Every week there are news about the situation of refugees in Berlin. Here’s a summary of what’s been happening and how you can help. This is the English version of an article on Mit Vergnügen, hier kannst du ihn auf Deutsch lesen.
Number of the week
570.000 | That’s how much rent the federal government is paying every month until July 2016 for 850 vacant rooms of the former Bundesinnenministerium in Moabit. Christian Ströbele of The Greens correctly asks, why this building isn’t used for refugees.
How’s the situation at the registration office, LaGeSo?
A video was published on Monday, showing a security guard hating on refugees. The man is employed by Gegenbauer security, who’s assigned to take care of security at LaGeSo. Interestingly enough, senator Mario Czaja, who’s politically responsible for LaGeSo, has been employed by Gegenbauer for almost 10 years from 2002 till 2011. This has not been the first time the security failed at doing its job. Gegenbauer says they’re “shocked” about the video, meanwhile, the security guard has been discharged.
Last week, extreme right-wing party NPD announced a demonstration in front of LaGeSo, 11 NPD supporters met 500 counter protesters, Tagesspiegel reports.
“How politicians and an incompetent administration facilitate the misery of refugees in Berlin” – this alarming video report by ARD shows that the situation at LaGeSo is still a disaster.
Tagesspiegel is also reporting on the bureaucracy madness of application for asylum in Berlin.
There’s now a change.org petition against the disastrous conditions at LaGeSo. Sign here.
What’s the city of Berlin doing?
The hangars of the old Tempelhof airport are already housing refugees, the Berlin senate decided to build shelters on the field. However, a public referendum of last year forbid any building and the citizen initiative “100% Tempelhofer Feld” advocates to use the concreted parts, instead of the grass.
The Red Cross is using the rooms at the former Stasi building in Lichtenberg as a shelter since last week. Berliner Morgenpost reports that 465 people have already moved in, the facility can house up to 1000.
From December, refugees can join the Bundesfreiwilligendienst (federal volunteer service), as announced by the Federal Ministry for Families.
Any good news?
The popular Icoon pictorial dictionary started their “Icoon for refugees” project in October. It’s a book with 1000 symbols and pictures helping refugees communicate. The crowd funding campaign has reached its goal with 23.023 euro on startnext. Congratulations!How can you help this week?
On Nov 27th, the Meet & Keep Christmas Market benefiting refugees and homeless is happening at Wedding’s Uferstudios, Badstraße 41a, organized by HTW-students. There’ll be a hairdresser, free food, clothing and entertainment.
Also on Nov 27th, Missy Magazine is inviting you to “Money Welcome“, a donation party for female refugees in Germany. Andreas Spechtl (Ja, Panik), Dubais, Black Cracker and kos_mic q’andi will be performing. Tickets are 12 or 8 Euro, free entry for refugees. Proceedings will go to Women in Exile and Citizen2Be.
On Nov 29th, the festival “Re:fugee:ca x (ILL)LEGAL” by and for refugees and migrants will happen at the former silent movie theater Delphi (Gustav-Adolf-Straße 2). There’ll be a bazar and flea market from 10:00 til 18:00, followed by a cabaret program with music, dance, theater and poetry slam from 19:00.
Refugee Board lists all initiatives and projects to aid refugees to help connect refugees and supporters. If you got a project and want to be listed, choose “Ich bin Projektinitiator”.