To be a refugee in Germany is hard. The government provides what is prescibed by the law: accomodation, medical assistance, food and scooling for the kids. This is a lot, right, especially compared to the circumstances that have driven people to leave their homelands, but an essential part is missing: a perspective for the future. Many persons, even whole families have to wait for years, even decades, until their residential status becomes clear. So they are forced to live a life inbetween, without knowing what will happen, if they are allowed to stay or if they will be expelled from one day to the other.
Especially for the women this is very hard. Mostly they come from societies where the family is the most important bond. Alone here in a foreign country the are forced to stay alone in their houses because the net is not there and they are not used to go out for cultural reasons, while their men usually make new acquaintances quite quickly. Mostly the hostels are placed far from the city without a good connection, sometimes even without a decent street lighting (e.g. here), so in winter it is even dangerous to leave home after 4 p.m.
So the idea was born to establish a network in the hostel itself and it is working out nicely, desipe of language barriers and a lot of kids to look after. Recently the first step out has been made: The women group of the "Inner Wheel" invited us to a typical German christmas dinner.
Cooking toghether was really fun! We had duck from the oven, red cabbage and potato dumplings as main course and baked apples for dessert.
We discovered that the most beautiful "Knödel" (potato dumplings) were made from Afghan hands!
Below a snippet from the local newspaper the next day with myself ( not quite deservedly) in the centre.