The History of KuB
It`s not only recently that refugees in Germany have had only limited possibilities to take action. Already at the beginning of the 1980s, the Senat of West-Berlin (the Government) decided that:
- … refugees were not allowed to live in appartments, but have to stay in refugee camps.
- … refugees were not allowed to move freely in the city.
- … refugees were not allowed to work.
- … that refugees got less financial support from the state.
The public offices and the courts practiced the legal discrimination of refugees. The Senat also created special institutions. For example: the Zentrale Sozialhilfestelle für Asylbewerber (support centre for social aid for asylum seekers) and the immigration police. The government implemented special policies for refugees (§ 120, 2 BSHG) and special rules for the implementation of those laws.
Anti-racism activists didn`t like this kind of discrimination. They wanted to support refugees in obtaining their rights. That`s why they founded the "Kontakt- und Beratungsstelle für Außereuropäische Flüchtlinge eingetragenen Verein (e.V.)" in 1983. "KuB".
Since 2006, it has been named "Kontakt- und Beratungsstelle für Flüchtlinge und MigrantInnen e.V."
Since 2013, KuB has been spelled with the so called "gender – gap": "Kontakt- und Beratungsstelle für Flüchtlinge und Migrant_innen e.V."
From the outset, KuB supported refugees and migrants from Berlin and other German regions free of charge:
- with questions about the right of asylum, right of residence or social assistance law. Please read: Consultation on the Right of Asylum and Residence.
- with psychological and social problems. Please read: Psychosocial Consultation (Support through Conversations for all Genders).
- with translating and writing official letters to public offices and courts.
- With support in dealing with authorities, doctors and lawyers. Please read: Consultation on the Right of Asylum and Residence.
Over the years we have been able to extend the range of our services. We have done different art projects: projects about photography, drawing and theatre. Please read: Art Projects for Young People.
We are supporting particularly traumatised children and teenagers. We also have specialized services for women refugees, for example consultancy for women in need of particular protection, and possibilities for women to educate themselves. Please read: Consultation for Women.
We also offer many German classes on different levels. Many refugees and migrants want to learn German in our classes. We offer child care for some classes, so that parents have time to learn German. Please read: Learn German.
We also offer the following projects:
- The audio libary for Persian speaking blind people: Please read: Persian Audio Books.
- the project " Understanding bureaucratic forms". Please read: Understanding Bureaucratic Forms.
Furthermore we offer short-term projects of a few months duration.
Most of the KuB staff work voluntarily. We work closely with other organisations that are working in the field of refugees and migration. We often organise meetings with our partner organisations, for example: Further education and public lectures.
We also exchange information with our partner organisations, for example: precarious single issues, court rulings, amendments to laws and reports on situations in other countries.
KuB is now larger than it has ever been, with more staff and more services offered.
Since 2014, the media has brought much more attention to the situation of refugees in Germany.
This has led to an increase in people are applying to work at KuB, either for an internship or for voluntary work. We can therefore offer more consultations and German classes.
Although KuB is growing, the number of services we offer can't keep pace with the demand for consultations and German classes for refugees.
For many years we lacked political and financial support. This changed in 2014. Sometimes we receive financial support from the state, for example for a particular project for a defined period such as one year.
With this money we are able to expand and improve the services we offer. At the same time we have to be careful not to lose our political independence.