Oberdingen municipal council: the integration commissioner provides information on the refugee situation

Oberderdingen (KUNA) The war in Ukraine forced many people to flee to other countries, including Germany. In the months following the Russian attack, it became clear that the situation for refugees from Ukraine differs significantly from that of refugees who came to Germany in 2015/2016. Oberderdingen municipal integration officer Michaela Kallenbach also outlined this for her municipality at the last meeting of the municipal council.

Ukrainians mostly inhabit private

Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Mayor Thomas Nowitzki said, there has been “a wave of readiness to provide assistance in Germany and in Oberderingen that you would not have imagined possible.” The community was already committed during the refugee crisis in 2015/2016 and I “did not stubbornly act in accordance with legal obligations.” For example, housing for refugees is built on Flehenger Strasse so that refugees do not have to be housed in halls or other accommodation. The situation for the Ukrainians now is different. In private apartments located in apartments and therefore less dependent on group housing.

Unequal admission procedures

According to Kellenbach, the various procedures begin with the fact that refugees from 2015/2016 had to register with a photo, fingerprint and other data at the state’s initial reception facilities (LEA). Only then was it distributed to urban and rural areas. There are other procedures for refugees from Ukraine. Since the Mass Influx Directive applies to them, they do not have to apply for asylum and are therefore not usually housed in local education authorities. In Oberderdingen they were registered with the citizens’ office, which was a “difficult task” due to the language barrier. When asked by Andrea Schwartz (The Greens), there were no differences between the refugees due to the unequal processes. According to Kallenbach, they are “largely ignoring each other”. Tomas Nowitzki also confirmed this assessment and said that “there are not many connections” between refugees from other countries.

Refugees are mostly female

Most of the Ukrainian refugees in Oberdingen are female. “Most of the women in Ukraine are a bit older, and many are already of retirement age,” says the integration official. To take care of the children, the Stromberg School has set up two preparatory classes for Ukrainians, where refugees from Kornbach, Sulzfeld and Zeissenhausen are also taught. Five refugee children are housed in the Leopold-Feigenbutz-Realschule (LFR). Nowitzki called this “highly disciplined.” They will be among the best in their classes.

Language courses “fully booked”

Kallenbach explained that the community is planning more offers of assistance. This includes language courses for ladies, and childcare is offered at the same time. According to the integration employee, rooms are already available, but there is a shortage of staff. One of the foregoing considerations is the recruitment of students from the University of Education in Karlsruhe, for whom the activity can be considered as an internship. In general, language courses for refugees are currently “fully booked”. So many interested parties are on waiting lists. When asked by Armin Schäufele (Greens), Kallenbach could not give an exact figure for the exact waiting time. According to Nowitzki, many Ukrainians are “very independent and mobile” and will already attend German courses from neighboring towns, such as Bretten.

Easier integration

When Michael Blankenhorn (FWV) asked about the integration of refugees into the labor market, Kallenbach reported that refugees from Ukraine also had an easy time in this area. The fictitious certificate, which is a prerequisite for obtaining a work permit, is often issued to Ukrainians within a few days. Only the approval of the residence permit takes longer. Children are integrated into everyday life primarily in sports clubs. Kallenbach explained this to a question from Julian Brechwerdt (Greens). Above all, the children who came to Oberderdingen before the war in Ukraine were integrated there. Nowitzki also reported that at the Peter and Paul Festival in Britten, refugees helped with organizational tasks, such as at the cash register or with entry controls. These were placed there across the action center.

Stop recording on the board

Kallenbach reported that the community also received €5,360 in donations to refugees from Ukraine. €1,000 of this amount has already been used to purchase household goods to house refugees on Flehenger Strasse. The municipality was to donate another 1,000 euros to the table. “The board of directors is doing a great job at the moment,” Nowitzki emphasized. Usually 30 families shop at the Tafel in Oberderden per week. In the meantime, there are 70 families, and therefore more than double that number,” the mayor continued. The food bank is in dire need of money because consumer markets are behaving more cautiously, and therefore less food arrives at the food bank. So you have to buy groceries there yourself since As the pandemic spreads, private food donations have “discontinued”, Nowitzki says. Because of the tense situation, there is currently a freeze on admissions.

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