How you can help Berliners during the Covid-19 crisis
Finding some extra time on your hands, or looking to donate your skills to organisations and initiatives that are at the forefront of protecting Berlin’s vulnerable communities? Read below for some volunteering opportunities to help out your Berlin neighbours during the current Covid-19 crisis.
The Berliner Obdachlosenhilfe e.V. is currently looking for drivers for its pick-up and assistance tours for Berlin’s homeless community.
The times for the tours are as follows:
- Tuesday 13 to 16 h (collection)
- Wednesday 17 to 23 h (auxiliary tour)
- Thursday 15 to 18 h (collection)
- Saturday 13 to 16 h (pick up)
- Saturday 17 to 23 h (auxiliary tour)
- Sunday 17 to 21 h (auxiliary tour)
To help out, you need a class B drivers license. A lot of heavy boxes have to be carried during the pick-ups — so if heavy lifting is not for you, you can help them with their assistance tours. If you would like to apply as a driver, just e-mail them at email@example.com.
Additionally, they are looking for the following donations for their team to continue their work, as well as for the homeless community itself:
- Face masks
- Disinfectant products for hands and surfaces
- Disposable/one-time use gloves (M & L)
- Packaged and durable food items, as well as vegetables for cooking
You can bring these items by during their opening hours:
- Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 13:30 to 18:00
- Sundays, from 14:30 to 18:00
A face mask can protect other people from infection by the Covid-19 virus. Some Berliners have started local initiatives looking for people who can sew face masks (and distribute them in their vicinity) for people in risk groups, including: health workers, cashiers at supermarkets, and parcel carriers. You can find information on suggestions for sewing face masks, as well as samples, all over the internet — click here for one such example (in German).
If you belong to a risk group and require a self-made mask(s) in your area, you can get information by emailing Nizana Nizzi Brautmann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also join the Facebook group Mundschutz nähen Berlin Ehrenamtlich, to stay updated on new requirements and needs in your area.
Homeless people are a particularly vulnerable group, who risk being disproportionately affected by the current Covid- 19 situation. 365 days a year, up to 31 homeless people — men, women, and families — stay overnight in emergency accommodation provided by Strassenfeger e.V. It is important to their work to be able to accommodate families separately, and their emergency overnight accommodation is open to everyone, without any special requirements.
Strassenfeger e. V. is looking for people who can take overnight shifts (23:30 – 08:30) in their emergency overnight stays.
The following conditions need to be met to apply as a volunteer:
- Must be able to speak at least B2-level German
- Must not belong to a risk group
- Maximum age must be 40
If you’re interested in volunteering, you can contact Ann Bruegmann at email@example.com.
For several years now, our friends and partners at YAAM Berlin have created Infopoint Yaam, which aims to function as a safe and sustainable contact point for those with a migration background, and a personal relation to the African continent. Especially at this time, the Infopoint is helping its clients and people from the wider YAAM community to get through this tough period.
Though all of us are affected by the Covid-19 crisis, some groups are particularly at-risk. Many of those with pending asylum applications routinely fall through the cracks of both the social and healthcare systems, meaning they are extremely unprotected from all fronts. Some may have lost their jobs due to the economic devastation caused by Covid-19, and may struggle with paying their rent, getting medical supplies, or even buying food. The Infopoint aims to offer immediate support to the students of the Infopoint language courses and YAAM community members in the form of immediate relief (rental payments, food and medical donations, emergency medical care), as well as more long-term assistance (language courses, information network and meeting point).
Right now, the Infopoint is searching for donations of:
- Tomato paste
- Maggi broth cubes and Maggi sauce
- Durable milk and canned food
- Materials and fabric to sew respiratory masks (fabric made of cotton, elastic band, shoelace, etc.)
- Rice (!)
You can get in contact with them by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can be dropped off any time by hanging them on the fence of the YAAM Berlin (an der Schillingsbrücke 3, near S Ostbahnhof, opposite the Ibis Hotel), where the Infopoint Team will gladly collect them.
Keep checking this post for any future volunteering opportunities — we’ll be updating it as they come by!