German EDRi member Chaos Computer Club (CCC), along with free network associations Freifunk Berlin and the Förderverein freie Netzwerke, is running a fundraising campaign in support of the non-profit organisation Refugees Emancipation (RE). The project, initiated by asylum-seekers, aims to prevent the isolation and enhance the connectivity of refugees in Germany by enabling their access to the Internet. To do this, RE has established several self-organised Internet cafés and offers computer courses in refugee accommodations.
The objective of the fundraising campaign is to finance the work of RE for at least one year. In concrete terms, the money raised will go towards financing telecommunication costs, office supplies, tools and repairs for the existing five Internet cafés, as well as the rent for offices, transportation costs and allowances for the coordinators of the project. In the best case scenario, the project will be expanded to establish new Internet cafés in refugee camps and centres. At the time of writing, 32 % of the target sum had been raised, with another 46 524 euros pending.
The initiative of RE, although already established in 2000, is particularly important in light of the current refugee crisis. For refugees, having access to the Internet is not only a means of communicating and reconnecting with remote family members, but also an important tool for their social integration in their country of destination. The Internet provides essential access to translation services and offers information on asylum procedures, which are often complicated and subject to bureaucratic complexity. Given that in Germany Internet access remains scant and hard to come by for the majority of refugees, the initiative by RE is significant.
Fundraising campaign for Refugees Emancipation: Internet cafes and computer courses for refugees (only in German, 01.10.2015)
Homegrown Net Café Reconnects Refugees, Families (28.10.2003)
Internet for Refugees by Refugees, donation page
(Contribution by Inka Kotilainen, EDRi intern)