On the run in a wheelchair
Since the beginning of the war on February 24, 2022, our association members have been working intensively on the evacuation, adequate accommodation, and further care of people from Ukraine, who are often multiply disabled.
In the last few months we have been able to accompany some of those affected here in Hamburg into an appropriate housing and care situation. This was possible thanks to a great deal of voluntary help from private institutions, committed fellow citizens and also the often unbureaucratic action on the part of employees in various city authorities.
Those affected are children, adolescents and adults.
A special feature is that those affected have to arrive in a safe setting from the start and continue to need interdisciplinary support after their arrival – this is particularly important for children with multiple disabilities, who usually arrive here with their mothers. But the situation is similar for disabled young people and adults.
New home for kids and their mothers
The story of a group of disabled people from Cherkasy, who stayed for 2 weeks in the Why Not café lounge, touched the hearts of the people of Hamburg.
Ruth Hess read and responded to the cry for help from volunteer Florina Malso on the social network Next Door. 7 adults and 4 children with disabilities have found a comfortable home in the pastor’s house of the Evangelical Church of the Twelve Apostles.
Alone and in need of care
The situation of unaccompanied refugees is particularly difficult. Without language skills and caring relatives, with limited mobility, they are completely dependent on the help of social workers and volunteers. Our volunteers not only help with official visits and visits to the doctor. Until the nursing degree is recognized, the trained nursing and geriatric nurses take over the care and help in the household.
© Hermann O. Ehlers
Story of an escape
“…I want to tell about our escape. My daughter has a very complex disability. I could never have imagined that I would one day frantically wheel my daughter down the platform in a wheelchair, begging for the door of a car to be opened. All the doors were closed because the train was crammed with women, children and old people.”
All of this accompanied by howling sirens and the threatening noise of Russian fighter jets.
Finally someone opened made a door, we tried to bring in the trolley with Nastya, but she got stuck between the trolley and the platform. The train attendant yells, “The train is leaving now! It will tear the girl apart along with the stroller”! Nastya was first thrown out of the car, a man grabbed her and then pushed her back into the car. Nastia would have to lie on the floor of the anteroom for the first few hours. At each stop at the stations we heard the screams of people and children begging to open the doors of the car. A desperate man, who tried in vain to get his wife and child into the car, smashed the window with the stone.
With her song “Viva Ucraina”, singer and songwriter Lara Hulo not only wants to draw attention to the current war and the individual fates of the people in Ukraine, but also calls for donations in order to support those affected together.
We thank our partners
Glen Ganz, Natalie Niedoba and the Why-Not-Integration team
Pastor Britta George, Ruth Hess and all parishioners of the Ev.-Luth. Parish of the 12 Apostles in Hamburg
Head and social worker of Living with Disabilities Hamburg
Leiterin Annika und Sozialarbeiter von Amalie Sieveking-Stifftung
and all volunteers
Thanks for the solidarity and great support
Mit Ihrer Hilfe können wir viel bewirken!