Staff to our children’s projects

Alessia Arbustini MA

Alessia obtained a Master in Gender Studies with special reference to the Middle East at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. Her thesis addressed how young Muslims challenge islamophobic propaganda in Italy. She holds a BA in Anthropology, Religion and Oriental Civilization at the University of Bologna, Italy. Her main research interests lie in queer and feminist diaspora studies, migration and displacement, gender issues related to new nationalisms and feminist and queer knowledge production. She is currently an educator at a Berlin refugee home for unaccompanied minor refugees. Here she is working with 16 teenagers, mostly male, of 14-17 years of age. In addition, she is a learning support assistant at Nelson Mandela International School, where she supports primary kids with special needs. Previously, she volunteered as a project assistant at Centro Donna Giustizia (women’s shelter) in a project addressed to survivors of human trafficking in Italy. In London, she volunteered as project assistant for the Afghan and Central Asia Association (ACAA), where she assisted Afghan women during English lessons and helped to organize weekly workshops on the topic of their interests (Tea corner project).

Norma Böhm

Norma Böhm has supported children in a refugee shelter and carried out leisure activities with them. She also provided support to a Syrian family with 4 young people for more than 7 years. At a school replacement project for young people she did a Voluntary Social Year (FSJ). Her tasks consisted mainly of afternoon activities and support in class. Furthermore, she helped to cope with daily problems, conducted discussions about further life planning and monitored measures for the development of a daily structure. Together with Kim Blokland, Norma has supervised a girls’ group in 2023, in which the same topics as in this project were addressed. She is studying social work at the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences in Berlin.

Kim Blokland

Among other things, Kim completed an internship in an intensive educational residential group for children. Here she supported children in coping with everyday life. Her tasks included being constantly available to help with problems and questions, providing support with school tasks, and accompanying the children to various educational activities. She implemented a long-term project to empower refugee children in Rangsdorf. The focus of the project was to strengthen their self-confidence, among other things by encouraging them to play creatively. In Potsdam she completed a project devoted to adolescent refugee-girls. She studies social work at the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin.



Marie-Luise Arriens

Marie-Luise Arriens, born in Dresden, studied acting at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz/Austria after graduating from high school. In 2003 she came to Potsdam for her first engagement at the Hans-Otto-Theater. 2007-2009 followed an engagement at the Theater Bautzen. Since 2010 she has been working as a freelance actress, theater pedagogue and speaker.
Her artistic work focuses on small productions-solo or with partners.

In her theater pedagogical work with children, young people and adults, she focuses on personality development, identity issues and body awareness. In 2019, Marie-Luise founded the senior theater group “Die Vielfältigen” in Potsdam, which she has been leading ever since. Together with Mirjam Neebe, she conducted workshops under the motto “Sag mir, wer du bist” (Tell me who you are) for refugee women, and in 2023 a Girls Empowerment project In Werder/Havel. For her playing together is an important part of the groups, to develop trust through shared humor and unexpected situations. She supports people to express themself, through music, speech or body movement.

Philipp Bautz BA

Philipp studied economics and sociology at the University of Potsdam as part of a dual bachelor’s degree program. His studies focused on a variety of topics such as resource and environmental economics, organizational structures, microeconomics, statistics, and survey design. He is particularly interested in the relationship between humans and the environment, that is, how the economic and environmental spheres affect each other. Philipp has participated in numerous SSW projects, particularly workshops with youth discussing topics such as identity, emancipation, and discrimination.



Zak Reimer MA

Zak holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Montana State University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Montana. In Germany, his skills are referred to as Heilpraktiker für Psychotherapie. His other research interests include childhood development, refugee integration, and conflict mediation. He has been involved in many integration projects in the US and Germany. The children project in Rangsdorf is an example of this. 

Mirjam Neebe MA

Mirjam Neebe studied sociology and philosophy at the University of Potsdam and environmental management with a focus on political science at the Free University of Berlin. Her core areas of expertise are empirical social research, migration and integration, and the transformation towards more sustainability.

One of Mirjam’s research interests focuses on the construction of identity. Her Master thesis was about the hybrid ethnic identities of students belonging to the second generation of Turkish immigrants in Germany. The work reflects on, what migrants often describe as, the crossing of  borders between two or more cultural backgrounds. Referring to postcolonial theories Mirjam shows how these young people, who can be regarded as examples of successful integration, create a ‘third space’ with new ethnic identities beyond assimilation into, or demarcation from, the German culture.

At Social Science Works Mirjam is involved in various projects. E.g., she designed and is facilitating the empowerment of refugee woman workshop. She also developed a workshop program for deliberation with prisoners, coached a group of youngsters in the deliberation in web 2.0 project, and is participating in consultant activities like the Rangsdorf Future Workshop. Together with Marie-Louise she completed a project with refugee-girls in Werder.

Yasmine Benyoussef BA

Yasmine is a Gender and Diversity student from Tunisia, currently studying at the University of Applied Sciences Rhine-Waal in Kleve. Before finding her true passion, she finished a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science in her home country. Her interests include women’s rights, equality, awareness, consciousness, and inclusion of minorities. In 2017, she volunteered in a Kindergarten for children with a migration background in Hamburg as part of the federal voluntary service with the NGO Diakonie. She spent the summer of 2023 volunteering and working in several events as part of the awareness team, preventing and dealing with harassment, discrimination, violence, and conflicts.



Mia von Knobelsdorff

Mia completed a social internship at the Urbanstraße Neighborhood House in 2021. She organized activities with people with disabilities, led a cooking group for refugees, and helped with Urbankiez projects for children and young people. She led a children’s group in Teltow Stadt from March to July 2023. Currently, Mia is in her 3rd semester of special education and English teacher training at the Humboldt University in Berlin.