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
124 | That’s how many people can live in the just opened shelter for LGBT refugees in Treptow. This is Germany’s first center of its kind, and it looks very promising. The queer counsel of Berlin assumes there are more than 3000 LGBT refugees currently in Berlin.
How’s the situation at the registration office, LaGeSo?
The situation at LaGeSo has been improved and only few people have to wait outside or during the night, reports Berliner Zeitung.
Finally, the recently implemented changes produce results. One of them is establishing another payment point at the offices at Bundesallee for new arrivals.
What’s the government of Berlin doing?
Berlin is still working on establishing new housing opportunities for refugees, most plans center on container housing, which will mostly be build in the Eastern districts. In contrast to modular homes, containers are planned to be used long term, they’ll be about 15sqm big and cost about 10.000 Euro. Most of them are bought from China, since German producers are not able to deliver quick enough, as Berliner Zeitung reports. Here’s a map of the first locations.
The political opposition criticizes that these containers are not enough to free up all occupied gyms in the city. District administrations already plan for alternative models to offer gym classes for schools, including subjects like beach volleyball and skateboarding. We can see students agreeing with these plans.
A particularly likeable resident in Wannsee now filed charges agains a refugee home, claiming it’s a wrongful type of use for the building, reports Tagesspiegel.
Berlin’s biggest shelter at former Tempelhof airport continues to bring bad reports – a team of local TV station RBB now filmed a report, including claims of poor hygienic conditions and lack of privacy, as well as violent fights and harassment by the security, who tell inhabitants they’d be living in “a prison”. ZEIT recently did a 360° photo report on the shelter, where you can also see how people are living there.
Any good news?
Young refugees by now go to school in Berlin, to learn German and to meet new friends – one of the elementary school offering classes for refugee kids, decided to donate their ten old computers to the shelter where some of their students live. This special computer room in the shelter can be used by all refugees living there, and this wonderful gesture will contribute to make it easier for them to start their life in Berlin.
How can you help this week?
JACK is looking for women with sewing and knitting skills to teach their refugee classes on Tuesday afternoons. Info here.
If you want to educate yourself in how to support refugees best, check these workshops offered by Bildung Bewegt in Neukölln.
The university of Potsdam is offering a class for refugee teachers to qualify them for German schools. Applications are accepted until March 15th.
Today, the Institut für Talententwicklung is having an internship event to connect young refugees with Berlin based companies like Axel Springer, Bayer Pharma, Deutsche Telekom and many more. Infos here.
IHK Berlin is offering an event to inform and consult people who’re seeking approval of their foreign education certificates. Infos here.
New York Times is looking for reports and experiences by migrants, refugees and helpers. Questions are in English, German and Arabic, more here.
Moabit Hilft is looking for donations of hygienic products. Infos here.
The shelter at Tempelhof airport is looking for hair stylists to work shifts at the soon to open salon. Send an email to join to firstname.lastname@example.org
Asylothek is an initiative to build a library in the Tempelhof airport shelter and is hoping for your funding on betterplace.
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.