The Community of Mönchengladbach in Germany is collecting aid for the flood victimsEmergency School of Peace
The Community of Sant'Egidio in Mönchengladbach is located in one of the hardest hit German Länder, North Rhine-Westphalia. To date, there have been 46 victims in Germany's most populous Land and devastation is great. Many have lost their homes or businesses. Particularly in parts of the Lower Rhine, the Eifel and the Aachen area. Small towns where some elderly friends of the community come from, with whom we have managed to establish contact at least by telephone over the last few days. The access roads are still blocked. The children of the Peace School in Mönchengladbach are used to going in the Eifel - a beautiful holiday destination - in the summer. Parishes and some religious congregations, with whom a friendship has been established over the years, have always welcomed them. Now many of these people find themselves in difficulty. After trying for days to reach them, we have been able to establish telephone contact and are waiting to get to the disaster sites soon. In the meantime, the children of the School of Peace are collecting clothes, food, toys and personal hygiene items to express their solidarity with those who have welcomed them for so many years. Some Syrian refugees, who arrived in Germany in 2015 and are now active in the Community, are among those helping. Ala, a Syrian woman, said: "We have also experienced great hardship and now we are happy to help". Indeed, the experience of suffering teaches us that we can only save ourselves together and we must remain united. "Because we are all in the same boat," said Bangin from Syria. A young German woman was impressed to see so much commitment-"I am pleasantly surprised that people are helping each other in such an impressive way as they are doing now."
The Youth for Peace have also sorted and packed the donations. We were able to send some aid. "We enjoyed doing it," said 18-year-old Lara. "It's nice to do something for others and we can't leave people alone in need". As soon as the roads open we will also be able to deliver the rest of the prepared aid in person and visit the affected elderly and families, and help with reconstruction.