Home for a time!

Fled Ukrainians feel at home in Rheine

The Ukrainian war refugees who were taken in by the Caritas Children’s and Youth Home last July after a spectacular escape are increasingly feeling at home in Rheine.

The longing for Kharkiv, their hometown in Ukraine, is still great, but without peace a return is out of the question.

The students from the Ukrainian soccer boarding school have been going to school for weeks and are eagerly learning the oh-so-difficult German language. In the afternoons and on the weekends, training sessions are scheduled at FCE Rheine, a local soccer club that organizes and carries out various sports activities with great commitment. As soon as the gifted kickers have their clearance to play, they are to take part in regular games again.

It’s almost like everyday life at home, if only it weren’t for the difficult language.

For the adults who fled, arriving and settling in at Rheine was much more challenging. Torn from their jobs and family relationships, they had to organize their daily lives despite the psychological stress and grief, and reorient their lives in Germany in the face of all the many hurdles.

It was good that experienced interpreters from the migration service of the Caritas association Rheine and employees of the Caritas children’s and youth home were there to help. In addition to the many questions about everyday life, the professional perspectives increasingly took up space in the discussions.

All Ukrainian women have professional or academic degrees, but these degrees can be recognized in Germany without a sound knowledge of the language and in some cases only with additional qualifications. Learning the German language is therefore the fundamental key qualification for even temporary professional participation.

Here, too, the FCE Rheine was actively involved and continuously provided the Ukrainian women with qualified German lessons until the transition to public courses. The lessons are having an effect, and Google translators and “hands and feet” are increasingly losing their importance.

What is the next step?

The Ukrainian soccer players are looked after and cared for in two shared flats, each of which is supervised by two Ukrainian adults. The youth welfare office Rheine had carried out the professional examination and had given “green light” for this living and care form. The Caritas Children’s and Youth Home will continue to be present and accompany the young Ukrainians for the next few months.

Some of the other Ukrainians have already been able to move into their own apartments and also reorient themselves professionally.