‚Cucula’, originates from the Hausa language in western central Africa, and means ‚to do something together’, as well as ‚ to take care of each other’.

CUCULA is an association, a workshop and an educational program all in one. It is for and together with refugees in Berlin.
In contrast to the theoretical debate about the situation of refugees in Germany, the initiators strive for a pragmatic, immediate and action-oriented approach. The aim and object is to achieve something “together with” the refugees and not simply “for them”.

Launching as a pilot project, CUCULA wants to give people, for whom the doors of society are locked, access to education. CUCULA wants to establish a ‘welcoming culture’, which helps refugees to break with the notion of ‘victimhood’, and at the same time unfold their self-efficacy and to open up a perspective for a self-determined life.

Arriving, building ones own future, experiencing self-efficacy, instead of being ‘administrated’ and deported – these are the project’s main motives.

Global disaster scenarios shouldn’t foster helplessness – initiatives are required instead.

Following this credo, CUCULA primarily stands for concrete solutions and pragmatic actions.

This means:

  • We want to interact, experiment, activate and open up perspectives together.
  • We want to instigate, invite, spark up dialogue and be thought provoking.
  • We believe in personalities, potentials and interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • We offer concrete prospects of participation.


CUCULA e.V. is currently waiting to be approved as a non-profit association. It is the umbrella for the workshop and educational program. Moreover, it forms a platform for interdisciplinary exchange amongst experts, interested parties and invaluable voluntary supporters.

Along with politicians, artists and collaborators, CUCULA is engaging in practical solutions, to help people holding refugee status to escape social isolation and the related stigma.

As part of this effort, a design manufacture for sustainable products is growing in a former factory along the Spree river in Berlin. Refugees are here given the opportunity to learn and experiment collectively.

CUCULA –Refugees Company for Crafts and Design

CUCULA is a pilot project, which supports refugees to build their own professional future.

The CUCULA design manufacture produces and sells premium design objects and as such conveys basic technical qualifications with focus on furniture production. In the proprietary workshop, fueled by active collaboration between refugees, designers and pedagogues, a lively production space is forming, where knowledge about carpentry and design is transferred and where new ideas are being developed. Drawing on their own biography, the trainees develop new, intriguing objects.
As a starting point, the manufacture is exploring Enzo Mari’s ‘DIY’ furniture program ‘Autoprgettazione’.

The proceeds of the coming furniture sales will be invested directly in the refugees’ education and cost of living.

CUCULA strongly counts on each individual’s motivation and potential and creates the foundation for an actual operational framework, where the trainees have the chance to evolve independently in the future.

Following a successful funding, the pilot project will be transferred into a social and sustainable ‘limited liability company’, to give more young refugees the opportunity to actively shape their future.

CUCULA Education

CUCULA-Education offers an educational program, including German language classes, legal advice and additional support with the trainees’ daily routine. The association CUCULA e.V. forms the umbrella for the workshop and the educational program, along with the Internationalen JugendKunst- und Kulturhaus Furthermore, it forms the platform for interdisciplinary exchange amongst experts, interested parties and invaluable voluntary supporters. The educational program currently supports another 15 refugees.