By Germany and Austria Relief Team (Originally in German)
Germany is setting a loving example of compassion and true brotherhood for the rest of the world by accepting the most number of refugees among European Union countries. As most of the refugees arrive at the Munich train station before being transported to different refugee camps, many Munich citizens greet them warmly with cheers and lots of food. An amazing number of German people volunteer to help the refugees and organize aid via social media, and many of them are young people who are very active in this humanitarian effort.
However, with thousands of refugees entering Austria and Germany, many unfortunately had to stay in the border areas without shelter until more assistance was available.
Deeply concerned about the well-being of the refugees, Supreme Master Ching Hai offered funds, and instructed our local Association members to provide assistance.
Extending Love and Care to Refugees in Germany and Neighboring Countries – Summary of Activities of our Munich Center in September and October 2015
Since September 2015, our Association members from Munich, Germany, have joined our country’s people in welcoming the arriving refugees and providing them with all kinds of assistance. Some of us went to the station to wave to the newly arriving refugees and to distribute sweets or toys for children. It was touching to see how the refugees’ faces lit up when being so warmly welcomed after their long and harsh journey.
One Sunday, upon learning the newly arrived refugees at a temporary camp needed food, we spontaneously cooked rice and vegan goulash and brought it to the camp. Later, we brought three rice cookers, many vegetables and other needed items to help the work of the volunteers there.
We also contributed clothes, sleeping bags and mats to a refugee camp in Röszke, Hungary at the Hungarian-Serbian border through a group of young people raising donations through Facebook. From the same group, we learned that more supplies were needed, so accordingly we bought 300 insulation mats, blankets, toothpaste, hairbrushes, towelettes and other hygiene items. To transport the supplies, we rented two long minivans, which were big enough to also carry blankets donated by IKEA, and items from another Munich volunteer organization. All were delivered to the storeroom of a volunteer group in Budapest, Hungary.
In addition, we gave 1,000 blankets to a Munich volunteer to be distributed to refugees in Croatia and other Balkan states.
At the end of October, we provided 200 vegan lunch packets for refugees to a volunteer going in Brežice, Slovenia.
We also, on a regular basis, collect bags, suitcases, backpacks, children’s trolleys, baby clothes, warm shoes and clothes for the refugees in Deggendorf, Germany.
One of our Association members who is a psychologist signed up as a volunteer with Caritas Internationalis, a Catholic relief and service organization, at a camp where she does various jobs, like helping with the registration, cleaning up, sorting things, taking care of the children and giving emotional comfort. She reported that there is a great sense of understanding and trust between the volunteers and the refugees. The refugees are extremely grateful for the loving reception in Germany and are full of hope. They are very friendly and eager to learn.
The German citizens have come up with many beautiful ideas to make the refugees feel at home and help them integrate into German society. For example, they invite refugees to welcoming parties and dinners, they take the families out of the camp to spend a day in a nice place, they teach them German, help them with paperwork and explain things of everyday life to them. With all the love being continuously shared to the refugees, we feel the prophecy of the Bulgarian Master, Beinsa Douno, is coming true: “It is the end of an epoch; a new order will substitute the old, an order in which Love will reign on earth.”
November Relief Activities Along the Austria-Germany Border
The following month, our German Association members checked several areas near the Austria-Germany border for refugees in need of help. We went to Neuhaus am Inn in Germany and Schärding in Austria, and found out from a cook working at a refugee camp that they needed food. Furthermore, we learned from a Red Cross coordinator that blankets were also required.
Therefore, on November 8, 2015, we delivered 2,500 silver emergency blankets to the German refugee camp in Wegscheid and a number of tents to the Red Cross there for emergency use.
At a camp in Hanging, a village in Austria bordering Germany, another 2,000 emergency blankets and some clothes were distributed. Our Association members from Vienna Center prepared vegan soup and were given permission to heat it at the camp kitchen before serving. The refugees were happy to have warm soup after their long journey, and the items distributed were gratefully received. The Red Cross staff and the camp coordinator of Hanging were extremely pleasant and helpful. We will check with them again to see if they need other resources such as tents.
Fortunately, the situation at the border area has now improved. The refugees come from Spielfeld, Braunau am Inn, Schärding and Kollerschlag in Austria, and are brought directly into the refugee camps until the bus to Germany picks them up and takes them directly to a German camp. There they receive food and blankets while waiting for the bus to go to larger camps to be fully registered. Afterwards, they will reside in different camps all over Germany.
November 15 – Providing Vegan Food and Other Supplies for Refugees in Kollerschlag, Austria
On November 15, 2015, our Association members from Munich and Vienna Centers worked together to serve vegan soup to refugees in Kollerschlag, Austria near the border of Germany. As the Red Cross expected to receive 1,300 new refugees that day, they asked for our help.
We brought 150 liters of soup, enough for 600 people, and warmed up the soup before serving. Also, we brought a variety of snacks, vitamin juice, supplies and food for babies, children’s jackets, toys etc. From 10 am to 5 pm, we served the warm soup and other vegan food and drinks to the refugees. The Red Cross operations director was very thankful for our support. We are also very grateful for having this God-given opportunity to serve those in need.
November 22 – Further Refugee Aid in Kollerschlag Camp, Austria
On November 22, our Association members from Munich, Germany, again drove to Kollerschlag Camp, Austria bringing vegan food, sweets, dates and some vitamin drinks after learning that approximately 1,300 refugees arrived the weekend before and help was welcomed. People were very happy to receive our food, and some came four to five times to get more. We were encouraged to see that the camp was well managed.
Our deep gratitude to Master for providing much loving aid and comfort to refugees in Europe and around the world. Also, our heartfelt appreciation to Germany and Austria for their compassionate assistance. We pray that all refugees will quickly find safe and warm homes and caring communities in which to rebuild their lives.
Expenditures by The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association for Refugee Relief Work In Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Croatia, Slovenia and other Balkan States – September to November 2015
|Food (cookies, peanuts, oranges, sesame seed paste, sugar and sweets) and supplies (tents, sleeping bags, blankets, toothpaste, wet towelettes, plastic bags, hygiene items, and painting colors for children)||3,848.71||A|
|Transportation (car rental and highway tolls)||1,250.56||B|
|Total|| EUR 5,099.27