Our work began as a loose, self-organized group of people who in 2015 decided to respond to the humanitarian crisis by providing direct humanitarian assistance. After this our group grew rapidly, and we continued our actions in the north of France and Serbia. We have provided humanitarian aid by supporting a soup kitchen, building heatable shelters, setting up a cultural center, providing drinking water and mobile showers, as well as organizing donation transports throughout Europe etc.
We founded the association Rigardu e.V. in the summer of 2016, it is recognized as a non-profit organization. Since, due to the current European asylum policy, the situation of refugees is not improving, we still see the need for action and continue our work.
Rigardu planned and realized relief actions in places of humanitarian distress until 2018. In the same time, we wanted to share our experiences by means of lectures and workshops. Meanwhile we expanded our political education offers and work with children in school. Another big part of Rigardu’s work is the documentation of violations of human rights an the EU borders as part of the Border Violence Monitoring Network.
The necessity of our humanitarian and educational work arises from the failure of the responsible political actors to protect human rights, particularly the rights of fleeing persons. With our work we aim to bring this issue to the attention of politicians and civil society. That is why we see ourselves as a political actor and want to perceived as such.
Within Rigardu, members can have differing views on some topics. Therefore, human rights form the common conviction of our work. Furthermore, we avoid any actions, publications, expressions of solidarity, or the use of connoted language and methods, which would position ourselves further in the political spectrum. We do not want our educational work to restrict the process of shaping personal opinions. Instead, we want to portray contradicting opinions in order to promote controversy in public discourse. For this we use our blog, as well as workshops and other educational offers.
We are a team of 21 active members, who are involved in the planning of projects and in the administrative work of Rigardu. Additionally, about 50 sponsoring members support us with their regular contributions.