Berlin is the daily entry port for hundreds of people seeking a better life in Europe. Refugees are the people who best embody the spirt of resilience that is needed to change one’s life circumstances. After overcoming obstacles after obstacles, escaping life-threatening political instability and war behind, some of the luckiest ones manage to reach their destination. What they find, however, is not instant prosperity but a whole new set of hurdles that they need to overcome:
How to orient oneself as a refugee in Berlin? Where to find legal advice, translation services, accommodation, warm clothing, food and other essential goods? These are the questions and intricate bureaucratic matters that asylum-seekers face, once they set foot in Europe.
Among the many initiatives of local volunteers, Arriving-in-Berlin is a praise-worthy project aiming at helping refugees to find answers to such questions. In short, it’s a map made by refugees for refugees. With the ever-increasing affordability of smartphones, and considering the fact that among refugees are educated people, initiatives such as Arriving-in-Berlin can be life-saving.
For the tech-savvy, OpenStreetMapis the supporting technology that has been chosen by the volunteers that have realized this project. The best feature involves the possibility of allowing the public to participate in the mapping efforts and thereby constantly improve the map. Should you be in Berlin this month and should you be interested in learning more about participatory mapping techniques, drop the institute Haus der Kulturen der Welt on Friday, 25th, 2015. There you’ll have the chance to meet the group of volounteers responsible for the project.