Guide for Caring for Refugees from the Ukraine Please note: This guide is limited to personal dealings or personal care for Ukrainian refugees. For information on compulsory registration, insurance or asylum law please inquire with the local city hall/ administrative district office. /// Basics /// Always treat your guests in a friendly and respectful manner. “The personal tone sets the atmosphere” – this is especially true for interactions with refugees. Help your guests meet their basic needs. In addition to food, sleeping and sanitary facilities, this also includes a certain amount of privacy. Allow your guests the opportunity to withdraw. Don’t let your best intentions, sideline your guests. Let the refugees do for themselves whatever they can. This helps to maintain their dignity and keep them active. As soon as your guests have found their way around a bit, they might at some point be happy to prepare a meal for you from time to time. Preparing meals together is a good way to bond! Expect the unexpected in the way of behavior and responses. Your guests may do things that seem strange to you. Be flexible and realize they are in an unfamiliar environment and come from a world where different rules apply. Better to get more feedback or clarification than too little. Help for children. If there are children, help them get a spot in kindergarten or school. Communication. Help your guests keep in touch with their relatives. Buying a German SIM card for the cell phone will make sense in many cases. Political restraint. Often the political situation is more complex and obscure than we think. Hold back on comments. Instead, show your deep compassion for the situation. Help the folks staying with you establish a daily routine. Regular meals, walks, sports activities, game nights, etc. ... If you are hosting refugees yourself, involve people in housework and gardening. Consider small projects/tasks for people to make themselves useful. Take a personal interesty in your guests. Let them tell you about their home, their families, their lives. Welcome! Laskavo prosimo!
/// Dealing with Traumatized People /// Many of the refugees are more or less traumatized. They’ve had to leave their homes, family members, friends, work, everything that provided security, etc. very abruptly. They usually had no chance to prepare themselves for these massive life disruptions and are now in a phase marked by fear, loss of control, grief and lack of perspective. Be aware of your limitations in helping traumatized people. Locate competent staff/ contact points for traumatized people in your area. At the same time, your behavior can do a lot to help refugees cope better with their trauma: • Signal openness and allow the refugees opportunity to share about their difficult experience, but without putting any pressure on them to do so. It’s possible individuals might not yet be in any kind of mental condition to do so. In that case, simply accept it. • Let individuals talk as much as they want, even if they repeat themselves. • Traumatized people should be allowed to express their fears and also their anger without being judged for it. • Let difficult experiences that are shared, stand. Try not to minimize or relativize them. • Try to give hope, but do not make false promises. /// Spiritual Offers /// • Offer to pray with your guests for peace, including for relatives and friends who remain in the crisis area. • Place a New Testament/Bible in their language in their room. For cell phones there is “YouVersion Bible”, which also contains a Ukrainian translation. • Respect the (religious) beliefs of your guests. Build trust and give testimony of your faith experiences when asked. Compiled by Liebenzell Mission / March 2022 www.liebenzell.org