‘Empowering people through education’ was a mission defined by the founder Ulrike Crespo herself. In the course of her own formal education she extensively explored emancipatory ideas as well as the practical concerns and hardships of people who have a migratory background. The SABA educational scholarships are one way of addressing an issue that was very close to Ulrike Crespo’s heart.


SABA educational scholarships. Credit: Nina Werth

What are SABA educational scholarships all about?

A SABA educational scholarship supports you in achieving a school-leaving certificate as a mature student, through a process known as the ‘zweiter Bildungsweg’. This will allow you to develop a plan for your career so you can look forward to the future you want to have. SABA provides financial support, advice and further training – all measures that dismantle barriers to entry, counter discrimination and create space for personal development, qualifications and empowerment. 

What distinguishes SABA from other educational programmes:

  • The women stay in touch both during and after the SABA programme

  • Duration: women can stay with SABA for up to 3 years, while many other programmes only last 6 months

  • Individual one-to-one advice, personally tailored and face to face

  • Plenty of contact with SABA graduates – even after the programme has ended the SABA community is engaged in dialogue

  • SABA’s creative projects

Take a look at our new video (in German) explaining what SABA is all about and find out what’s waiting for you when you receive a SABA educational scholarship!

For whom?
Adults who have experience of migration or displacement and would like to acquire a school-leaving qualification as a mature student.

To improve educational equality and vocational integration for migrants. 

A maximum of 3 years

Rhine-Main region, digitally throughout Germany 

Be the heroine or hero of your own life

Whether it’s because they can’t speak enough German or due to facing socio-economic barriers or discrimination: the people in our society who have experienced migration or displacement are particularly disadvantaged, especially if they don’t have a recognised educational qualification. That’s why we set up the SABA programme in 2006, supporting and mentoring people who have a background of migration or displacement to acquire a school qualification as mature students, via a process known as the ‘zweiter Bildungsweg’.

The support offered by SABA covers school and travel costs as well as a budget for additional tutoring, materials and childcare. Coaching sessions and workshops are also part of the wide-ranging accompanying programme. The core notion behind SABA is that empowering settings and financial resources create the right conditions for scholarship holders to determine and pursue their own educational goals.

SABA creative projects

Creative projects are at the heart of the SABA scholarship. SABA’s annual creative project festival took place this year on 25 June 2023. Frankfurt LAB presented the artistic achievements of the six SABA groups in the fields of performance, museum, sculpture, theatre, hip-hop and digital. These works allow SABA scholarship holders to express their own strengths and the challenges they experienced, while also exploring the journeys they have taken and their perspectives for the future. 

Application for a SABA scholarship

The SABA scholarship at a glance:

  • In person for women throughout the Rhine-Main region

  • In person for men throughout the Rhine-Main region

  • Digitally for women throughout Germany

  • School fees covered

  • Advice on school and training

  • Transport costs covered

  • Childcare costs partially covered 

  • Educational grant for school materials, tutoring and technical equipment

  • Regular seminars and trips

  • Monthly creative project with artists

Conditions for an in-person scholarship in Frankfurt:

  • You live in Frankfurt or the Rhine-Main region

  • You would like to achieve a school-leaving qualification: whether from a Hauptschule or Realschule, a general or vocational Abitur

  • You have experience of migration or displacement

  • You’re at least 18 years old

  • You have a sufficient command of German 

  • You’re keen to meet new people and prepared to take part in weekend meet-ups

For a digital scholarship: you’re a woman who lives in Germany and you fulfil all the other named criteria

You need the following documents to apply for a SABA educational scholarship:

  • Completed application form 

  • Motivational letter: Why is the school-leaving certificate important to you? What do you want to achieve afterwards? What have you been doing up to now? What else would you like to tell us about yourself?

  • CV in tabular form

  • Copies of any school and work certificates you may have

‘Learning about SABA was the turning point in my life! SABA empowered not only me but also my family, and it made me more self-confident.’

Cemile ... qualified nurse, completed her school qualification through SABA and subsequently trained as a carer for the elderly with SABA mentoring.

‘I like the fact that I can give my creativity a real boost. We learn how to make music, and I’ve realised that I’m surprisingly good at writing texts.’ 

Kosta ... taking his secondary school certificate (Realschulabschluss) as a mature student.



start of SABA programme for men and digital programmes


scholarships each year


school qualifications since 2006 


creative projects since 2006


countries of origin

‘SABA Mentoring’ supplementary programme

In the ‘SABA Mentoring’ programme we support SABA graduates in their careers after they have completed the educational scholarship. Volunteers mentor them through their first year of training or studying. The tandem relationship consolidates the participants’ recently acquired self-confidence.



‘SABA is a key that enables me to unlock the door to a better future. Since I’ve been a SABA scholarship holder I’ve had the feeling that I can do so much more than I would have imagined.’

Maiara ... has received her secondary school certificate (Realschulabschluss) as a mature student and is currently training to be an educational support worker.


The SABA educational scholarship is a programme run by the Crespo Foundation in cooperation with beramí berufliche Integration e.V. and with the support of Zonta Club Aschaffenburg and Clifford Chance Deutschland.



For women in the Rhine-Main region

Olivia Sarma
Crespo Foundation


For men in the Rhine-Main region

Anne Wolter
beramí e.V.


For women throughout Germany

Sarah Schreiner
beramí e.V.