 is upon us and coverage of its reach is prevalent. Stories of businesses closing their doors permanently due to the crisis proliferate the media. From government responses and record unemployment rates to fluctuating markets and threats to commerce, there is no sector left untouched by the global pandemic.

NEWS

Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation and World Economic Forum Alliance Help Social Entrepreneurs Overcome Impacts of COVID-19

The Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation is among the founding members of a newly formed alliance of more than 40 global organizations amplifying support of social entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organizations that comprise alliance collectively support more than 15,000 social entrepreneurs in more than 190 countries. The alliance estimates that their work impacts upwards of 1.5 billion people.

NEWS

Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Supports Impact Organizations Working to Advance Equitable Solutions to Address Systemic Racism

During this time of profound grief, unrest, and reflection over the mistreatment, abuse, and murder of countless Black Americans in the United States, the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation is proud to support our social impact collaborators and clients working to address systemic racism and advance a more equitable future.