Every week we hear news about the situation of refugees in Berlin. 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
238.000 | That’s how much money McKinsey earns with a new assignment by Berlin’s senate, to develop a plan to integrate refugees until end of March. The consulting firm used to do pro bono work at LaGeSo and one of their consultants is now head of LaGeSo for one year. This quite fishy assignment receives criticism from Die Linke, and ridicule from EU politician Martin Sonneborn.
How’s the situation at the registration office, LaGeSo?
The chaotic and flawed commissioning for the opening of new shelters, accounted for by LaGeSo, created a damage of about 1,6 million Euro, reports Tagesspiegel with reference to FAZ.
What’s the government of Berlin doing?
Reigning mayor Michael Müller told the RBB in a discussion that he doesn’t want a tent city on the Tempelhof airfield. However, senate stands by it plans to create a mass shelter on the site.
In the meantime, it became known what will happen with the major events that used Tempelhof as location. Music festival Lollapalooza moves to Treptower Park, which creates much understandable resistance considering the damages a festival will leave behind. Sign a petition against this here.
District governments continue to voice their criticism of the senate’s development plans for new shelters for refugees, which were not coordinated with the local administration. Spandau’s district mayor argues against the “unreasonable” 18.000 additional people he has to accommodate.
Interestingly enough, social senator Mario Czaja’s election district in Marzahn is not included in the plans, n-tv assumes Czaja doesn’t want any conflict with his voters.
Any good news?
Berlinale has always been a political film festival, and is supporting refugees this year: Sardinian chef Roberto Petza is cooking with Syrian chefs Modar and Mzkin of the initiative “Über den Tellerrand kochen” at the street food market of Markthalle 9. Enjoy the food fusion of Syrian hummus and Sardinian potatoes until Feb 21st on Potsdamer Platz!
How can you help this week?
Kitchen On the Run is a new project of Über den Tellerrand kochen. With a re-build container, designed by students of Technische Universität, they’ll travel through Europe to connect locals and refugees with food. You can support them with a donation here.
Moabit hilft is still looking for clothing donations, especially kids’ pants in all sized for their work at LaGeSo.
If you have surplus money, consider donating it to one of the projects working with and for refugees listed on Betterplace, here’s a list.
If you’re looking for a job working with refugees and social issues, take a look at the listings at Berlin hilft.
Refugees often turn to Bahnhofsmission for help. The one at Bahnhof Zoo now suffers from a shortage of food, due to a miscalculation and is asking for donations
The new website Go Volunteer started today to connect refugee aid organizations and volunteers.
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.