Doing what we do best.

It all started quite harmlessly at first: With the accommodation of refugees as guests in the apartments of the association members. In the end, there were over 500 people who stayed with us, sometimes for longer, sometimes for shorter periods. And all of them were placed in such a way that they were spared homelessness (which would have been the case in Berlin) or camps.

Our strength lies in multiplying and networking. Specifically:

  • In bringing together different groups (private individuals, initiatives, companies and media),
  • initiating cooperation on concrete topics and projects, and
  • in the development of instruments and practical tools for the work in refugee aid.

Meanwhile, over time, it has grown into a serious organization:

  • With an office, a full-time staff and an intern in Berlin,
  • with 16 volunteers who support us continuously,

Why does it work? Because we ourselves lend a hand.

At Be- an-Angel-Direkthilfe, we have been lending a hand ourselves since 2015 and helping refugees in a very pragmatic way. This way, we know directly what it’s like out there, where the problems are and what kind of support really makes a difference. From experience. Not from hearsay.

Our track record so far:

  • So far, we have accompanied more than 2,500 people through the official jungle (from registration and the asylum procedure to job placement).
  • We have supported more than 800 people in urgent applications to the social court so that they receive the benefits to which they are entitled.
  • We accompanied around 260 refugees to hearings at the Federal Office for Migration.
  • In Berlin, we were the main tenant in 20 apartments in 2015/16.
  • Nationwide, we organized more than 67 apartments or rooms.
  • We were able to find jobs in the IT sector for 45 people, as well as with the umbrella organization of the catering industry, Dehoga, Berlin, to provide refugees with further jobs.
  • We cooperate with initiatives and organizations nationwide and in Berlin.
  • We were the official charity partner of the Staatsoper unter den Linden in 2015/16/17.
  • With an aid convoy for Belgrade, we brought food and clothing to Belgrade in 2017, where up to 1,500 people were miserably vegetating without support.

our “fattest chunks” currently:

  • Job placement – people with jobs are a productive part of our society.
  • Education – whether they stay, whether they go back home later: a good education is the most sustainable investment in a person.
  • Housing placement – people in their own apartments are at home.
  • Asylum applications – the legal situation changes almost daily. Hardly anyone who submits an asylum application can keep track of everything. We help.
  • In cooperation with the Youth Welfare Office Berlin/Mitte and Leuchtturm e.V. we want to place unaccompanied refugee minors in foster families.
  • In Belgrade, we are setting up a shelter for unaccompanied minors (according to estimates, their share among refugees is about 40%).
  • We try to develop a program for safe escape routes for minors stranded in Europe and mobilize decision makers.

And Our Network:

  • The undefeated number one of loving, alert, from-the-beginning partners:inside:
  • Moabit helps
  • And definitely to be mentioned:
  • Tony – The Agency – Lavinia Reinke; Kathrin Ast
  • Die Schneiderei – Regine Schneider and Ewa Tuszynski
  • Artist Network – Ute Zahn and Gamze Wirth
  • St. Boniface Parish
  • Educational market Arrivo
  • Pfefferberg Foundation
  • Foundation Sparkasse – Carsten Otto
  • Xenion
  • KuB
  • Diakonie Cottbus
  • Dehoga Berlin
  • IHK Berlin

We would be delighted if you would also like to contribute something: As a person who would like to get involved, as an initiative with good ideas that serve as best practices for others, as a company that wants to provide assistance, or as a media representative who makes sure that good things are communicated well out there.

Let’s talk, then do! Sincerely,

Andreas Tölke
(Board of Directors Be an Angel e.V.)

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Ulrike Lessig

(Board of Directors Be an Angel e.V.)

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The "Guidelines" of our work

  • Dealing at eye level: The people who arrive here had a life before. They were sometimes more, sometimes less successful. They are adults in an emergency situation, not cute accessories to live out a helper syndrome.
  • We support – we do not take over decisions. Our ideal: apartment, job, training or school. And then on. Then also gladly without us.
  • Join in! German courses are a MUST.
  • Acceptance of our laws and values are a MUST (men and women: No differences. Sexual orientation: It is what it is – and in any case okay. Religion: private matter). Ideologies or dogmas: Not with us.
  • Our freedom is your freedom.
  • Everyone has a right to humane treatment and respect. And if there is enough time: also a right to a common dinner with good humor.

We do not stop

Our commitment continues. Our work becomes more complex. Here maybe a view and also something like: what we would like to see. More office space, better equipment, more permanent employees… from grassroots to professional.

Why are we doing this? Quite pragmatically: We have no desire for a parallel society. We have no desire to pay taxes for people who want to and can work. We have a desire for the enrichment that each individual who arrives here and integrates has to offer. And yes, we have a desire for delicious food.

Our stance on the current refugee crisis in Europe

No. 1

People who flee to Germany because they are persecuted in their home country or because there is danger to life and limb due to war, irreversible environmental catastrophes and abject poverty should be helped. Always and immediately. We take unbureaucratic help from person to person for granted. We are well, we can share.

No. 2

People who leave their home country for economic reasons should have the opportunity to immigrate to Germany in accordance with defined quotas and after a case-by-case examination. It is important to create a sustainable, future-oriented concept so that integration – in the sense of living together – succeeds. Germany therefore needs an immigration law based on clear and simple rules.

No. 3

Germany and Europe are obviously not really well prepared for the current crisis situation. Therefore, the state of emergency that we experience every day is the consequence. In the “normal operation” of government, offices and aid organizations, this state of emergency cannot be resolved. That is why citizens, institutions and companies must get involved and provide support to prevent more chaos – to the benefit of all concerned. If many do a little, a lot will be moved. And even faster.

No. 4

Through the direct, personal proximity to the refugees, we can experience the cultural and religious differences within the refugee groups and especially in the context of our own culture on a daily basis. Without question, it will not be an easy task to create a society of mutual respect and community togetherness. However, there is no alternative to trying with our sleeves rolled up. Germany is a country of immigration and benefits from immigrants – despite all the problems and shortcomings.

The openness and hospitality of the native population on the one hand must be met by a willingness to integrate on the part of the refugees and a readiness to accept and share the cultural customs and identity of the host country. This is the only way to overcome reservations and create a functioning neighborhood. Only in this way.

This is where we stand. Where do you stand?
Founders and supporters of Be an Angel