From Odessa to Monaco: that’s how he goes to school and to the sports club

Monk – Whether he looked back or forward, during the seven days of the escape there was nothing but chaos, everywhere. Behind her the Russian tanks that have invaded their country. Grandmother and grandfather who want to remain rebellious because they are Ukrainian paramedics and are needed. The friends of the school in Odessa, during the night they dispersed to the four winds.

And in front of you? Lina (16) has only seen abroad, Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Austria, then Monaco, a girl lost in an unknown place.

Today, on day 35 of Putin’s brutal war of aggression against theirs home town, the sun is already shining a little brighter on Lina. For the first week she found a private refuge with her mother Tanya and her stepfather Eugen. First they could rest, call home, sort their thoughts.

The first to shake hands are the handball girls

Of 19 classmates in his sixth grade, ten left the country in the early days of the war, he learns from his Ukrainian class teacher. Friends are torn, stranded in Moldova, Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland. At first, the teacher still gives lessons online, “she’s sitting in the bomb shelter,” Lina says, as she tries to understand the chemistry. It’s good that she has her tablet with her and Wi-Fi in the guest apartment.

Later, her mother gets a job as a cook at a Munich innkeeper, and what luck, a solid roof over her head. And for Lina too, the helping hands suddenly make it very easy to get there.

The first are the handball girls of the B youth teams of TSV Munich-Ost. When they learned from coach Bärbel Wossagk that a Ukrainian teenager, the same age as her and a handball player, was stuck in Munich, they spread their arms. You can also get some indoor shoes, let them know. And they are already looking forward to it.

They take Lina to the gym at Ostbahnhof for training, add her to their Whatsapp group so she can keep track of who she meets where and when for training. Meanwhile, the girl also has a bicycle with which she can turn independently around the new city. to understand? They do it with gestures and a translation app on their mobile phones, because Lina only learned German for a few months in Ukraine and she still doesn’t understand much.

“The girls are so cute,” Lina later said happily at home, full of joy to be able to stand in goal, like in Odessa. And: “It’s great not to be alone anymore and to be able to play handball again.”

Many refugees come to Munich with their pets.

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On Saturday there will be a benefit concert in the Frauenkirche.  (archive image)

War in Ukraine: benefit concert of the Munich choirs in the Frauenkirche



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The director does not wait, she dares a lightning start

A handball girl brings the best news with her: that the Theresia-Gerhardinger-Gymnasium in the old town, a girls’ school run by poor school nuns, is setting up a 10th class for Ukrainian girls as a bridge class for learning German. Headmistress Anita Kilger doesn’t wait for the authorities to give the green light or an injection of money from the state, but she just dares a flash: Lina is there.

“The greeting was nice,” says Lina, “in our class there were many pictures with Ukrainian colors and hearts hanging on the wall.” And it was amazing and nice to meet girls who speak their language again.

However, the priority now is for the newly arrived girls to learn German as quickly as possible so that they can orient themselves in Munich. The Ukrainian teachers, whom the school was able to win, are helping with this. “The alphabet was the first thing we learned,” says Lina, “and we also had lunch at school.”

What else do you like about your new city? “The bike paths”, he says, and laughs, “there are no roads for bicycles in Odessa, it is impossible to cycle there as it is here. And I think the people of Munich are kinder to each other than the people at home.” .

At home, it’s best not to think about it so often. The last time she called her friend Sofia, “the siren kept moaning,” Lina says. She feels better when she looks ahead.

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