Essen: Ukrainian Refugee Network Meeting Café

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The association “Werden hilft” invites you every week to the “Ukraine Meeting Café” in the youth center of the Essen district. These offers are there.

The “Ukraine Meeting Café” is held once a week in the Werden Youth and City Center, Wesselswerth 10. Here, refugees from Ukraine, landowners and helpers can get to know each other informally over breakfast together. Children discover the playroom as their mothers examine the donated children’s toys. Billiards and table football are available.

Refugees come who are privately housed in the house of Cardinal Hengsbach or in the monastery of Schuir. Claudia Reinhardt from the “Werden hilft” association welcomes them and invites them to join the contact lists. In a WhatsApp group, important information such as language courses and events should be shared in multiple languages.

The meeting takes place every Monday from 10:00

Her colleague Birgit Schulte is delighted that the meeting (every Monday from 10:00) is so well received: “Refugees can network here. The first time there were 50 people there. Most are looking for accommodation. Anyone who can provide apartments should be brave ”.


Language barriers are high, only a little German is spoken occasionally, the younger ones speak reasonable English. Yuliya Ruta-Koch and Swetlana Boden help with communication. The Ukrainian and the Kazakh have been in Germany for 20 years or more and are translating.


For Dr. Yuliya Ruta-Koch, helping her compatriots abroad is a matter that is very close to her heart: “There is a lot of insecurity. The organization here in Germany is not clear to many, plus there are language difficulties and shame. Too bad for accepting the help offered, including cash donations, for example ». People have lost their usual independence. It’s embarrassing for them.

He tells of an elderly couple: “They fled as a group of seven, but the family was torn apart. The grandparents found private accommodation in Heidhausen. He has a lot of back pain and didn’t want to go to the doctor for fear of the cost. The two took their medication with them for only two months. Then they wanted to be home again. “

On the other, there is the young woman who simply continues to work in her Ukrainian company, now online: “She works from home in Germany, has a lot of time in between and would like to help her compatriots. So far, however, you haven’t found the right contact person for this. “

The Ukrainian refugee was on the road for four days

He finally has the chance this time. Svetlana Boden translates for Irina Furman. The 46-year-old fled a small town in southwestern Ukraine with her six-year-old son. Irina Furman got into her car on March 2 and was on the road for four days. In the monastery of Schuir she was able to move into a large and bright room, others were not so lucky: “We feel at ease. Everything is well set up.” Son has online lessons in the morning and homework is done in the afternoon Yes, it works from Ukraine In the evening, her mother sits at the school desk herself and learns German.

Only newcomers are provided with groceries, others have to fend for themselves and make ends meet with the money allocated. It is difficult to stock up on groceries in remote Schuir. Sometimes we spent three hours shopping, she says. For women with small children and the elderly, it is not that easy to walk to the bus stop and get around an unfamiliar city by bus or train.

The translator hears about bad luck from the war zone

There was basic equipment in the clothing store, now the problem is limited and you have to pay a small deductible. Her husband and Irina’s 20-year-old son had to stay home. The husband organizes buses for humanitarian transport, the son works as a volunteer, distributing, among other things, basic necessities. So far everything has gone well: “But this morning our city was also bombed”.

Swetlana Boden knows about negative fates. Reported by the 26-year-old woman that she had to stay in Mariupol when she was very pregnant: “No heating and almost no electricity. They boiled seawater, melted snow, ran out of food and had to bury the bodies. During the ten days of flight, they often had to hide in the woods. The baby was born on April 14 in Germany. In the meantime they have found shelter in the aquifers of fish with good people ”.


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