Interviews with hosts: Laura in Göttingen

In March, Laura took in two Ukrainian sisters in her Göttingen apartment. In this interview, she talks about her new daily routine, the challenges and how much support she has received from the local community.

Laura, can you briefly describe your situation?

I recently started living with two Ukrainian sisters – 16 and 21 years old – in a 3-room apartment on a total of 60 square meters. The two now live in my study.

How did you prepare your home and what worked particularly well in retrospect?

I cleared the study for them to have their privacy there. I also cleaned out compartments for them in the kitchen, living room and bathroom. I would say that worked well and was important to start living together. I also printed out a picture dictionary and hung the slips of paper around the apartment to have a language bridge. Google Translate is also always a great help.

Who supported you in particular?

Two friends helped me clean out the room and get mattresses and bedding from the neighborhood. The neighbors were also very helpful via the platform. Otherwise, the refugee assistance of the city could always answer my questions as well.

We live together as a shared apartment and have also cooked for each other, for example, or watched a movie together once in a while.”

Laura Leppert, host for two sisters from Ukraine

How did the first week go?

After all the stress of moving in was over, the first week went very smoothly. We live together as a shared flat and have also cooked for each other, for example, or watched a film together. Otherwise, I try to assist them somewhat with the bureaucracy as much as I can. Nevertheless, all also have their privacy.

What were the biggest bureaucratic barriers you had to deal with in the beginning?

Fortunately for myself, there were no bureaucratic hurdles – the sisters were already officially registered with the city. Of course, I still had to make a few phone calls to the city, the landlord, etc., but that was limited. At the moment we are looking for a permanent home for them.

Is there anything that could have been made easier?

The organization at the municipality seemed a bit chaotic, but I’m sure everyone did their best.