Raindrops on roses

After being in Germany for a couple of days and working with Muncher Fluchtlingsrat, I have realized that most of issues the NGOs face is paperwork. Policies are constantly changing for asylum seekers, and social workers are simply the messengers that are drowning in the ever-changing bureaucracy. People travel here from all over the world. The refugees spend their last dimes, put all of their faith in people who may not be deserving, only to get to a country where they are constantly wondering if they will be sent back to a place that is no longer a viable option.

- I took this picture on my walk to Muncher Fluchtlingsrat's office. It is located close to the central metro station. -

While observing the inner-office workings of Muncher Fluchtlingsrat, I saw many concerned people come in searching for answers and help, and the workers at Fluchtlingsrat would instantly try and answer their questions or provide them with the resources they need. Not only that, but they would also take the information to the camps. On Tuesday, I was able to join some of the volunteers from various different NGOs on the Infobus project. Infobus is a collaboration between Muncher Fluchtlingsrat and Amnesty International that strives to get information and resources to refugees and asylum seekers directly in the refugee camps and housing communities. However, many of the camps require certain amounts of security clearance from the government to come inside the camps. So, Infobus has become a mobile office for Fluchtlingsrat and Amnesty International so that they may be able to come close to some of the communities and reach out to the refugees who may need their assistance. I was able to observe the NGOs work with several different refugees, and as I do not speak German, they would share some of the cases and questions they had answered.

- These are pictures of the Infobus. It had recently been painted by some volunteers and school children. I loved all of the words of love and acceptance written in different languages on the bus. -

Once things were winding down, and less and less people came to ask questions, some of the children who lived in the camp came onto the bus. They found every writing utensil in the vehicle and some coloring books and instantly went to work coloring and giggling. I supervised as they did what kids do, play, bicker, and chitter; but this was different, not only were they children who had already lived through much more than I ever have or will, but they also did everything speaking a transfixing creole language composed of German, English, and Arabic. They acted as if they did not fear deportation or whatever terrors they fled from in their home countries. They acted just like any other child would, however the circumstances of their current living situation had fused them together to become more open-minded and diverse than I had ever expected. From something horrible and scarring for so many, these children have found their own way to integrate and find their own sense of self. They have built their own community from the tragedies in their past. Their lives are almost never perfect; it's rarely rainbows and sunshine, but they've figured out how to find beauty in the storm. They are the raindrops on roses, delicate and hanging on fervently for a better life.

Emma Tobe


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