GERMANY — Millions of refugees fleeing war and economic hardships in the Middle East and Africa have made their way to Europe. They must learn a new language and learn how to deal with schools, transportation, banks and everything else. But a Christian foundation in Germany has created a unique housing project to help refugees adapt to their new life.
Khalil is a refugee who fled the war in Syria with his family. After living in a one-room apartment for four years, they now have their own kitchen, bathroom and two bedrooms thanks to a creative housing project supported by German Christians.
The project helps refugees adjust to life in Germany by housing local families under the same roof with arrivals from other countries. The concept has worked well in several German cities and has now come to southern city of Konstanz, where the Mayor helped inaugurate twenty new “hope house” apartments.
Roland Eberle is the site manager.
“The purpose is to integrate refugees with people that live a long time in Germany. And to give them a perspective for the future. One big word that we use is ’empowerment’, to make people stand on their own feet.”
This integrated living project is built on biblical values.
“Faith, love and hope – that is what we are try to live… we are not a mission organization, we are not an evangelistic organization. We are an integrative organization and we want to show the love of Christ. And people are able to participate with this love and to hopefully find Jesus.”
It’s been a long and hard journey from countries like Syria and Afghanistan to this community.
Jashid, refugee from Afghanistan:
“I don’t have a family. I fled to Iran when I was 12 and at some point I came to Germany. For five years I lived in (a refugee) center – a shared accommodation. It is wonderful that I have now found the house of hope and have so many nice people around me.”
A total of four hope houses have been built in Konstanz, each with five apartments of different sizes. The hope foundation has invested nearly seven million dollars in constructing this group of ecologically and economically sustainable buildings.
Local families are making their own investment as they live alongside the refugees. They include the Robles family who immigrated from Colombia a number of years ago.
And not only to help physically, right? But also spiritually. Speaking to them about Jesus is very important, I think the main thing. And truthfully I really like this project because I feel like I’m with family.
And for Khalil and his family, neighbors who share their love and support are a special benefit of living in this “house of hope”.
Source: Global News Alliance, Refugee Housing Community Includes German Christians