It’s time for my first English blogpost, and I have to admit I’m nervous.I’m very happy about feedback!
Before I start I want to call your attention to an articel I found at Eutopia, a very nice blog about visions and critics of EU poltitics. The blog entry is titled “Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others” and deals with immigration in Europe. I enjoyed reading it a lot. It is a very good introduction to the topic.
If you read the article, maybe you can understand the desperation of a woman whose relatives escaped from Syria to Turkey a few weeks ago. When I sent an email in order to let everyone know that my blog is online now, a colleague of my mother responded and shared the story of her family who are now refugees in Turkey. The family decided to leave Syria because the situation there is getting worse day by day. After three weeks in Turkey they luckily got their own little flat in Killis, a city close to the syrien border, where about 10,000 other Syrian refugees live now. Ftaim, the mother, and her six children, between four- to fifteen-years-old, are very happy to finally live on their own again. The father, Hamza, is already in Germany and works in Köln as hard as possible to earn money for his family. But winter is definetely coming and life is quite expensive in Turkey. They have one little oven in their flat and pay daily four Euros just for coal. But what they mostly need are winter clothes for the children. They are sizes 98, 122, 146 and 164. On the 26th, my mother’s colleague is going to Turkey and, she hopes to bring as much cold weather gear with her as possible.
Does somebody of you have winter clothes in those sizes?
If you live in Berlin, I would pick them up, and if you don’t live here, I can give you the woman’s address. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below. Karin Pütt is also very happy about donations for the family.
two of the children still in syria, taken by Karin Pütt
Last week Thursday I visited a refugee camp. The camp, located in Berlin Lichtenberg, got renovated last Feburary. Among the refugee population who has stayed in this camp, there is a preference to retun to it onces they have moved on to another camp due to having passed the three-month transition period. However, I heard that other refugee camps in Berlin are mouldy, rundown and have major shortcomings. Meanwhile, the one in Lichtenberg is not rundown, though it wasn’t nice either. There were no coloured walls, decorations or pictures – nothing but white corridors. I went there on the suggestion of Multitude Berlin, an organization that offers free German lessons to refugees. They needed volunteers to watch the children of those wishing to attend the lessons.
The childcare experience was a disaster. I wasn’t prepared at all for what was to come, and since this was the first time childcare was offered in this camp, there was nobody to help me. On top of that, I had no material except a box full of unsharpened pencils. Nevertheless, it started nicely between me, another girl, who was also new to Multitude, and Akhmed. Akhmed is seven years old and the nicest, most creative and talkative boy one can imagine. We were drawing pictures together when the message, that something is happing in the refugee camp, spread amongst the children. A few minutes later there were about twenty people in the small community kitchen we used for childcare.
It seemed as if the kids had spent the whole day between these white walls. No chance to convince them that sitting silently on a chair and drawing pictures is the coolest thing ever. And, of course, once Akhmed saw the others playing tag, he forgot about the pencils, too. It was impossible to keep their little voices down. They started to jump around and soon after each of us held a toodler in our arm and tried to avoid the worst, like injured children and broken windows. After two hours I felt exhausted, like I haven’t been in a long time…
Sadly, Multitude has a christmas break now, but afterwards I want to give it another try. I think I just need to prepare myself better. Unfortunately, we can’t go outside for two reasons: the first one being that not all the children have winter clothes. Secondly, I don’t feel comfortable watching all these children if they are close to things like streets and cars.
What would you do with a bunch of children who have nothing to do and just need some physical activity?