How can we help people to help themselves? / First Research

The young male refugees are often regarded as healthy and fit, able to work and therefore are not treated as a priority in terms of care. However; of what use could these benefits be if there is nothing to do? In Germany, refugees are not allowed to pick proper work for the first three months of their stay. After that period, a working permit is needed to apply for a job. The permit, however, is only granted if the person is no longer living in a refugee camp. Needless to say, the said three months often pass without anything really happening and three months slowly turn into six months and into a year

­ during which there is nothing to do.

We are currently working at the Internationales Congress Centrum (ICC) in Berlin
­ a former congress center that has recently been turned into a refugee camp. Even with the circumstances being unfavourable, the atmosphere at the ICC is quite the opposite: The interaction between the refugees and the staff and security is remarkably free and friendly. Volunteers playing with children; refugees and security joking around and everybody is eating at the same table. There is no hint of the provider/receiver­dilemma that you would witness in other establishments.
We’ve been warmly welcomed by the people and the relationships have gradually grown more personal since our first visit.

_ Excerpt of the Edgeryders Article

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