The non-profit association MANNHEIMER MAPATHONS ("MAMAPA") has set for itself the following goals:
- Support the integration of those newly-arrived in Germany -- primarily immigrants and asylum-seekers -- into the everyday life of the country, while respecting the social and cultural differences with these have brought with them. Our activities oppose any form of exclusion and discrimination.
- Provide aid to humanitarian organizations in their operations worldwide both during crisis situations and in their resilience-building initiatives.
Building on our experience with mapping tools and methods, we act to achieve these two goals by:
- organizing Mapathon events
- offering our mapping support to other organizations.
Mapathon Organization:; Mapathons are a well-known tool in the repertoire of humanitarian cartography that have proven to be highly effective in supporting the crisis-related activities of humanitarian aid workers "in the field" (e.g., Médecins Sans Frontières, UNHCR, Red Cross).
The specific organization of Mapathon participation in our project brings together immigrants and "locals" - that is, they work in tandem at PC/laptop stations. During the session, they produce much-needed geospatial data for those "on the ground" often at the height of a crisis. At the same time, the personal contact that results from working together on mapping tasks for several hours serves to break down prejudices and stereotypes, strengthening the foundations for mutual trust and respect.
- In the process, all participants at our mapathons have the opportunity to extend their existing geographic knowledge and acquire basic skills in digital cartography (and information technology in general). Repeated participation serves to deepen initial knowledge. For those newly-arrived, direct contact with residents during a Mapathon provides immigrant participants as well with an opportunity to improve their language skills in a task-oriented environment.