Blade: Women from Ukraine learn German in the children’s and youth village – Buchen

Some of the young Ukrainian women fleeing the war zone in their homeland found shelter in the children’s and youth village of Klinge. They have fallen well to there. Photo: Andreas Hanel

Blade. (ahn) “Your task now is to form small sentences,” says Inge Marie Bonin, addressing the approximately ten young women who have fled to Germany from Ukraine and are currently under Bonin’s leadership in one of the orphanages. village Learn Leaves German. “I’m hungry.” “I have a cat.” “I have two children” – that is the refugees’ answer. Given that this is only the third session, the young Ukrainians are already making remarkable progress. This is also due to Bonin’s teaching skills, which she has acquired over the years in the adult educations. In the meantime, the educator from Zimmer has retired – or rather, on “retirement”. Because she uses her free time and her volunteers to provide German lessons for the refugees.

“Why am I doing this? Because I can, and because I have helper syndrome,” she says with a laugh. The good mood is not only evident with her but also with the young women from Ukraine. Despite the devastating situation in their homeland, despite the frightening images of the war, despite the experience of flight and insecurity, the Ukrainian women laugh and joke a lot – the mood is good. This is probably also due to the spatial conditions in the city of children and young people. Some of the Ukrainian women are housed in the houses there, making it easier to get to know each other.

“We just had a barbecue last night and are having fun here with friends,” says Olha Orel, Tania Vynohradna and Olha Biloshapra, while Olena Lynbetrenko adds that they were in Zimmer when the maypole was set up and have already visited Eberstadt – on foot . They have also taken a detour to Seckach artist Armin Warin’s gallery.

Three times a week, Inge Marie Bonin from Zimmer teaches the Ukrainian refugees the German language, which is not easy for the young women. Photo: Andreas Hanel

The four women are all around 30 years old and come from Boryspil or Kiev, ie from cities where the inhabitants experience the war on their own. To escape Putin’s soldiers and bombs, they fled to Poland by bus, leaving many relatives who wanted or had to stay in Ukraine. They finally arrived in Germany on April 24 and have now found a new home in the blade.

“Of course we’re scared too,” the women say. “But we support each other.” And they also get help from the employees in the blade. “The people in the administration are very helpful,” the Ukrainians explain. “When we come, they always ask us how they can help us and what they can do for us.” Such an atmosphere of helpfulness makes it easier to solve problems like lack of cash.

And for young Ukrainians who have fled to Germany with their children, the children’s and youth village also has a lot to offer. Not only is there the opportunity to play on the large blade playground, but the little Ukrainians can also go to school there. Like Olena’s ten-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter.

But the positive impressions of the young Ukrainians are not limited to the blade. In general, they experience “that the Germans are very friendly”. It is particularly helpful that many speak English and support the refugees in word and deed.

Such as Inge Marie Bonin with her voluntary German courses. “Ms. Bonin is very charming,” her students from Ukraine agree. “She is a kind of source of inspiration for us.” And it helps to learn the German language. “German is very difficult,” the young women say. “It starts with the greeting. With us in Ukrainian we say the German” Guten Tag, how are you? “In two words.”

So it is: practice, practice, practice. Nobody really knows when the official language courses will start. But with Bonin’s volunteer work, the young Ukrainians certainly have a replacement who is at least equal.

She not only supports the Ukrainian refugees in terms of language. For Bonin is also a member of the integration working group in Seckach, which was founded in 2015 and still exists. Bonin explains that the members help the Ukrainian refugees, for example, with visits to the authorities, with visits to the doctor or with shopping. They also maintain the “donation chamber” in the blade, where refugees can buy well-preserved clothes for little money.

And when it comes to “learning German”, the refugees are supported by the former teacher or the one who works again. She gives them German lessons for two hours three times a week. Bonin is enthusiastic about the progress made by her Ukrainian students. “The young women are very intelligent and well-educated. They can already conjugate in the third lesson.”

And that’s not all. Towards the end of the lesson, a young Ukrainian explains to his classmates in English what the difference is between “no” and “no”. And then it’s time again: form small sentences and practice, practice, practice …

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