BUTTING helps refugee support group in Knesebeck

Many European countries face the challenge of housing refugees from crisis countries and integrating them into society. A different culture, a foreign language and the insecurity felt by the refugees often make integration difficult. It's a process that is only possible with the help of thousands of volunteers. In many communities, volunteers have formed support groups to offer refugees the best possible care. A group has also been set up in Knesebeck, which BUTTING supports by providing rooms.

A group of volunteers set up the group back in 2015 when the first refugees arrived in Knesebeck. Within a short space of time, Knesebeck took in several refugee families. The volunteers quickly realised that their support needed to be organised centrally and have a structured framework in order to provide the best possible support for refugees. The support group is a loose network of volunteers from Knesebeck and the surrounding area who support refugees as "sponsors". This means that one or several people in a support group act as a sponsor for individuals or families. Personal contact facilitates mutual learning and lays the foundations for long-term relationships. Daily interaction breaks down prejudice and fear. The support group now has more than 30 people who look after 65 to 70 refugees.

The group supports the refugees in many different ways, such as arranging doctor's appointments, helping them navigate their way through officialdom, and interactive language teaching. Regular events are held between all the volunteers and refugees to strengthen the community and to create a space for people to meet. Rita Temme, who founded the support group in Knesebeck, is pleased about the volunteering spirit: "Every volunteer brings their own strengths and potential. We complement each other. The refugees are grateful for our help."

Refugee support relies on the work of volunteers. For BUTTING, helping the region and therefore the support group in Knesebeck is very important. This is why BUTTING provides rooms free of charge for language classes and combined events. "When we heard about the work of the support group, we immediately thought about how BUTTING as a family company can help," says Hermann Butting, President. "We're pleased that we can support the volunteers and help make integration into our society easier for the refugees."

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