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The Stiftungsfonds Zivile Seenotrettung (Search and Rescue Foundation) stands for a Europe based on solidarity, safe harbours and safe passage, taking a clear stance against the criminalisation of flight and migration.

The Stiftungsfonds Zivile Seenotrettung understands itself as a feminist fonds. It was founded in September 2019 when a call for donations by Jan Böhmermann and Klaas Heufer-Umlauf raised over one million euros, following the rescue operation involving Carola Rackete and the Sea-Watch 3.

The donations are administered and allocated by the Stiftungsfonds towards organizations and projects which deal with flight and migration to Europe, focusing on the Mediterranean region.

Decisions on the allocation of the funds are made by consensus, if not by simple majority.

The fund is administered by the GLS Treuhand. The foundation board is composed of representatives from five organisations:

We would like to thank our supporters and all private donors

  • iuventa10
  • LeaveNoOneBehind
  • Sea-Watch e.V.
  • United we Stream
Portrait photo of Mattea Weihe

Civilfleet-Support e.V.

Mattea Weihe has been involved in sea rescue since 2018. As a cultural mediator she is active in the Mediterranean and Aegean. On land Mattea advocates for civil sea rescue and safe passage, and has previously been able to work in various migration projects both within and outside of the EU. Mattea studied in Hamburg, Istanbul and Beirut, and is currently focusing upon migration policies in the Sahara and Libya in the framework of her Master’s in Peace Research. As part of an EU research project she works on European migration strategies in North Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Levant. Her focus lies upon operational activities regarding sea rescue in the Mediterranean, research on European foreign policy and local migration governance, as well as projects by and for people on the move outside of the EU.

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Portrait photo of Sophie Weidenhiller

Sea-Eye e.V.

Sophie Weidenhiller has been working with people on the move since 2016. Since 2018, her focus has shifted to civil sea rescue. She's currently in training to be a person-centered psychotherapist. To this date, Sophie has participated in two sea-rescue missions aboard Sea-Eye's Alan Kurdi as RHIB-communicator/RHIB lead. Onshore she also represents Sea-Eye as a spokesperson for southern/eastern Europe. At the moment, Sophie’s focus with regards to sea rescue and working for people on the move lies in advocacy & outreach, messaging, communication and press work, therapeutic/mental health support, as well as her active participation in rescue missions.

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Portrait photo of Sophie Scheytt

Sea-Watch e.V.

Sophie Scheytt is a lawyer who has been dedicated to the field of migration for 8 years. She has worked in intergovernmental organizations, as well as in various NGOs and for the Senate of Berlin. She has been a member of Sea-Watch for 2 years, where she was Head of Advocacy until March 2019. Sophie's legal work focuses on German and European asylum and residence law, as well as international maritime law. Her primary expertise lies in the area of legal counseling, strategic litigation and advocacy.

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Portrait photo of Anna-Lena Blanke


Anna-Lena Blanke has been working upon issues of flight, migration and anti-racism since 2014. After several years of volunteer work in refugee aid, she decided to campaign politically for civil sea rescue and safe escape routes in 2019. In the summer of the same year, she joined the civil society movement SEEBRÜCKE and was elected to the national coordination group of the movement. In this context, she deals in particular with legal issues relating to flight and migration, advocacy work, as well as municipal reception policy and the implementation of political campaigns. Anna-Lena studied law in Freiburg and Istanbul with her focus on constitutional, European and international law. She is currently completing her legal clerkship at the Münster District Court. Her fields of competence are individual legal counseling, public relations and national migration policy.

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Portrait photo of Lea Reisner

Solidarity at Sea

Lea Reisner has been active in civil sea rescue since 2017. She is a nurse, and has worked since 2015 with people on the move in different organizations and areas, mainly within the field of medical first aid and emergency aid. On board rescue vessels she is usually deployed as a medical coordinator. Her focus is on medical projects, the criminalisation of flight and flight assistance, as well as in networking between people on the move and support structures. Lea is involved in this regard with the campaign work around iuventa10 onshore.

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Project Management

Giulia Messmer has been working for the Stiftungsfonds since March 2020. She is in charge of:

  • Supervision and coordination of grant applications
  • Organisation of board-meetings
  • Public communications


Giulia studied International Relations in Dresden and Bologna, and is starting her Master's degree in Peace and Conflict Studies this year. During her Bachelor’s degree she received a scholarship from the Heinrich Böll Foundation and worked for various NGOs in Dresden, Athens and Chios, supporting victims of sexualised violence and people on the move. The matter closest to her heart is the fight against violence towards women and LGBTQI+ people.