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The Safe Passage Fund stands for solidarity, freedom of movement and safe passage, taking a clear stance against the criminalization of migration


Safe Passage gives financial and non-financial support to local grassroots initiatives to ensure migrants and their communities have the protection and resources they need to stand for their rights and rebuild their lives with dignity.


Safe Passage dreams of a world devoid of violence and oppression, brimming with solidarity, justice, and care. Those displaced by war, climate change, or inequality will reclaim agency and access dignified solutions. Civil society, diverse and open, will unite to champion human rights like freedom of movement. Europe, transcending geography, will decolonize, fostering equality beyond borders with a focus on diversity and social transformation.


The current crises globally force migration, especially to the EU, which raises critical issues of justice. However, the plight at EU borders often goes unnoticed by European society. In 2015, the refugee crisis prompted organizations to refocus on humanitarian efforts. Some initiatives later realized the need to support grassroots collectives empowering refugees and migrants. Safe Passage Fund emerged from this shift.
What are external and externalized EU borders?

Border externalization is the varied measures enforced by the Global North to prevent migrants from the Global South from reaching their borders, often by enlisting third countries or private entities. Externalization controls are often “out of sight” and far from the country’s physical borders, but they still fundamentally restrict movement and violate human rights.

What are safe passages?

Safe passages are the diversity of instruments that allow anyone in need of protection to reach a safe territory where their human rights are protected. 

What are gender non-conforming people?

Gender non-conformity describes the behaviours, identities, expressions, and appearances that do not abide by prevailing cultural and social expectations about what is appropriate to their gender. We use this term to denote the make-up of our board, which is exclusively FLINTA* (the acronym, common in Germany, that denotes cis-women, lesbians, intersex people, non-binary people, trans people, and agenda or other gender-diverse people. At the same time that we fight for refugee and migrant rights, we focus on deconstructing patriarchal structures within our internal structures, and empowering the political participation of women and gender non-conforming people. 

Meet Our Board

Some of us are migrants, some of us are people of color, some of us are European citizens who recognize and act with the belief that another world is possible. All of us are young, feminist, and come from years of grassroots organizing in both large and small social movements across the world. Working within and outside Europe, our Safe Passage team represents the variety of actors that work at, between, across, under, over, and against borders.

Our Board consists of voluntary FLINTA* representatives. FLINTA* stands for "femme, lesbian, intersex, trans, agender," and the asterisks is included to encompass the diverse range of gender expressions and identities.

Portrait photo of Lina Urbat


Lina Urbat (she/her) is active as a coordinator in support work in the Western Balkans. Her focus lies on networking and cooperation between civil society organizations, activists, and networks. She also works as an educational trainer on the topics of migration and colonial continuities. In the board, Lina represents the organization Blindspots, which gives direct support to people in areas of humanitarian and political crisis. 

What Lina particularly likes about Safe Passage is the appreciative teamwork, the queer feminist approach, the self-critical attitude and the collaborative work in a small, culturally diverse team.

Portrait photo of Mattea Weihe

Civilfleet-Support e.V.

Mattea Weihe (she/her) started her academic journey in fine arts in Hamburg, initially unaware it would lead her to fight against border regimes. She pursued Middle Eastern studies and Peace and Security, volunteering as a cultural mediator and translator for sea rescue organizations in the central Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea. This path led her to engage further in diverse projects, including civil evacuations from Afghanistan with Kabul Luftbrücke and held various positions within sea rescue organizations.

As a board member of Safe Passage, Mattea represented Civil Fleet e.V. from the fund’s founding until early 2023. What she values the most is the organization’s focus on the political impact of projects on the movement as a whole and the responsibility of individuals within the structures, seeing these discussions as the heart of the movement's radical core.

Giulia Messmer bio


Giulia Messmer (she/her) was the project manager of Safe Passage between March 2020 – March 2023 and continues to believe in its vision and power to contribute to sustainable political funding and systemic change. Currently, she works at the civil search and rescue organization Sea-Watch. In the last years, Giulia studied transformative justice practices and state repression while being actively engaged in queer struggles and the fight to abolish patriarchy. If she had to name her superpower, it would definitely be having the loudest voice in chants on demonstrations.

Giulia is currently at Safe Passage Fund in a voluntary capacity, supporting the team and providing structural and political input as a consultant.

Portrait photo of Doreen Johann

Sea-Watch e.V.

Doreen Johann (she/her) is active on land in advocacy work for civil sea rescue in the central Mediterranean. As a member of the Safe Passage Board from 2021 until 2023, Doreen represented the organization Sea-Watch, which advocates towards a Europe of solidarity through urgent support for migrants. What Doreen values most about Safe Passage is that it fills a strong need in the migration ecosystem: allocating resources in an uncomplicated, non-bureaucratic way to small projects that have a political self-understanding and aim to challenge the European border regime.

Portrait photo of Lea Reisner

Solidarity at Sea

Lea Reisner (she/her) is one of the founding members of Safe Passage and represented iuventa crew/borderline europe on the Board from 2019 to 2023. Her thematic focus lies on medical projects, the criminalization of migration and its assistance, as well as networking between people on the move and their supporters. Before becoming a project manager at Reporters without Borders, where she is fighting for international press freedom, she worked as an operational coordinator and nurse on board civilian sea rescue ships.

Lea is a passionate feminist. Since leaving Safe Passage, she continues to miss the highly political, intersectional discussions as well as the comraderie among the wonderful people involved. She still tries to sneak in - especially for after-work drinks.

Portrait photo of Hela Kanakane

Watch the Med - Alarm Phone

Hela Kanakane has been active with different grassroot and decolonial movements and networks. Her thematic focus lies on borders externalisation policies by the EU, migration movements in the Central Mediterranean and North Africa. In the foundation board, she represents the Watch The Med - Alarm Phone network.

Meet Our Staff

Our core staff is in charge of smoothly operating Safe Passage. In a humble team of two, they work part-time for Safe Passage alongside their own personal activism, creative projects, studies, or care work. The team’s aim is to ensure Safe Passage’s actions match and fulfill our vision. They process incoming grant applications and payments, do the dirty work of administration and logistics, coordinate partnerships and events, and create trusting relations with grantees, the board, and current and potential donors to make radical social change happen.

Emmy Fu

Project manager

Emmy Fu is a facilitator and community organizer who has been involved in various grassroots anti-racist movements and networks. Emmy is deeply interested in the fostering of resilient communities and empowered political movements, and weaves the principle of “organizing rage, defending joy” into her visions and practices for collective liberation. Coming from a personal history of intergenerational migration across cultures and geographies, Emmy researches and organizes around state violence, transformative justice, and border abolition. In Safe Passage, Emmy is our project manager, with responsibilities to supervise and coordinate grant applications, lead board meetings, and develop partnerships, programs, and public communications. Please get in touch at
Xavi Ferrer


Xavi Ferrer is our fundraiser, born in Barcelona and recently based in Berlin. Xavi balances his work alongside parenting his young son and engaging in grassroots activism. An engineer with an MA in project management, he has worked as an organizer and campaigner in diverse social movements for more than two decades. He has collaborated with local and international initiatives that fight against discrimination and colonialism, and is now putting his efforts into supporting and organizing around migrant workers’ rights in Berlin. In facilitating external partnerships with donors, Xavi is excited to channel resources from philanthropic organizations to meet the needs of grassroots initiatives. If you’re interested in collaborating or finding out what possibilities there are to fund Safe Passage, get in touch at