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 princples and 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 cartographic support to other organizations.
Mapathons are a proven 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.
- During our Mapathons, we want to make it clear that participation is a meaningful contribution to humanitarian efforts around the world. When possible, the target areas for mapping are selected so that the nature of such a contribution can be understood as directly as possible. This can be achieved, for example, by mapping an area of the world where refugee issues are most acute, or when possible, by selecting areas that are in or near participants' home countries.
MANNHEIMER MAPATHONS e.V. has established a place for itself in the Rhine-Neckar region. The project manager has worked closely with the Goethe Institute, Internationale Bund, the Ludwigshafen City Library, the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences (Faculty of Social Work), the Heidelberg Volkshochschule, and the Mannheim Abendakademie. The latter four have generously made their IT infrastructure available for the project. The presence of members of the DisasterMappers group (Institute of Geography, University of Heidelberg) contributes significantly to the didactic quality of the Mapathons. Within the local public administration, the heads of the Integration authorities of Mannheim and Ludwigshafen have contributed greatly to the success of the project. Recently, we have developed a promising working relationship with the Mannheim Historical Archives ("MArchivum").
|Our association works exclusively on a voluntary basis. We do not pay salaries.
You are welcome to support us by becoming an association member or by helping us with a donation.
Mannheimer Mapathons is a member: