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. www.refugeeswelcome.berlin
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 drinking during the event.. but it was mostly the delicious natural caffeine drink, Solimate, provided by event sponsors Solidrinks, an awesome local start-up, supporting the refugee community: http://en.solidrinks.de/solimate/
So what did Pass the Crayon do?
As the official kids-creche organizers, Pass The Crayon hosted an art area outside. We planned loads of different activities to keep the kids entertained, including rubber-band stencil crafts, good old-fashioned drawing... and face painting!
Not only did we have a lovely table area, but we also pinched some deck chairs from the main seating arena to make our very own PTC chill zone, complete with PTC cushions, lovingly sewn by Sevin, with the pillow fabric sponsored by Spoonflower: www.spoonflower.com <3
We also hosted an art exhibition in one of the session rooms, where we displayed some of the kids artwork from our classes at the Pankow, Spandau, and Wilmersdorf shelters.