How it all started
Already in the first days after the start of the Russian war of aggression, the first transporters with aid supplies drove from Goslar to the Ukraine. They were initiated by some Goslar families with friends or family in the Ukraine. The support of the population of Goslar was very high, within a very short time there was a huge amount of donations for the transports to the Ukraine.
The donation store
The owner of an empty hall in a central location initially made this hall available free of charge for storing the donations. The sorting of the donations was taken over by a local group, Netzwerk Mensch, which had already gained extensive experience in distributing donations and helping refugees during the Syrian crisis.
The refugee aid
The first refugees
At the same time, the first refugees arrived in Goslar, most of them women, children and the elderly. The transit camp quickly became the first port of call for arriving refugees. The people who fled from the Ukraine received the initial equipment, advice and moral support, accommodation and help with the furnishings in the transit camp. Many refugees soon work actively themselves in the assembly camp and this is how friendships developed between the citizens and the refugees. But the collection hall also became the heart of the action for the volunteers, and an initiative called “Goslar helps the Ukraine” was formed. The incoming donations in kind were sorted, many donations were now also needed for the arriving refugees. Things like sleeping bags, bandages and sleeping bags went to Ukraine, household goods, furniture and children’s clothing stayed in the assembly camp.
Transports to Ukraine
Thanks to the close contacts in Ukraine, the initiative was informed about what was needed most on site. Many things could not be obtained through donations in kind, but were bought. In the first few months it was blankets, candles, batteries and food, bandages, emergency medication and medical emergency equipment for first aid, then in the fall it was primarily food and generators. The most important contact person now travels to the Ukraine regularly every two weeks. A total of over 45 transports have been carried out to the Ukraine and the plentiful photographic material confirms that the aids actually do reach the right addressees.
A major result of the transports was that many of the refugees who arrived here found employment in the assembly camp, where they could do something for the Ukrainian fellow citizens who remained there far from their homeland. The encounter between German volunteers and the Ukrainian refugees during the joint packing of relief supplies provided for a growing understanding of the volunteers for the special hardships and needs of the refugees and supported the refugees in their self-confidence and saved them from the overwhelming feelings of powerlessness and Helplessness. The great support for the Ukraine on the part of the Goslar population also showed the refugees the solidarity of the Germans with the people in the Ukraine.
The foundation of the association
In order to make our initiative capable of action, we founded an association in October, and we are now registered by the tax office as a non-profit organization. We deliberately call ourselves “Goslar helps people in and out of crisis areas” so that we can also help people who have fled from other areas if the crises should affect other countries.
Who we are and what we want
Our association brings together people with different interests. Only by working together based on different interests and priorities can we fulfill our tasks.
There are groups that see it as our main task to support the people of Ukraine. Some members, who originally come from neighborhood aid and have gained experience in the Syrian crisis and in the field of helping the homeless, see their task in providing first aid and advising the refugees, other members have taken on the cultural integration of the Ukrainian refugees and organize excursions for them Children, city tours and joint activities. Some members with special expertise provide active support for refugees who need special help from the authorities because they have observed major deficits in this area. Perhaps you are also interested in working with us?
We strive for good public relations, cooperation with the city of Goslar and the district and our numerous donors in Goslar.
Unfortunately, it is to be expected that the military conflict will continue for some time, refugees will continue to arrive in Goslar and have to be cared for. But there are also external influences on the mood within the German population that we have to take into account and to which we would like to adapt our work in order to stabilize the good relationship between German citizens and the Ukrainian refugees.
What we stand for
Goslar has taken in many refugees over the past 100 years. In the 1950s, thirty percent of Goslar’s citizens fled from the eastern regions or were expelled. There are still many Goslars who remember the escape and expulsion themselves, and many families with ancestors in East Prussia or Silesia still tell stories about the end of the Second World War and the post-war period. The severe traumatization of the expellees and refugees is often still present in the next generations. During the Syrian crisis, too, Goslar took in a proportionally large number of refugees. We feel solidarity with the people who suffer innocently from the war that violates international law, who had to leave their homeland and come to us in Goslar.
We think that volunteer work is particularly important in a crisis situation. A free and democratic society thrives on the participation of its citizens. In addition to the practical help that could theoretically also be offered by public authorities, the voluntary helpers have an important non-material value. The volunteers breathe life and soul into the support system.
We believe that the community of Goslar citizens will benefit from the welcoming culture, helpfulness and tolerance. We give something and get a lot in return. That’s why we were so happy to receive the Citizens’ Prize of the Tessner Foundation on February 15, 2023.