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Developing a Sustainable VBC Infrastructure for Providing Psychosocial Care to Refugees and People with a Migration Background in Hamburg
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Funded by the Dr. Michael Otto Stiftung, Hamburg

The aim of this work is to develop sustainable skills and structures by introducing low-threshold psychosocial support for refugees and people with a migration background in Hamburg, which will complement the psychosocial centers: low-threshold psychosocial support as an aid for self-help, which has an impact at individual, community and societal levels.

VBC counselors trained
Languages for VBC
Counseling sessions per month

During the project phase that ran from October 2016 to April 2018, 23 migrants and refugees underwent a one-year full-time advanced VBC training course in order to work as mother tongue psychosocial counselors for people with flight and migration experiences. After successfully completing the training, 13 men and 10 women from Afghanistan, Iran, Kosovo, Morocco, Sierra Leone, and Syria received certificates that are valid throughout Germany.

A temporary IPSO care center was set up and put into operation in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg from May 2018 to April 2021. The counselors’ work was carried out in close cooperation with all actors working in the psychosocial care environment in Hamburg. Various group models were also provided, including community guides and peace ambassadors for resolving any conflicts within the communities. Work in the center and online was provided continuously with an average of 180‑190 consultations per month, even during the COVID19 pandemic.

Work at the IPSO Care Center in Hamburg was completed in April 2021. However, the service continued with two counselors working in the Arabic and Dari/Farsi languages as well as through access to our IPSO online counselling platform, which provides counseling in 16 other languages from the premises attached to the Falkenried Clinic.

Please contact us by phone or e-mail if you want to book a personal appointment and/or if you want to find out more about our work:

Alia Zein, VBC psychosocial counselor, Arabic, English
Mobile +49 (0)178 1692417 or at:

Nahid Mehran, VBC psychosocial counselor, Dari, Farsi
Mobile +49 (0)177 8534127 or at:

We offer the possibility of cooperation with interested institutions through our Berlin and Hamburg teams. If you are interested, please contact:

Maryam Gardisi, Managing Director of IPSO gGmbH,


The project was funded by:
Other Projects
If you have any questions or project inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us.