‘Refugees Welcome’: Germany Has An Airbnb Initiative For Asylum Seekers


In another great example of Germany’s inspiring attitude towards the refugee crisis across Europe, two young lads have launched a special Airbnb initiative dedicated to housing asylum seekers.

Flüchtlinge Wilkommen (‘Refugees Welcome’) was set up by Mareike Geiling and Jonas Kakoschke earlier this year, and connects refugees in need with home owners who have a room to spare.

Kakoshke got the idea when his flatmate Mareike went to Cairo for a few months. Since he had no idea what to do with the empty room in his apartment, Jonas decided to invite a person in need into his home.

The idea soon grew and, since the official website was launched, hundreds of German citizens have offered rooms to refugees, and the initiative has already expanded to Austria.

Explaining the thinking behind Refugees Welcome on the website, Kakoshke wrote:

We are convinced that refugees should not be stigmatised and excluded by being housed in mass accommodations. Instead, we should offer them a warm welcome. We believe we can establish a more humane culture of welcoming refugees!

As well as providing much needed housing for refugees, the idea is even more inspired when you consider the social aspect. A living situation of this kind could help a refugee with language skills and increase their future options for accommodation and employment.

The rent, meanwhile, is covered through crowdfunding, donations or federal financial support.

It’s a fantastic idea and, once again, so many across the UK and Europe could learn a lot from Germany’s example here.