A group of asylum-seekers have succeeded in launching the first self organised Internet Cafe from refugees to refugees in Hellersdorf -Berlin, pointing the way to others to seize the initiative to bring an end to their isolation and throw open their doors to the new digital world. Eleven computers linked up to the internet can now be used twelve hours a day by more than 200 refugees in Hellersdorf. As the refugees surf the internet free of charge, they can serve tea and coffee to their visitors coming in daily to teach them computer skills. “It’s all about emancipation and empowerment of refugees,” declared Eben Chu, a member of a group of activists in Refugees Emancipation. They conceived the project as a way of giving refugees like themselves the power to take their future into their own hands while caught up in the system. “This is not just about sending and receiving emails free of charge. It’s is about circumventing the barriers deliberately set up against refugees.
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One of the regular face in the cafe is a lady from the Democatic Republic of Congo, she just moved in the area of Hellersdorf although not being a refugee she feels comfortable and she assissted , all for free. Martin, an asylum seeker from cameroon wants to use the Internet Cafe for “distance learning”. Last October he started a degree course at the Sorbonne, France’s famous university. He enrolled over the internet at CNED (Centre National d’enseignement a distance). Now every day of the week he is sending class work to his university teachers via the internet: he never needs to step a foot into a Sorbonne lecture hall in Paris. He could be a qualified lawyer in France, specialising in internet law, before he is given a final decision on his asylum application in Germany. “I couldn’t keep up with my classes if the Hellersdorf internet cafe didn’t exist,” he said. “I haven’t got the money to pay for daily internet access.”
His own asylum home is in Bestensee (Brandenburg). This means he has been travelling four hours a day to use the free internet connection in Laloka, switching from buses, trains and trams. In return for what he is getting, he is assisting as one of the responsibles in the internet cafe helping other refugees and taking care of the place “I am taking a beginners’ course in Linux. I’m also showing refugees how they can also access information over the internet,” he said. “The Internet Cafes are going to be places where people can learn and study,” predicted Eben. “The Hellersdorf Cafe is also a model for other heims in Berlin. “We will be running classes almost every day in the coming months to train refugees, as well from other homes. We hope that other heims or civil society organisations will follow the example of Laloka and Refugees Emancipation here. First setting up Internet Cafes in the state of Brandenburg and now in Berlin.
Refugees Emancipation” ist ein selbstorganisiertes Flüchtlingsprojekt. Für die internet Zugang und Bildungsangeboten in Flüchtlingsheime sind wir immer auf den Suche nach;
1. Freiwillige die in Internet Zentrume Computerkurs geben können
2. Internettaugliche Computer/Laptops Monitor/Notebooks als Spenden sind
3. Finanzielle Unterstützung für Internet Kosten und Fahrkosten für den
The Refugees Emancipation Project is a project initiated by asylum seekers. The Project’s goals are to improve the quality of life of Refugees in Germany. Refugees Emancipation Conducts linux and computer basic courses empowering refugees.
RE Center Hellersdorf Berlin
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Coming soon office and internet cafe for refugees in Freiland Potsdam And a building of an Internet Cafe in Steglitz Berlin
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