‘Unsere Helfende Hand’ - An interview with Abdurrahman Özban
It’s time for the latest in our series of fantastic interviews and we thought we would check in with an organisation from the South of Germany who do similar, but at the same time very different work. Who knows? Maybe we can learn something from them?
- Hello Abdurrahman, could you briefly introduce your organisation?
We are there for those in need in the area of Niefern-Öschelbronn without paying attention to their skin colour or sexuality. A large part of that is supporting new members of our community – many of them refugees – as they become accustomed with life in a new country.
We also work with other organisations sending trucks full of medications, hygiene products etc. to Lesbos as people there often do not have these basics. The situation there is often hard to describe with words.
Although we are growing as an organisation (20 current members), we want to be able one day to close this organisation, but this seems very distant right now. We do not want a single child to have a tear in their eye.
- What role does migration have in your work?
In fact, mobility is the be-all and end-all for us. Many refugees do not have the same mobility as us locals, but it is hard to do something with only volunteers.
- Has the global pandemic put your work at risk?
The pandemic has made our work hard, but not impossible. We are continuing in our support for this community as normally as we possibly can. We do not want anyone to be alone, but of course that is tough at the moment because we are not allowed to touch anyone or anything. Yesterday night for example, I got a call and I went round to somebody’s house who had a crying child and I wasn’t allowed to hold it which was hard for me.
However, also I have to say that the pandemic has some positives. We now know how precious this human contact is. Suddenly, people are awake to this.
- Last Saturday (20.06) was World Refugee Day. Did you do anything special for this?
Yes, we made something in the playground with the necessary distance, of course. We also released a balloon which had a note inside with ‘Thank You’ written by local children in their mother tongues. There were 14 children in total and we also closed the street to traffic for this.
Isn’t the work they do impressive? We think so too! If you want to find out more about “Unsere Helfende Hand”, support or contact them, please visit their website: