MUNICHNOW COMMENT:
MUNICH — (MunichNOW News) — It´s hard to miss the headlines in the media, no matter whether they’re on TV or in the newspapers: “New refugees every day”; “Thousands on the run”; “Escaping home”. It goes on and on.

One feels bad, can’t imagine how it must feel having to leave everything: your family, your friends, your job and home in the sheer hope of finding help in a foreign country. And which foreign countries are even willing to provide this help?

immigr278Pro-immigration demonstration in Munich — munichFOTO

Germany has taken in many refugees over the past months, but now critics are saying that Germany isn’t doing enough to help these people. Not enough housing is being built, not enough food and medical care is being provided, and the bureaucracy is too complicated. And yes, most of them have a point. There are certainly many flaws in the government plans for these refugees, but with all of this criticism people tend to forget that there are volunteers helping in many different ways.

All around Munich little towns have decided to help and here are three examples of towns that are doing an amazing job helping asylum seekers. Even though they are not as big as Munich, they have been a great support to the refugees which arrive there.

Gilching
This town 30 minutes outside of Munich with a population of 17,445 has taken it upon itself to care for 60 asylum-seekers from countries like Afghanistan and Nigeria.
How does it help?
Five new apartments were given to the refugees and once they arrive, volunteers help with the bureaucracy, organize German classes and help them integrate into the community. An information day was held for the seniors of the local school with a chance to meet some of the refugees and hear their stories.

Seefeld
Seefeld’s population of 7,073 have taken in 39 refugees from countries such as Albania and Eritrea and have a group of volunteers who take care of them.
How does it help?
After providing beds in the local town hall and creating a committee in charge of everything to do with the refugees, appointments with the district office were made, and a big benefit concert was held.
But even before that, Seefeld started out with something one could consider trivial: A welcome party. This gave the locals a chance to get know the new and foreign-seeming people in their town and prevent any prejudice or even fear of the unknown that might have come up.

Inning
The smallest of the three towns, with a population of 4,269, is now home to 194 refugees from eleven different countries such as Syria and Afghanistan.
How does it help?  Apart from providing a home in the local gym, it founded a committee for helping new refugees, interpreters and several local sports clubs were contacted for help, a donations account was founded, food was provided and German lessons were provided.

These examples clearly show that a many people are taking an active part in helping refugees in many different ways in Germany.

But why does this not seem to reach the rest of the country? Why does it seem that nobody knows about it?

Maybe it´s the fact that these are such small towns or that relatively few refugees (compared to the masses arriving in Germany) find help here.

But still, these are people doing the best they can in order to make life bearable for these people, even though it´s definitely not always easy.

So, before you complain about the government letting hundreds of people die, and before you think nobody cares about these lives, check what is actually being done.

For more information check out these pages:
1. http://www.asyl-in-gilching.de/index.php
2. http://www.seefeld.de/rathaus-verwaltung/agendagruppen/integration-und-asyl/
3. http://www.inning.de/blog-asyl/