Despite the snow and the cold about sixty refugees accepted the invitation of the support network to take part in the first sight-seeing tour of Unterföhring. This was about one third of all the people recently arrived at the accommodation. Alfons Renner, an experienced city guide, accompanied the young men together with three fellow guides from the team “Culture & Leisure” of the refugee support network. Form the accommodation the way led to the S-Bahn station, where the volunteers were assailed with questions: What kind of ticket do you need for certain distances? Where is the monthly ticket valid? This is sometimes not easy for the local population, for somebody from Syria, Eritrea or Pakistan it can be a closed book.
The young refugees found everything interesting: the fire brigade, the town hall, the community centre, the churches and the sports grounds. This presented opportunities to discuss rules and standards. The language barrier mattered far less than expected. Many of the refugees speak English and most of them are trying hard to learn German as quickly as possible.
For most of them the biggest problem is that they have to spend their time idle and are not allowed to work. They want very much to contribute, even on a voluntary basis. The refugee support network is trying hard to provide relief. Sports and music are the favourite past times. The team “Culture & Leisure” is about to establish a music group and collects musical instruments. The most urgent problem is to find a suitable room.
The walkabout of 90 minutes through Unterföhring was a successful first step to get to know each other better. There was a lot of laughing, questioning and surprise. “Why do so many people die in Unterföhring” a slender young man from Eritrea asked. “Why?” “Because the bells ring ever so often – every 15 minutes!” He was reassured when he learned that they only tell the time.
It was very cold, but many refugees wanted to know more about Unterföhring
The after-Christmas decoration in the catholic church was admired by the refugees during the walkabout in Unterföhring