The “Buddies” wanted to take care of the families

About 6700 people from Ukraine have registered in Styria so far. There are currently 5959 people in basic care in the country, 70 percent of whom are women and 27 percent are children under 14 years old. A total of more than 7,200 accommodation vacancies were reported to the state refugee department. “So we are well prepared for a greater need,” Christopher Pieberl, representative of the crisis team in the social department, said Wednesday during a discussion on the current situation of Ukrainian aid in Styria.

Staff requirements “well covered”

This humanitarian service would not have been possible if countless volunteers in various organizations had not already worked thousands of hours, according to Styrian Caritas. According to Christian Taucher, volunteers have been able to significantly increase food costs in particular and staff requirements are currently well covered: “We are at a stage where things are going well. We also had train station crews arriving, but they were not needed at the moment. ” In general, however, volunteers are always needed, says Taucher: “We do not know what will come.”

support in all walks of life

Konstanze Walter from the “Styria Helps” initiative reported that by early March about a thousand people wanted to help within a few weeks. More than 300 people seeking protection are currently being cared for every day. It is mainly about escorting Ukrainians by so-called “friends”, but also about initial assistance – for example with apartments, SIM cards and with translation and networking with AMS; there are also self-organized German courses.

In the summer you work with children’s friends – on holiday courses to learn German and “gain a foundation”, as Walter reported: “It’s important to have someone whom people can write to at any time, by e-mail, for example when a child is ill. ”

Contact person during night hours

Andreas Krenn from the Red Cross Aid in Ukraine reported that the volunteers had reported through the online platform, including through “Team Austria”. The main focus here is on contact persons during night and hour shifts. Families are assisted, among other things, by registering at the Graz arrival center or by taking Covid tests there. “It’s always amazing how people continue to motivate themselves to help other people,” Krenn said. Because most helpers are mostly on the job themselves, night shifts for working people are then very demanding.

“They are very personal fortunes and we are lucky at the moment that the house is not overcrowded, we have time and staff to talk and listen to them. “There are many situations where no manual will help you,” Krenn reported. They have translators for Russian and Ukrainian, four during the day and one at night, and they are provided by Caritas.

Volunteers: “I can always donate money”

Barbara Renger is a “volunteer” at the arrival center at the Graz Exhibition Center – she explains what made her do this volunteer work: “The first messages and photos made me come forward and help. It is unimaginable what “People have to be patient – and still have to do it. I can always donate money, but here I can help directly.”

When asked how the children who had fled were doing, Renger said: “Very different, it’s not just the change of location, they have already experienced a lot of traumatic things, but fortunately the children are definitely much, much faster in processing “Notice that in the corner of the game, they bloom quickly again.”

Sport helps young people

Krenn said most young people are highly rated because they are disconnected from their living conditions – but sport helps them, says Konstanze Walter: “It helps. If they are on a team, for example goalkeeper “Sport is an essential support here,” said Styria Helps, the founder of the Styria Helps initiative. “We can see from their drawings that they want this to stop,” says Krenn.

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