With the new language services in Dari and Pashto, the joint venture of DW, France Médias Monde and ANSA primarily seeks to reach users in Afghanistan.
The country is one of the main countries of origin for asylum seekers both in Germany and throughout the EU. The additional language offerings were presented at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn on June 11.
The portal, which was launched in March 2017 in English, Arabic and French and now has more than half a million followers on Facebook, aims to provide refugees and migrants with current news relevant to them, informing them about the challenges of fleeing and about the conditions in the countries of arrival. In addition to practical explanations, InfoMigrants offers refugees a platform where they can talk about their own experiences.
Successful video formats include the social media format "Fact check," which addresses rumors about asylum and presents the facts behind them. In the video series #Messagebackhome, refugees in Germany have their say and send a message to friends and family back home.
Giving refugees a voice
For World Refugee Day on June 20, InfoMigrants is launching another video series portraying refugees and migrants in Germany. The central question of whether it was #Worthit? to leave their native country. They likewise consider whether the expectations for the new home have been fulfilled, with protagonists from Pakistan, Congo, Syria and Afghanistan sharing their mixed feelings and attitudes towards their adopted homeland.
Pope Francis expressed his appreciation for InfoMigrants in a personal letter to the organizers. This "important initiative," which is financed by the EU Commission, stands for human and Christian values, he wrote, values which are the foundation of European society.
Despite falling numbers of refugees, Deutsche Welle remains committed to providing information to refugees, especially with regard to the growth of populist, xenophobic movements in various European countries.
At the ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of DW, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also welcomed the project: The cooperation with the French foreign broadcaster is "a good contribution to Franco-German cooperation as a whole, which we are talking about a lot these days," said Merkel.