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  • Author: varder
  • Date: 14-03-2016, 15:22
14-03-2016, 15:22

International Seminar in Bad Liebenzell

Category: Information

During March 2-6, 2016, five members of the ESU Ukraine, students from Kirovohrad Volodymyr Vynnychenko State Pedagogical University, successfully participated in the German-Polish-Ukrainian seminar“One million and counting: reality check for German "Willkommenskultur" in light of increased influx of refugees” which was held in a tiny town, full of cosiness and picturesque views, Bad Liebenzell of the land of Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. 

It is difficult to highlight some day out of five spent there to say it was marvellous and unforgettable, full of experience and knowledge as absolutely every single day brought us lots of unique information which we managed not only to cover during workshops discussing the German asylum policy, procedures and social reactions, but to feel it with a sight and touch. 

The first thing all of us will remember for a long time was visiting the refugee shelter where up to 250 Syrian, Iraqi and other  refugees live waiting for the most important letter in their life which says if the person has got a refugee status or not. Most of them are the victims of war and even don't want to remember frightening and hazardous life in homeland. These people came through prosecution, threats and fears. But how strong they are! They are open for meeting new people and studying something new. Most of them are ready to learn a new language, find new accommodation, and start a new and calm life. We should follow their example how to stay strong, patient and never give up.

Next we watched a presentation packed with interesting and sometimes frightening information. It was difficult for us to realize that only in 2015 around a half million people were seeking for asylum in Germany! The presentation also highlighted Germans’ attitude towards the refugees. While half of those who participated in poll said that refugees can be good for Germany around thirty percent of people had an opposite idea about them. People who support right-wing parties are likely to go on anti-refugee strikes or even to burn refugee shelters. So we came to the conclusion that one of the fundamental thing about refugee problem was misunderstanding between them and locals.

This day we also had a meeting with Idris Taha, a refugee from Afghanistan who told us his story which made us give the creeps. His family had to sell their accommodation to pay the kidnappers and save their child's life. They managed to leave the country but their paths split apart and Idris has never seen his family since that time. It is difficult for him to remember being a 16-year old child left alone in the whole world. He has been living in Germany for 6 years for now. He works for Red Cross and helps other refugees to turn over the black page of their life book and start a new one full of colours and happiness and he still has a hope to see his family.

During our second day of the seminar we had a great opportunity to be witnesses of a real  court proceeding in Stuttgart where the Judge Professor Jan Bergmann had a reconsideration of the case of a Roma family who was rejected in the refugee status. Later we had a private talk with the Judge who shared with us his ideas concerning the case; he also explained his actions and doubts during the hearing as well as his decision. He had to be impartial of course but even he finds it difficult to suppress emotion.

On the third day we tried to make our own plans on how to change the refugee system in Germany. We were full of ambitions and ready to share our ideas. We had three groups, in every group there were representatives of each country so it was interesting to work in such groups where people think differently. We had an opportunity to share own experience and ideas and implement them into project. One of the ideas that was presented and well developed in all three presentations was refugees’ integration into the society. Only by means of integration we can fight misunderstanding and thus fight social anxiety in Germany. All three projects were extensively elaborated and we were happy to do such a good job.

These seminar days flashed by, but still they last in our minds and hearts. Now we know how important it is to help each other and those in need. Only tolerance makes us real people! We have become more skillful in the sphere of refugee policy, worked out interesting ways of its improving and tried to make this world a better place to live in. We are very glad to have had such invaluable experience and have met many wonderful people.


Members of the ESU Ukraine, students of KSPU: Liubov Leonovets, Alina Ukradyzhenko, Oleksandr Tykholaz, Anastasiia Mishchenko, Julia Chobu.







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