Taufkirchen – Neighborhood help takes care of refugees – Munich district

A good 20 women are sitting at large tables in the seminar room of the Taufkirchen neighborhood help. In front of them are steaming mugs, plates of biscuits and cakes; a handful of kids are building a duplo tower in a corner. At first glance, the scenery looks like a happy coffee party, but if you take a closer look you can see the worries, sadness and hardships of the past few days and weeks on their faces. Because the women fled the war in Ukraine, left their country and mostly their husbands behind – and now have to find their way in an environment that is completely foreign to most of them.

This morning in the neighborhood help is intended to help them. Every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. there is an open meeting place for Ukrainian refugees with their children and their host families. “We want to create a meeting place,” says Lydia-Maria Schulz from the neighborhood help. “This is a low-threshold offer for refugees, but also for people who want to help.” There are quite a few of them in Taufkirchen. “Lots of people feel the need to do something within their means,” says Lydia-Maria Schulz, describing her experiences. It sounds similar with Monika Kluger, who coordinates the support for Ukrainian refugees in the Taufkirchner town hall. “We’ve had calls from people who want to donate something or take someone in,” says Kluger. “The willingness to help is really great.”

It is currently still unclear how many refugees actually arrived in Taufkirchen. “So far, 50 people from the Ukraine have contacted us,” reports Monika Kluger. They are now trying to help them settle in – in cooperation with the neighborhood help, the helpers’ group and other institutions. The Taufkirchner VHS is already offering the first language courses for Ukrainians. After the Easter holidays at the latest, their children should go to schools and kindergartens.

Compared to 2015, when numerous people came to Germany, mainly from Syria, the aid programs started much faster this time, says Lydia-Maria Schulz. Unlike back then, many refugees would now be accommodated with host families. And yet looking for an apartment is a pressing issue for many, says Schulz. The social worker herself took in a Ukrainian family who had previously been housed in a refugee camp in Munich. “The mother makes sure that they learn the language. The father is responsible for finding accommodation,” says Lydia-Maria Schulz. “For this family it is clear that they want to stay here permanently.”

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