Who we are

Be an Angel e.V. is a global non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. Our vision is a world where those forced to flee their homes are welcomed and treated with dignity.

Established during the 2015 refugee crisis in Berlin. Founders Andreas Tölke and Ulrike Lessig couldn’t bear to see Syrian and Afghan refugees camping out in the cold in front of the State Office for Health and Social Services. They decided to take action. Today, the organization has expanded to four headquarters in Germany, United States, Moldova and Ukraine. We specialize in six areas: humanitarian relief, shelter, rescue operations, medical exchange programs, advocacy and support for asylum seekers and integration & training.

We stand up for people forced to flee and stand with asylum seekers, no matter their background. We promote and defend displaced people’s rights and dignity in local communities, the NGO and non-profit community, governments and in the international arena.

We work with partners across through world through our network to find sustainable solutions. Today, around 80 humanitarians work within Be an Angel and our collaborations expand to over 70+ partners.

Today, a record 108 million people are fleeing war and persecution. Not since World War 2 have more people needed our help.

Our Track Record

An overview of our milestones since our establishment in 2015.

Established During the Refugee Crisis

It started out small: with the accommodation of refugees as guests in the apartments of the Be an Angel team. During the next two years, over 1600 asylum seekers had lived within our homes, both long term and short term. In Berlin, our team was the main tenants of 20 different apartments. Nationwide, over 350 apartments or rooms were organized for migrants.


Legal Assistance for Asylum Seekers

One of the greatest challenges for asylum seekers is navigating through the bureaucratic jungle of the registration process in Germany. To assist asylum seekers with this, we launched a network of volunteers to accompany migrants and asylum seekers through this process. During this year, over 4,500 people were supported, from registration and the asylum procedure up until job placement. In addition, we have supported over 800 people in urgent applications to the social court so that they receive the benefits to which they are entitled to.


Aid Convoy to Belgrade

We could not bear the images from Belgrade in the summer of 2017 and distributed warm food, clothing and blankets to 1,200 people every day through the winter. Many were left completely alone in dilapidated warehouses. We financed a room in which the refugees, 40% of whom are minors, can take language lessons. The small school still exists today. To this day, the situation in Belgrade .... is unbearable.


Support in Refugee Camp Moria

Moria, the camp on the Greek island of Lesbos intended for three thousand people, was home to 23,000 refugees in 2018. People were crammed into tents amidst garbage and filth, with hardly any food or medical care. A symbol of the failure of the European Union. Human rights have been suspended, the humanist principle that all people are equal has been kicked to the curb in the camps, the legal right to asylum is treated like a random act of mercy. We have done and are doing what we can: We identified people on the ground with the right to family reunification, had seven apartments in Athens where people could and can live until Germany finally allows them to travel to their parents or spouses.


Opening of our restaurant Kreuzberger Himmel

Many asylum seekers had difficulty finding job placements and apprenticeships, complicating their livelihoods to such an extent that in many ways, integration and self-sufficiency was simply not possible. In response to this legal nightmare, Be an Angel opened its doors to it’s first restaurant: built for, managed and operated by refugees. It quickly developed into a lighthouse project for the Berlin community. Here, the German public could be exposed to the excellency of Syrian cuisine while Syrian, Afghan, Senegalese and many more nationalities could go through training, apprenticeship and integration. Since 2022, we are a partner with the Job Center Berlin.


Beginning of Rescue Operations in Ukraine

On the February 24th 2022, the world was shook by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. By March 3rd, we were in Ukraine beginning with rescue operations to evacuate civilians from several frontline cities of Ukraine. Since then, we have provided more than 5,000 tons of humanitarian relief and have evacuated over 23,000 civilians. Our operations have expanded to providing medical training exchange programs for hospitals, a mental health program for traumatized children, a refugee camp in Koblevo and dozens of highly complex medical evacuations for children with rare diseases and the wounded.


Response to the Turkey-Syria Earthquake

On Feb. 6, 2023, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake occurred in southern Turkey near the northern border of Syria. This quake was followed approximately nine hours later by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake located around 59 miles (95 kilometers) to the southwest. While humanitarian aid flooded into Turkey, Syria remained virtually without aid. The Syrian Civil War and War against ISIS has left Syria in an extremely complex political environment and humanitarian emergency. Through our connections with asylum seekers, we were able to establish communications to support an orphanage in the city of Aleppo


The Work Continues

To this day, our humanitarian operations around the world continue. In 2024, we have increased our operations in Berlin to support asylum seekers locally. in Ukraine, we have since partnered with the Ombudsman Office of Human Rights in Ukraine, the Ministry of Education, UNHCR and dozens of other government entities and local institutions to continue our large scale humanitarian assistance.


A Short Message

We would be delighted if you would also like to make a contribution: As a person who would like to get involved, as an initiative with good ideas that serve as best practice for others, as a company that wants to provide assistance, or as a media representative who makes sure that good things are also communicated well out there.

Let’s talk, then do! Sincerely,

Andreas & Ulrike