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©Ales Piletski (Fotograf und Teilnehmer im Projekt "Horizont International")

Voices of people in need

20.06.2023 is World Refugee Day. To mark this day, we would like to share with you personal stories and initiatives from the people we work with. We would like to give a voice to those who have had to leave their homes due to various crises, who have been forced to flee, sometimes for years, or who are still on the move. With the insights into the lives of these people, we want to draw attention to their very individual experiences, needs and dreams and raise awareness of their situation.

Here are five people who want to share their story.

Ali (pseudonym) from Syria: Helping others to feel at home

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"Ali (pseudonym) came to Germany 2 ½ years ago. He left Syria because of the war and was looking for a safe life in Germany. Berlin was recommended to him by his cousin, and he was persuaded and attracted especially to Berlin´s cultural activities and job opportunities. Although Ali likes Berlin very much, he had difficulties settling down here at first. It was not easy to find a German course, and it took more than six months before he was able to start learning German. Besides the various language courses, the group programme offered by IsraAID Germany e.V. was "the first special experience" that Ali had in Berlin. He particularly liked the concept of leadership and participation groups, in which refugees provide support to others in various areas through their own social aid activities. This programme offer not only helped him meet new people, but he also felt good about giving support to other people in the team. In addition, Ali had the opportunity to become familiar with concepts such as 'psychosocial support' and 'self-care'. After the group project, Ali was keen to continue his own small project, and so he now runs a language café for people who are new to Germany. He is also attending the C1 German course himself. As far as his future, Ali would like to find a job once again in the IT sector. He would also like to obtain German citizenship."

"Suleyman from Afghanistan:The path we all have to walk."

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"The path we all have to walk. Some are still at the beginning, others are already in the middle and still others have almost walked to the end. I mean the path of life. From the beginning to the end of the road, we experience so much, we learn, we lose, we win something, we make friends and much more. At the beginning we feel strong, we are fit, and we think we can overcome everything and do anything, but at the end we don't have the strength as we did before. We feel alone, we want attention, we need love." Suleyman came to Frankfurt, Germany from Afghanistan. More than a year ago, he got to know the project "Brückenbau" (Bridge Building) offered by IsraAID Germany and the ZWST and has been involved in the project's participation groups ever since. Here, refugees come into contact with a wide range of social groups, make contacts and help each other. "With its goal of sharing love, we "bridge-building members" organized an event with senior citizens from a retirement home to paint together and spend time together. We wanted to give them a little enjoyment and put smiles on their faces. We managed to do that! We spent a long time talking and painting; hearts, bees, flowers, butterflies and some just painted the paper in different colours. This is not about artistic talent! Although we are not painters, we still painted very beautifully, because we painted with love and joy. What I especially liked were the conversations while we were painting. The seniors recalled memories of their lives and talked about their good and bad times. It was beautiful when they talked about acceptance and love." Suleyman tells the story of one of the residents. "She told me that today she can paint for pleasure, but in the past she used to paint bags so she could earn a little bit of money. It was a difficult time for her during and after the Second World War. Some of her family lived in Frankfurt and some lived in Berlin. “The situation was bad, but we survived because we accepted the situation and believed that only love and acceptance could save us from something worse.” she said. She told the story so beautifully that I wanted to sit and listen for hours. The visit made me realise that it is our mutual acceptance and solidarity that makes us human and that we can make our world beautiful together."

"Anna from Ukraine:Finding a new meaning in life."

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Anna (pseudonym) came to Germany from Ukraine at the end of March 2022 due to the outbreak of war. "The decision to leave my homeland was particularly difficult for me because my family and friends remained in the country," Anna recalls. However, the extreme psychological stress of the repeated rocket attacks intensified to the point that she finally made the decision to leave the country. Nevertheless, she was plagued by feelings of guilt and fear for her family. In Germany, the initial bureaucratic issues kept her distracted for a few months, but by July, both her sense of uselessness and low social status became unbearable. "I was successful professionally in my home country, but here I felt completely worthless," Anna reports. So, despite her fear of death, she decided to return to the war zone. But then she came across the offer of the Leadership and Participation groups of IsraAID Germany e. V. and postponed her departure in order to take part in the programme. "The group's reactions to my story were warm, understanding and compassionate. They offered me concrete help and personal support." The group's meetings and the aid projects they accomplished together helped Anna overcome her loneliness. During the leadership programme, she got to know different voluntary movements and social projects and got involved in some of them on a long-term basis. "I have developed my own volunteer project that matches my professional qualifications. It has brought me new contacts and fills me with joy and pride," Anna says, beaming. She can feel solid ground under her feet again and has the feeling of being useful. "My life now has a meaning again," Anna emphasises in conclusion.

"Yulia from Ukraine:A podcast for the community."

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In his article "Ukrainian Women in Frankfurt", Vladyslav Bytov, a participant in the Ukraine-Germany project, writes about the special volunteer work of Ukrainian women in Germany. One example is the podcast produced by Yulia, a radio journalist. Yulia is originally from Zaporizhzhya, where she was a radio journalist before she fled to Germany because of the war. While preparing to volunteer with the Leadership & Participation group of IsraAID Germany e.V., Yulia decided that she wanted to produce a podcast. The idea came to her when she began meeting many interesting people in Frankfurt whose life stories she wanted to share with other refugees. Thanks to the support of the association IsraAID Germany, Yulia's dream came true. As part of her volunteer work in the "Ukraine-Germany" project of IsraAID Germany e.V., she meanwhile produces a very popular weekly podcast "About Us" in Ukrainian. There you can find useful tips, but also inspiring stories that are important for us in these difficult times. One part of the weekly podcast is devoted to Ukrainian children's fairy tales, which Yulia records together with other Ukrainians in Frankfurt. This helps the children, but also their parents, to feel at home at least for a moment. As Yulia herself says, "Life in Germany was absolutely zero - you don't know the language, you don't know anyone, you don't know what to do next, but nevertheless, you have to go on living. It's so nice that there are people and organisations that offer a lot of support." Among many other activities, the Ukraine-Germany project supports Ukrainian refugees in helping other people through their own volunteer work. There are already many small projects that have come into being within this framework.

"Yulia from Ukraine:A podcast for the community."

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In his article "Ukrainian Women in Frankfurt", Vladyslav Bytov, a participant in the Ukraine-Germany project, writes about the special volunteer work of Ukrainian women in Germany. One example is the podcast produced by Yulia, a radio journalist. Yulia is originally from Zaporizhzhya, where she was a radio journalist before she fled to Germany because of the war. While preparing to volunteer with the Leadership & Participation group of IsraAID Germany e.V., Yulia decided that she wanted to produce a podcast. The idea came to her when she began meeting many interesting people in Frankfurt whose life stories she wanted to share with other refugees. Thanks to the support of the association IsraAID Germany, Yulia's dream came true. As part of her volunteer work in the "Ukraine-Germany" project of IsraAID Germany e.V., she meanwhile produces a very popular weekly podcast "About Us" in Ukrainian. There you can find useful tips, but also inspiring stories that are important for us in these difficult times. One part of the weekly podcast is devoted to Ukrainian children's fairy tales, which Yulia records together with other Ukrainians in Frankfurt. This helps the children, but also their parents, to feel at home at least for a moment. As Yulia herself says, "Life in Germany was absolutely zero - you don't know the language, you don't know anyone, you don't know what to do next, but nevertheless, you have to go on living. It's so nice that there are people and organisations that offer a lot of support." Among many other activities, the Ukraine-Germany project supports Ukrainian refugees in helping other people through their own volunteer work. There are already many small projects that have come into being within this framework.

"Yulia from Ukraine:A podcast for the community."

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In his article "Ukrainian Women in Frankfurt", Vladyslav Bytov, a participant in the Ukraine-Germany project, writes about the special volunteer work of Ukrainian women in Germany. One example is the podcast produced by Yulia, a radio journalist. Yulia is originally from Zaporizhzhya, where she was a radio journalist before she fled to Germany because of the war. While preparing to volunteer with the Leadership & Participation group of IsraAID Germany e.V., Yulia decided that she wanted to produce a podcast. The idea came to her when she began meeting many interesting people in Frankfurt whose life stories she wanted to share with other refugees. Thanks to the support of the association IsraAID Germany, Yulia's dream came true. As part of her volunteer work in the "Ukraine-Germany" project of IsraAID Germany e.V., she meanwhile produces a very popular weekly podcast "About Us" in Ukrainian. There you can find useful tips, but also inspiring stories that are important for us in these difficult times. One part of the weekly podcast is devoted to Ukrainian children's fairy tales, which Yulia records together with other Ukrainians in Frankfurt. This helps the children, but also their parents, to feel at home at least for a moment. As Yulia herself says, "Life in Germany was absolutely zero - you don't know the language, you don't know anyone, you don't know what to do next, but nevertheless, you have to go on living. It's so nice that there are people and organisations that offer a lot of support." Among many other activities, the Ukraine-Germany project supports Ukrainian refugees in helping other people through their own volunteer work. There are already many small projects that have come into being within this framework.

"Yulia from Ukraine:A podcast for the community."

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In his article "Ukrainian Women in Frankfurt", Vladyslav Bytov, a participant in the Ukraine-Germany project, writes about the special volunteer work of Ukrainian women in Germany. One example is the podcast produced by Yulia, a radio journalist. Yulia is originally from Zaporizhzhya, where she was a radio journalist before she fled to Germany because of the war. While preparing to volunteer with the Leadership & Participation group of IsraAID Germany e.V., Yulia decided that she wanted to produce a podcast. The idea came to her when she began meeting many interesting people in Frankfurt whose life stories she wanted to share with other refugees. Thanks to the support of the association IsraAID Germany, Yulia's dream came true. As part of her volunteer work in the "Ukraine-Germany" project of IsraAID Germany e.V., she meanwhile produces a very popular weekly podcast "About Us" in Ukrainian. There you can find useful tips, but also inspiring stories that are important for us in these difficult times. One part of the weekly podcast is devoted to Ukrainian children's fairy tales, which Yulia records together with other Ukrainians in Frankfurt. This helps the children, but also their parents, to feel at home at least for a moment. As Yulia herself says, "Life in Germany was absolutely zero - you don't know the language, you don't know anyone, you don't know what to do next, but nevertheless, you have to go on living. It's so nice that there are people and organisations that offer a lot of support." Among many other activities, the Ukraine-Germany project supports Ukrainian refugees in helping other people through their own volunteer work. There are already many small projects that have come into being within this framework.

"Yulia from Ukraine:A podcast for the community."

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In his article "Ukrainian Women in Frankfurt", Vladyslav Bytov, a participant in the Ukraine-Germany project, writes about the special volunteer work of Ukrainian women in Germany. One example is the podcast produced by Yulia, a radio journalist. Yulia is originally from Zaporizhzhya, where she was a radio journalist before she fled to Germany because of the war. While preparing to volunteer with the Leadership & Participation group of IsraAID Germany e.V., Yulia decided that she wanted to produce a podcast. The idea came to her when she began meeting many interesting people in Frankfurt whose life stories she wanted to share with other refugees. Thanks to the support of the association IsraAID Germany, Yulia's dream came true. As part of her volunteer work in the "Ukraine-Germany" project of IsraAID Germany e.V., she meanwhile produces a very popular weekly podcast "About Us" in Ukrainian. There you can find useful tips, but also inspiring stories that are important for us in these difficult times. One part of the weekly podcast is devoted to Ukrainian children's fairy tales, which Yulia records together with other Ukrainians in Frankfurt. This helps the children, but also their parents, to feel at home at least for a moment. As Yulia herself says, "Life in Germany was absolutely zero - you don't know the language, you don't know anyone, you don't know what to do next, but nevertheless, you have to go on living. It's so nice that there are people and organisations that offer a lot of support." Among many other activities, the Ukraine-Germany project supports Ukrainian refugees in helping other people through their own volunteer work. There are already many small projects that have come into being within this framework.

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