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  • Aid for Ukrainian children from STEAG trainees

    Proceeds from STEAG trainee fundraising campaign donated to Caritas Essen

    Essen. In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the vast number of Ukrainians fleeing to Germany on account of this brutal war of aggression, the fourteen commercial trainees based in Essen decided to support the refugee shelters run by the Caritas Sozialdienst katholischer Frauen (SkF), a Catholic women’s welfare organization. The donations totaling exactly 777 euros will primarily benefit refugee children.

    As well as the money they had collected, the trainees, represented by Paulina Stegemann and Marian Seguro Bräuer, together with their instructor Joel Knörig, also handed over numerous donations in the form of school materials such as satchels and backpacks, exercise books, book covers and all manner of pens and other writing instruments at the city of Essen’s reception center for refugees in the former Marienhospital in Altenessen on June 7, 2022.

    Donations being put to use where they are needed

    Paulina Stegemann, herself a trainee and one of the organizers of the fundraiser, is delighted that numerous STEAG employees contributed to the campaign: “It’s great seeing right here on the spot at the shelter that our donations are being put to use where they are needed.”

    Indeed, it is particularly the donated school equipment that will provide immediate help for the children in getting started in their new and still unfamiliar surroundings: “Children often find it easier than adults to settle in and to adapt to a new language. The donations will now hopefully help get them off to a better start at school,” says Stefanie Horstmann, head of the Caritas-SkF-Essen gGmbH refugee facility.

    Further initiatives in the pipeline

    Moved by the fate of the Ukrainian children, the handing over of the money and other donations by no means signals the end of their commitment for STEAG’s junior staff. The young colleagues are, in fact, already planning another initiative in a few weeks’ time. On June 29, the STEAG trainees, in cooperation with the youth center in Essen-Werden, will be treating the Ukrainian children to an outing to Gelsenkirchen’s Zoom Erlebniswelt zoo.

    Talking to the Ukrainian children and the Caritas helpers focused awareness on the plight of the refugees: “Most of the children who have fled to Germany because of the war have no father with them here because, generally speaking, the Ukrainian men had to remain in the country to undertake compulsory military service,” Joel Knörig and Marian Seguro Bräuer point out. “This means they not only have to struggle with settling into a previously unknown environment, but also live with the constant worry about their relatives back home.”

    By taking the children to the zoo, the STEAG colleagues hope to help the children forget about their worries for a few hours.


    The press photo shows (from left to right)

    Stefanie Horstmann, head of refugee accommodation (Caritas SkF Essen gGmbH and CSE Ruhr), Paulina Stegemann (commercial trainee at the Essen site), Joel Knörig (commercial trainer at the Essen site), Marian Seguro Bräuer (commercial trainee at the Essen site).