Being a refugee in Europe is hard. Waiting for asylum acceptance can take up years, and housing and accommodation is short. Flüchtlinge Willkommen provides an answer.
In 2014, over 11 million people were on the run. Far from home and their families, and often without a safe place to flee to. Over 216,000 refugees found their way to Europe in the first half of 2014; looking for safety and shelter. In Germany, like many other countries, many refugees find shelter in mass anonymous buildings with small overcrowded rooms. The project Flüchtlinge Willkommen is bound to change that story.
Unhappy with the treatment of refugees in Germany, the initiators Jonas Kakoschke and Marieke Geiling came up with an idea: what if they could provide a refugee with a normal room in their shared apartment. Flüchtlinge Willkommen was born.The idea is simple: if you have a spare room, you sign up and you’ll be matched with a refugee searching a home. The money for the rent is raised through crowd funding or micro-funding. In the latter people can donate small amounts of money per month.
The initiators asked their family and friends and in two weeks raised enough money to pay a year’s worth of rent for a refugee. The initiative is successful, some federal states in Germany (i.e.: Berlin) even help ‘legal’ refugees find rooms through Flüchtlinge Willkommen instead of housing them in the mass refugee accommodations, and help them pay their rent. However the initiative also encourages helping out ‘illegal’ refugees, thus operating besides legal practices and helping those who arguably have the hardest time getting by.
The project officially started on November 18 in 2014. Since then the project has over 400 refugees sign up, four refugees have found a new home, 160 people have registered as a buddy, and more than 230 people have provided donations. For now, the project only runs in Germany, but hopefully finds it way across Europe soon.