Apprentices donate 100 hours of their time
Rieke Raguse and Niklas Reher are currently hard at work revising. While 21-year-old Rieke is preparing for exams as part of her integrated Bachelor’s degree course in mechanical engineering, Niklas (25) is close to completing his industrial clerk apprenticeship. But they both look back fondly on the eight weeks they spent at the Schwanewede refugee center near Bremen. Together with 24 other apprentices from thyssenkrupp System Engineering they supported refugees during their first encounters with German culture and the German language. They provided German lessons for seven to ten-year-old children and organized game afternoons – including badminton and soccer.
“It was a great time, the residents were really kind and friendly, and the kids were grateful to have something to do.”
Rieke Raguse and Niklas Reher
“How can we help?”
Rieke Raguse and Niklas Reher read in the paper that 1,200 new refugees had arrived at the former Lützow barracks in Schwanewede. They immediately organized a meeting of all apprentices. The question “How can we help?” didn’t take long to answer: There were already enough in-kind donations, so they decided to donate their time.
Coordinating the social engagement of 26 apprentices is a lot of work. Overall the thyssenkrupp apprentices donated 100 hours to this worthy cause. “Two or three apprentices spent time at the shelter every morning and afternoon,” says Rieke Raguse. “The atmosphere was really positive and welcoming right from the start.”
“We can only say thank you.”
The refugee shelter in Schwanewede is run by the German Red Cross (DRK). Bärbel Haase is the deputy head of the center and was delighted by the involvement of the thyssenkrupp apprentices: “It’s a good example of how young people can engage with refugees and give thought to the issue. We at the DRK can only say thank you for their fantastic efforts. Young people are our future, and this example gives us encouragement that refugees can be successfully integrated in our country.”