08.01.2016: Germany

Kolping for refugees: People all around the world are becoming aware of the masses of refugees fleeing to Europe. Most of the people want to go to Germany.

The Church is called upon in a special way in giving assistance to these people.  More than 120 delegates from the 27 German (Arch) dioceses therefore met in Würzburg on Tuesday, November 24, at the Catholic Refugee summit.  The invitation had come from Archbishop Dr. Stefan Heße, the German Bishops’ Conference’s special representative for refugees. 

The mission statement of the Church’s aid for refugees was presented.  The summit participants also discussed, among other topics, the issues “housing of the refugees”, “pastoral ministry for refugees/impact of the refugee movements on the general pastoral ministry”, “accompaniment, qualification, and strengthening of the volunteer and full-time (paid) commitment in the Church’s aid to refuge”, and “integration and employment – apprenticeships and career prospects for refugees.”  Other discussion groups dealt with the topics “Integration and education – fostering of refugees in kindergarten, elementary schools, and high schools”, “Unaccompanied under-age refugees”, “Inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue – co-operation with Muslim and Jewish players in the refugee aid”, “International refugee Assistance”, “Health and psycho-social support”, and “Political positioning with respect to issues of fleeing and asylum-seeking”.

Kolping is involved in many diverse ways for the fleeing people in need.  In hundreds of Kolping Families, people are accompanied and supported.  New initiatives are being planned in Kolping facilities in order to provide assistance efficiently and sustainably.

Cooking unites all nations: Cooks from the “Club der Köche Ratisbona e.V.” seize the opportunity to integrate young refugees from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Syria and Afghanistan. The young men are accommodated in the Kolping youth residential home in Regensburg and they just accustomed themselves to their new home. Pedagogues of the youth residential home care for them. Furthermore they are invited to participate in the meetings and excursions of the association.