From "Just do it!" to an effective aid for communication problems with refugees
In 2015, Alexander Mechow , a berlin based photographer, began making aid deliveries to incoming Syrian refugees. He noticed the numerous language barriers and thought about how to solve this problem quickly and easily. After a year, CUBY HELPS REFUGEES was created, a handy booklet with simple, self-developed pictograms that were also translated into German, English and Syrian. In 2016, Mr. Mechow and his team of friends received the special prize of the Berlin Capital Initiative for Integration & Tolerance.
In the following years, Mr Mechow has financed numerous booklets through donations through his non-profit platform, EINFACH MENSCH SEIN (SIMPLY BE HUMAN), and distributed them free of charge to aid organisations in Germany and Europe. Instead of dedicating himself to his work as a photographer, he has also focused on further improving the CUBY HELPS booklet.
With success, because in 2019 he received the ribbon for courage and understanding from the city of Berlin for the optimised version called REFUGEE WELCOME BOOK. Mr Mechow always had the vision that every arriving refugee or simply people with speech and language problems should have free access to this easy communication solution. A great undertaking that needs resources and participation. Since Mr. Mechow took care of this project almost alone, he simply lacked the resources & manpower to continue.
In 2022, however, this situation changed. Due to numerous requests caused by the war in Ukraine, Mr Mechow not only reactivated his translation solution but also changed the approach to offer more than just a drop in the ocean.
The REFUGEE TRANSLATOR is a translation- & communication tool for organisations or institutions. Depending on the case, organisations can let us handle the entire printing process including customisation, or they can agree on regulated usage rights and choose their own printer. PICTOGRAM BOOKLET receives a small part of this to cover past, present and future work. Although the team has changed, Mr Mechow is still involved with heart and soul at all stages. From icon creation to maybe even talking to you in person.