The Lampedusa initiative in Hanau has been committed to refugees for three years. Many fugitives are threatened with deportation.

The activists demonstrate against deportations. Photo: Monika Müller
The activists demonstrate against deportations. Photo: Monika Müller

I feel responsible, wants to help spread my knowledge and my experiences. Also because I have experienced it myself, “says Asefaw. With “it”, the young man from Eritrea means the crossing of Libya to Italy, while the many fledged, pressed on small, old boats, hope to survive. The rides during which thousands die. Asefaw, however, also means the fear of a deportation from Germany, back to misery or death. Because he wants to support those affected, Asefaw, who fled the sea in 2013 and finally reached the Main-Kinzig circle, joined “Lampedusa in Hanau”.

 

The initiative, which is supported by more than 50 asylum seekers and activists such as Marion Bayer, Hagenkopp and Herwig Putsche, pursues a number of goals and has achieved a lot since its founding three years ago: it has helped with the help of Kirchenasyl more When 30 people were not deported. The volunteers have set up a German course for fugitives who have no access to state courses. They have drawn attention to the situation of refugees with public relations work and demonstrations, for example at the Hanau Market Square. Last but not least, they have used the exchange between the refugees and the locals, also by organizing a summer festival.

 

Lampedusa in Hanau started in February 2014 with fugitives mainly from Eritrea and Somalia, which were accommodated in Hanau and surroundings. And indeed from a distress: “Many of the asylum seekers threatened at the time acute deportation because of the so-called Dublin regulation,” recalls Hagenkopp. In Italy, they had entered European soil on Lampedusa, where they had been forced to give fingerprints. Now they were to be deported to Italy, because Germany was not responsible for them under the regulation. In Italy, however, many refugees are on their own, living on the streets because the authorities hardly support them or do not support them at all.

 

But Lampedusa in Hanau was able to win over 14 church communities from the Main-Kinzig district as partners. Under their protection, the asylum seekers could spend the six months until Germany was responsible for their asylum application. “It was a great success. All could stay, “says Kopp. Through the church asylum, further supporting structures had emerged, such as the Ecumenical Refugee Aid Steinheim, later the work group asylum was added. Kopp also recognized the public appearances of Lampedusa in Hanau, for example, on May 1, when a fugitive gave a speech at the great rally at the goldsmith’s house and called for solidarity.

 

The members of the initiative, such as interpreters, provide valuable support, such as interpreters, at the refugee café in the Autonomous Cultural Center Metzgerstraße, where counseling is offered in the area of the “Bleiberacht”. Demand is enormous: “We are at the end of our capacity,” says Kopp. At present, 80 to 90 people are seeking advice. The Dublin regulation is being used again and again, which is why many Africans are threatened with deportation, but many Afghans are also affected. According to Kopp, “We need solidarity in the city right now.” He hopes that Lampedusa will grow in Hanau and its partners, and that more supporters will join them to meet the challenges. The goals include new places in the church asylum and better chances of finding employment and finding employment.

 

Asefaw wants to get involved. At Lampedusa in Hanau he appreciates “cohesion among people from different countries”. He also takes care of Kopp’s “Watch The Med Alarm Phone,” a hotline for refugees in distress who are alerted by the responsible coast guard. “I have seen in my home and on the run how many people are suffering how many are in need. I can not stand idly. “

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