November 28, 2018

"Looking back on that time, Rasha says, 'my brain was frozen'. Eventually, they had to flee again. The constant change, loss of stability, and separation from her family caused Rasha to become very depressed. Her daughter, who was now 5 years old, would come to her and ask, "Mother, why are you crying?" This lasted until very recently, when Rasha realized she must be strong for her family, and never give up hope."

October 9, 2017

Last weekend, Pass the Crayon was invited by OUTLAW.die Stiftung to attend their event 'Mit Sicherheit Gut Ankommen' in Treptow Park, from 29th September to 1st October.  This travelling maritime project ("Schiffsprojekt") began its journey in Norway, before travelling across the North Sea and along the German river systems, to reach its final destination, Berlin, in coincidence with the United Nations World Refugee Day.

The project

The objective of this social-cultural project, aptly named 'Mit Sicherheit Gut Ankommen' (To Arrive Safely), was to help the public engage with the subject of 'flight and migration' from a different angle. The project's agenda is based upon the 'Norderneyer Erklärung', which defines key positions on flight and migration, both generally worded and specifically formulated around the role of child and youth welfare.

The project aimed to draw attention to the situations refugees find themselves in before they decid...

September 26, 2017

A: They are all refugees, and they were all present at 'Innovation Knows No Borders', a conference in celebration of refugee innovation, and the power it has to inspire social, political and digital change.

So who was there?

Innovation Knows No Borders, organised by Migration Hub Network in collaboration with Wikistage, featured ten internationally renowned speakers, who all shared inspiring stories of their work helping to connect, liberate and empower refugees. 'Innovation' was the USP of this event-- and it certainly lived up to its name. The selection of speakers was a great example of how diverse the spectrum of 'innovation' really is: we had talks from creative and social innovators, tech and finance entrepreneurs, a school founder, and the leader of a rescue ship.

As well as guest speakers, we also had the chance to interact with lots of different social innovators, artists, and of course, all of our colleagues at the Migration Hub office, including...

August 29, 2017

"There are 65 million forcibly displaced people worldwide... More efforts are needed to find pragmatic and human-centred solutions."

We are excited to announce that on 21st September, Pass the Crayon will be taking part in "Innovation Knows No Borders", a conference co-organised by Wikistage and Migration Hub Network. The event will be hosted at Migration Hub, our co-working space which we share with many other awesome non-profits such as MigrationMattersRESTART andWefugees.

Migration Hub Network (an umbrella initiative which aims to unite non-profit start-ups to form a cooperative network) has organised this full-day event in order to showcase the diverse range of refugee innovation, which so often gets overlooked...

Wikistage is a non-profit online platform (similar to TED),  committed to "strengthening democratic debate worldwide" by providing mini-talks from a wide range of speakers. Their dedication to the spreading of ideas is an important one, particula...

August 24, 2017

"In the beginning we collected money, clothes and other donations to help with refugee accommodation, but it did not seem to be enough..."

This is the the story of a group of friends living in Germany, who were inspired to start their own initiative through witnessing the struggles of the refugee community; not just to find food and shelter, but the more complex struggle... for acceptance.

Saddened by the fear and mistrust directed at the migrant community, but confident in the essential goodness and humanity within their fellow citizens, they vowed to help change attitudes and nurture the integration process by providing a platform for discussion and innovation. Thus, WelcomeCamp was born.

On 15th July 2017, Pass the Crayon, attended the second annual WelcomeCamp, a barcamp which saw over 150 people and 26 different projects including UNICEF, and and the UNO come together to exchange information and ideas, make connections, and ultimate...

August 15, 2017

Emilie Hamadi, one of our Pass the Crayon volunteers, writes about her WelcomeCamp experience; the sessions she attended, her thoughts, feelings and hopes for the future...

"More than a gathering of people acting, or working together in the same sector; WelcomeCamp provided the chance for dialogue, constructive exchanges, and genuine connections. One of the most valuable aspects of the day was everything which surrounded the formal sessions: the casual encounters, shared feelings, and questions discussed with other professionals, volunteers and activists.

During the day, I had the pleasure of attending two lively and interactive sessions, both dealing with the 'refugee welcoming challenge' in Germany, and exploring different approaches, visions and perspectives for the future...

Session 1: "Was passiert in Saarland?"

The first presentation was: "was passiert in Saarland", a relatively small region in South-West Germany, where twice as many refugees were welcomed in 2013, as in the whole of...

August 14, 2017

1 day, 200 people, 26 sessions, 40 organisation, 19 sponsors, and 1 awesome BBQ... this is WelcomeCamp 2017: a barcamp designed to unite individuals, start-ups and NGOs to discuss and build solutions to refugee integration, and to forge connections and friendships with others involved in the German welcome culture movement.

Barcamp… what, like bandcamp, but with booze? Er… NO.

For those of you (like me!) who are unfamiliar with the term ‘barcamp’, a barcamp is an innovative type of conference (or ‘unconference’), which is characterized by an emphasis on audience-participation. Instead of a rigid timetable established weeks in advance, a barcamp is completely participant-driven, with sessions decided upon on the day itself via discussion and consensus. This relaxed and democratic approach allows for sessions to be tailor-made to the specific wishes of the participants, and offers everybody equal chance to participate.

(Actually, there WAS some...

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