Döbeln: Döbeln: Refugees are helped here

Dublin: Refugees are helped here

In the new assistance center, refugees can stock up on essentials. The assistants from “Welcome to Döbeln” fill in the supply gap.

Ola Otto (left) and assistant Lina from Odessa, Ukraine, work at the Ukraine Help Center on Fronstrasse Street. Volunteers accept donations here and make donations to refugees.
© Photo: Lutz Wedler

Chub. Until a few years ago, the Till wine store was located in the shop on Döbelner Fronstrasse. Life has now returned to the vacant store. The Ukraine Aid Center opened on Wednesday as a point of contact for donors and refugees. Groceries, diapers, baby food and toiletries are stacked on the shelves. The chubby, yellow bear is sitting on one of the shelves, with a pacifier underneath. Clothes are hung on shelves and in the next room there is a makeshift booth to try on clothes.

Ola Otto welcomes visitors on Wednesday morning. Together with another woman. “This is Lena from Ukraine. She can also speak Russian and a bit of English and she volunteered to help,” says Doppler, who volunteered with the refugee wave seven years ago.

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Many people are involved in the center and in helping Ukraine. The leads come together in the business alliance “Welcome to Döbeln”, which was formed in 2015. Ola Otto stresses the importance of helping. Food donations are especially needed. “People come here without any euros and they can’t even buy anything to eat.”

Only mattresses on the floor

The refugees were already there on Tuesday. “Ukrainian family. “They only have mattresses in their apartment,” says Ola Otto. A woman ran out of thyroid medication. “Unless you get the papers, you won’t get them,” she said. She was able to help with medication.

It’s coming and going from the first few minutes. A man showing clothes. Hardly any man comes, only women and children. “We don’t need men’s things,” says Ola Otto.

A Ukrainian woman comes to the store. Talk to her help Lina. She needs utensils. There is nothing in the center. “Utensils are also something we can use,” said Ola Otto. The donor offers a kitchen table with three chairs and asks what else is needed.

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Several volunteers offered to help keep the center open six days a week. At the centre, the refugees should also get support with the necessary bureaucratic procedures, said Hartmut Fuchs of the Treibhaus association, which coordinates and organizes the citizens’ coalition help “Welcome to Döbeln”.

Paperwork must already be filled out for registration at the district office, and Treibhaus has the expertise to help with this. “Foto Porst takes biometric photos for us for free,” Fox said.

Offer gap until registration

Registration takes place at Brand-Erbisdorf, and the procedure is well organized, Fuchs said. Then the refugees there get their first money and the so-called fictitious certificate. You will then also have health insurance.

Fox sees a problem in the “supply gap” that arises between refugee arrivals, registration at the district office and registration in Brand-Erbsdorf. The more refugees come, the bigger the gap. That could become unstable.”

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Fuchs gives the example of a woman who has been in Döbeln since March 11th and has not yet received any money. Even if refugees have dollars with them, it doesn’t help them. Money in the bank can only be exchanged through an account and it can only be prepared with the necessary paperwork.

There is also no health insurance. “The woman who was due on April 1st has been transferred directly to Brand-Erbisdorf,” Fox said.

Refugee vouchers

One of the tasks of the various initiatives is to bridge this supply gap. Fox also noted the possibility of donating coupons, such as those offered by Lidl. The vouchers can be passed on to refugees. “If people gave it to us, we can prove who received it,” Fox says.

He emphasized that the cooperation between the various special assistance groups, the city of Döbeln and the district office was working very well. TAG Wohnen made the store on Fronstrasse. The city of Döbeln bears the additional costs. The management also wants to create a warehouse for used furniture. As city spokesman Thomas Mitcher said, one still looks for suitable rooms. “It should be easily accessible, too.”

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  • The Ukraine Help Center at Fronstraße 20 is open Monday through Friday from 11 am to 5 pm and Saturday from 11 am to 1 pm. Opening hours also depend on the availability of assistants.

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