Dear all,

Yeah, yeah, yeah: Here is our first post in its new format, and on our new homepage. We are still working on the website, so please bear with us and let us know in case you encounter any minor glitches. The same obviously applies to larger glitches. As always, this post contains a wide variety of interesting background articles and practical tips: we start with the question of why patents for medicines tend to kill more than they protect. At the same time, we look at the impact of the virus in the southern parts of the globe, and the dangers of right-wing terror in times of pandemics. On a practical note, we have some tips for you on how to put up posters and on a contact point for women affected by domestic violence, some stress-reducing exercises (also for kids) that may also help enhance people’s ability to concentrate, and in case you want to see new – or perhaps any – faces. At the end, you will find a plea as to why we should also show more solidarity in our interactions with one another after Corona.

Enjoy the read and stay healthy!

Patents kill

When Trump announced plans to buy up research results relating to a vaccine for the USA only, this created a huge stir – and rightly so. Since then, that deal is off the table. The underlying problem is still very current though: how to develop urgently necessary medicines or vaccines for everybody, without calling into question the existing principle of patenting knowledge? At the moment, for example, the US company Gilead holds the patent for one of the less promising candidates for an effective anti-Corona drug. Gilead is one of the companies that is known for, among others, its approach to a drug used against AIDS. Receiving good healthcare is, however, a human right. It is not acceptable that the ability to receive life-saving medicine is also a question of money – regardless of whether we are talking about anti-HIV products or a potential vaccine against Covid-19. Medical drugs needed to save lives have to become a public commodity, so that they can benefit all of those affected by diseases. Patents kill!

How to put up posters?

We would like to take this opportunity to once more provide you with some guidance on how to best put up posters. Please note in general: it doesn’t hurt to ask. So far, we have had good experiences with shops allowing us to hang our posters. Another advantage of putting up posters inside is that they stay up longer, as they are less likely to be taken down quickly, or destroyed by rain. We have heard of individual cases where people have run into problems with the police, because they put up posters outside. If this happens to you, then please contact us. We will not leave you to deal with this alone!

Corona in southern parts of the globe

The aid organization Medico International has published a file that deals with Covid-19-related problems in southern parts of the globe. The articles in this file are really very informative, and show, among other things, the lessons that should have been learnt after dealing with the Ebola outbreak:

How is Corona linked to right-wing terror?

Ever so often, discussions come up on whether and to which extent helping people is political. These discussions often show that there is usually not such a huge difference in how people define helping, but rather in how they define the term „political”. From the start, our assistance was based on one main premise: everybody should receive support – regardless of their social background, their religion, skin colour, gender or sexual orientation. This was also a conscious effort to  disassociate what we are doing from (neo) right-wing and conspiracy-related ideologies, which stoke fear and believe that certain categories of people are responsible for the existence of the pandemic, who are then less worthy of protection because they have the ‘wrong’ passport, the ‘wrong’ skin colour or are part of the ‘wrong’ religion. Unfortunately, these groups are on the rise. Even the federal Government has recently warned against an increase in right-wing violence in connection with the Corona crisis (). The fact that so many of us here believe in the idea of a liberal and open society also means that we cannot ignore right-wing terror. Let us also stick together in future, to preserve the health and safety of everyone.

In Frankfurt, women’s emergency hotline and child protection agency are reachable also during Corona

In many Chinese cities, domestic violence against women has increased greatly during quarantine, and also in German cities, complaints regarding domestic violence cases have increased by 10% since the begin of curfews and social distancing requirements. Moreover, violence against children is discovered only in rare cases, as the educators caring for them or teaching them often are not sufficiently attentive or trained. Should you become aware of alarming cases, please notify the competent child protection agency at . Additionally, the contact point with an emergency hotline in Frankfurt (Beratungsstelle Frauennotruf Frankfurt) is reachable for women in need despite Corona, at this number:

Mental health – what to do against boredom, loneliness and isolation?

Done bingeing all series on Netflix? Fed up with always following the same three youtubers?

In this section, we would like to provide you with some recommendations and ideas as to what else you can do to pass the time. Today, we will start with a digital visit to the museum. The German TV channel ZDF has compiled some interesting tours that you can access under .


Count down from 30, while walking forward through your room.

Stress responses are useful, as they function in the same way as an alarm signal, that prompts us to act quickly. They are not a sign of weakness. Sometimes, however, they also prove to be obstacles, as they make it harder to think and communicate. You can also do this exercise also with room-mates, as a family, or on the phone.

Stress-induced emergency situations involving children

Sometimes children are not able to translate anger and fear into words. But they often demonstrate these feelings with certain behaviour that can push any mother or father to her/his limits. In such cases, it is important to also have a good handle on our own level of stress. Doing one of the following exercises yourself can help, and may keep you from becoming annoyed yourself:

Who can keep their legs straight the longest?

Sit down with your child in the hall, with both of you facing each other, and with your backs against the opposite walls. Press the soles of your feet against each other.

Who can push away the feet of the other with the most force?

Show me how strong you are!

Invite your child to press his/her hands against yours. Let him/her see how strong he/she is! This can sustain them and increase their self-confidence.


How about getting together for a dinner, virtually of course? And if this group of people is, e.g., part of this organization’s city district groups, then you can finally put a face to a name. Whoever does not need to work at a particular moment during the day can also get together for some cooking sessions, where everyone cooks their own dish at the same time, and each person takes turns cooking something first, which the others can then copy. And for parents: why not initiate a digital group where everyone takes turns reading to others aloud… in this way, your kids may get to know new books that they have not heard of yet, as well as new faces. This will also lighten the load for those of you who need to read to your children every day.

Fears and concerns are dominating topics?

It is good and important to speak about one‘s fears, vent one’s anger or enumerate key concerns.  And it may help to find some sort of counterbalance against these feelings. Below, you will find some incentives that go in this direction and that you could ideally discuss with another person.

  • What recently made you laugh?
  • What are the strengths of your group of friends/ your family / your neighbourhood, which help you stick together in difficult times?
  • What gives you courage?
  • What are your own strengths and sources of strength that help you get through the current situation? These may be activities, places, people, animals, or things that you believe in – anything that gives you strength!
  • Which examples can you name, from life, movies or stories, where people have managed to overcome similarly unsettling times such as these?
  • Tell each other about your respective strengths (the ones you know of).

We stand together

The current crisis not only requires that we stick together, but that we get organized. The existing neighbourhood support and networking mechanisms involving people of all ages show that it is possible to have a society that shows solidarity. Many different people help contribute to a solidary and hopefully healthy and responsible means of interacting with one another in their own way: some sew facial masks out of cloth, others produce visors to protect against droplets of spit for persons working in public service sectors, while others go shopping, translate or offer emotional support. We should continue to maintain the structures that have been established in the same spirit. In order to show solidarity for one another, regardless of Corona! Here is a quote from a text written by Sabine Hark in the daily newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau, which focuses on similar issues: “We now need to accept the challenge of redefining  solidarity and this attempt should not be constrained by national, ethnic or class-based, by religious, gender or sexual boundaries. Whatever we do today will determine how we will live tomorrow: as nomad s in home office or on digital platforms with reduced social contacts, who have accepted states of emergency as the new reality, or as a community of co-dependent beings, who are connected to each other in happiness and in sorrow and depend on a supportive environment. You can find the article at: (in German).