War, persecution and poverty in the Middle East and Africa forced millions of people to leave their countries. People arriving in Germany and asking for asylum are often forced to wait for months or even years until the procedure is finished. During this time, asylum seekers are forced to spend their time simply waiting and lack any basic necessities.
In 2015, the year in which most refugees arrived in Germany, hundreds of civil projects were born to help and also establish an environment of a welcoming culture (Willkommenskultur). Two years later: what should an initiative be capable of doing to make a difference and which approaches have proven successful? What still needs to be done in the future? Should these projects be translated into a broader community or is it something akin to a new peace movement that becomes necessity?
Format: Lightning Talk + Discussion
Henriette Schmidt: Wefugees is an online community forum for refugee-topics. Refugees, experts, institutions and locals are encouraged to ask and respond to any type of question and exchange critical knowledge. As a result, Wefugees empowers and enables refugees to actively participate in the integration process and to find new, creative solutions to problems naturally arising from living in a new and unfamiliar socio-cultural environment.
Ferdinand Dürr: The Adopt a Revolution project was launched by Syrian and German activists in the fall of 2011 in the face of the brutal persecution of the peaceful uprising against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. The project has the objective of providing financial support, building bridges of solidarity and the exchange of information between local committees in Syria and local groups abroad.
Maxie Lutze: The Konfetti app emerged out of the refugee hackathon in Berlin in 2015. The idea is to connect people in the neighbourhood to create a better understanding amongst each other and thereby enable an ideal environment for living together. Konfetti’s objective is to animate people to work together and help organize their activities.