FuGeeLa: Refugees in Berlin #18

Protest in Kreuzberg, by Roberto Maldeno on Flickr

The news about the situation of refugees in Berlin are still coming in, but they’ve slowed down. The situation has been calming down for several weeks now, since less and less refugees arrive in Berlin. Not because there are none, but because Europe is closing its borders. Here’s a summary of what’s been happening in the last days and how you can help. This is the English version of an article in cooperation with Mit Vergnügen, hier kannst du ihn auf Deutsch lesen.

Number of the week

40.000 | That’s how much money the initiative Plus1 has raised in aid of refugees until now – asking everyone who’s on the guest list to donate at least 1 Euro, more than 80 clubs, concert halls, artists and promoters signed up.

How’s the situation at the shelters & LaGeSo?

Berlin and its many problems have been in the nation-wide news these past weeks – especially when it’s about the increasingly more dangerous area around Kottbusser Tor. ZDF now revealed that many of the pickpockets and drug dealers are underage refugee kids, hired by the cities big clans, who recruit many young men at the refugee shelters to do their dirty jobs. Reportedly they tell them that jail time is still better than going back into the war.

The first shelter that once was a gym is about to become a gym again, probably in May, reports Tagesspiegel. There’s no time schedule when the other 9000 refugees can leave the rest of the gyms for better housing.

LGBT refugees aren’t adequately protected even if they live in shelters for people in need of protection. Three of them had to leave a shelter in Friedenau, which actually has 26 special spots for LGBT refugees, and moved to a special shelter in Treptow.

What’s the government of Berlin doing?

The former townhouse of Wilmersdorf will probably be expanded to house up to 2000 refugees, if they can get the necessary permits.

Any good news?


STF-Kocht!, an initiative started by young students of “Schüler treffen Flüchtlinge e.V.” organizes food events together with refugees to start new connections, exchange experiences and reduce reservations. For this work, they were awarded a prize by the Bertelsmann Stiftung. Become a member and support their work here.

How can you help this week?

Vote for refugee bakery Bantabaa, so they’ll receive 50.000 Euro in a competition by Berliner Rundfunk.

Educate yourself as a helper with several classes at Haus der Demokratie.

Celebrate spring with an inclusive and inter-cultural party in Wedding this Saturday.

Buy art by Julian Rosefeldt, Wolfgang Tilmanns and many more to benefit Terre des Femmes this Saturday at Berlinische Galerie.

Engage in a debate held in the Bayerisches Viertel of Schöneberg, that wants to answer the question, “wie schaffen wir das?”.

Fight against racism and for a social Berlin this Saturday in a protest starting at Oranienplatz.

Spread the news about these free places in art workshops for visual artists with migration status.

Join the Global Week for Syria at a Syrian concert this Sunday at Al Hamra in Prenzlauer Berg.

Listen to reports of Spiegel journalists Susanne Koelbl, Maximilian Popp and Christoph Reuter working on migration next week at Clärchens Ballhaus.

Connect with refugees at RESTART’s first exhibition presenting visual art works of refugees this Thursday at Impact Hub.

Enjoy some wonderful choir music of the Diplomatic Choir of Berlin and the Syrian Expat Philharmonic Orchestra next week.

Get into a dialogue with 40 experts who will talk to you about specific topics in personal, 25 minute exchanges. Book your table now for the event on April 26th.

Get Involved

Information and links to initiatives in Berlin can be found on the websites of Flüchtlingsrat Berlin and at bürgeraktiv. Jule Müller compiled a very helpful document answering all your questions about how to help in Berlin. Until now, it’s only available in German.

This is what happened last time.

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