Past, present, future …
Since the end of 2014 Flüchtlingshilfe Flensburg e. V. is working with and for people that have been escaping from their country of origin. We help them to settle down and also in their integration process – since June 2015 as an official NGO.
Because of the high amount of people that arrived to Flensburg in 2015, escaping from war, terror and poverty, the meaning of our organization became more and more important. The upcoming work could not have been done without the great effort of many volunteers. Our organization was growing very fast – too fast for us, because the needed structures did not exist at this time.
Thanks to generous companies from the region, led by tax accountant Helmut Ermer, we managed to establish professional structures afterwards – at least for now. Through the financial support, we could hire employees and rent a house at Schiffbrücke 45.
But it wasn't only companies that supported us. Also schools, other institutions and private donators put up the basis for a professional and structured work. The commitment of the region has been, and still is, fantastic – we are extremely thankful for this.
Our facilities at Schiffbrücke 45 became an important meeting point for refugees and volunteers in Flensburg. Every month, more than 1000 people are coming and going and are taking part in our activities. We are translating, learning german, cooking together, spending our free time together and much more. It is great to see, that many different projects develop, most of them are planned and implemented by our new friends. In our house, integration is being lived 7-days a week.
In cooperation with the Europa Universität Flensburg, we managed to fundraise money in order to become more flexible by leasing a transporter. From April on we will be able to realize many more projects for at least 4 years.
The basis of our work is and has always been the people that work voluntary – but since October 2016, a cooperation with the city of Flensburg exists. A combined supervision place for volunteers has been created. A half time employee is hired in our organization, paid by the state and limited for 3 years.
But even voluntary work needs to have professional instruction. The structures, that were difficult to implement, can not exist without professionalization. Continuing to work on this level will not be possible.
Besides the half time employment which is financed by the state, our organization has 2 employees who we are funding ourselves by the help of generous donations. One contract is running out in 3 months, the second one in eleven months. Additionally to this, we have to cover the costs for rent, maintenance and reparations of our house.
Even if the region is generous, it is not our aim to build up our organization on the base of donations. Also it is not the duty of the society to pay our institution – the duty is someone else’s. A renewal of the contracts on a donation basis will not be possible.
After two and half years of work, much effort and many invested voluntary hours, it is time that our organization receives that kind of support, that lets us working sustainable and professional. You can not lean on voluntary structures and existing structures have to be supported.
Without a sustainable solution, we can not guarantee, that our activities will exist for a long term period. This is the last thing that we want, but without any support we are missing power and resources.