Flooding Relief in Germany

by Aktion Deutschland Hilft e.V.
Flooding Relief in Germany
Flooding Relief in Germany
Flooding Relief in Germany
Flooding Relief in Germany
Flooding Relief in Germany
Flooding Relief in Germany
Flooding Relief in Germany
Flooding Relief in Germany
Flooding Relief in Germany
Flooding Relief in Germany

It's closing time in Krälingen, a small town above the Ahr valley. 
Summer sun, winding roads and old half-timbered houses. Just a few minutes' drive
away: makeshift bridges, empty houses, construction sites - the consequences of the
flood disaster in July 2021 are still visible in the valley. In Kralingen it all
seems far away.

The consequences of the catastrophe seem far away in Kralingen The first mobile homes appear behind a curve. Elfie and her husband as well as
Mathilde have found a temporary home in two of these houses. "There's enough space
for two yoga mats next to each other - and we have a great view here," enthuses
Elfie. Despite the cheerful mood, one thing is clear: Elfie and Mathilde did not
wish for "life in a tiny house", which has become a trend in recent years. For them
it is a temporary emergency solution after the floods - financed by donations that
went to Aktion Deutschland Hilft after the disaster. Several alliance organizations
have also financed mobile homes and tiny houses. A total of over 300 accommodations
have been created in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia.

Memories of the flood night in the Ahr Valley "The water came so quickly," Mathilde remembers the night of July 14th
to 15th, 2021. "I sat up in the attic and cuddled in a blanket when it got dark."
She found two tea lights and a few matches in her house in Kreuzberg. "I sat there
all night and of course I was very scared." From outside she heard the water coming
from all directions - and finally the first helicopters. First, Mathilde stayed with her son in Cologne, but quickly realizes: "I'm not a
city person. I grew up in the country, this is my home." A boarding house in
Altenahr becomes their second emergency shelter - and the place where Elfie and her
husband greeted with a "Hello, we're the new neighbors!" step into the life of the

After the flood, the women support each other The house of Elfie´s family in Altenburg is also uninhabitable after the flood.
"We set up a flood flat share community in the pension," the 64-year-old recalls.
"We spent the evenings together, drank a little wine and supported each other in
the months that followed." Eventually they have to move out of the boarding house,
but with a bit of luck, Elfie and Mathilde will remain neighbors. They have been
living terrace by terrace in Krälingen since February 2022 and often spend evenings
like this together. The municipalities are the owners and administrators of the
mobile homes financed by Aktion Deutschland Hilft. Whoever moves in was decided on
the basis of a means test. How long people will stay in the shelters depends on the
renovation and construction work and varies widely. A major benefit is that people
can stay close to their actual homes.

34 square meters that have become a home "I'm grateful for this friendship and that I can live in such a beautiful house,"
says Mathilde. Orchids at the window, decorative hearts, a book to browse through,
next to chocolate, prepared for the visit. Upholstered living room furniture made
of dark wood, right next to it is the bright kitchenette, two small bedrooms, and a
narrow bathroom. Even if the little space is a change, the 34 square meters have
become a home for Mathilde. "Life has changed completely since the flood," says
Elfie. "The many people who helped us - and who want to hear our stories - were and
are positive. The neighborhood that we are allowed to cultivate here is also
positive." Nevertheless, she wishes for one thing above all: to return to her own house.
It could be by the end of the year. But one thing is already certain: "Even if
there will be a new neighborhood at some point, this friendship will remain."
Thanks to all donors who make this help possible!

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During the first few weeks, a mobile team drove to the flooded area several times a week to clarify questions on site and expand the network. As a result, the main focus of the relief effort became to support the social infrastructure with a focus on child and youth welfare. "Funded institutions were and are primarily parents' initiatives, support associations attached to schools and kindergartens. As a registered association, we can support social institutions of the same structure more easily than individual households or companies," says speaker Liliana Wadelnour.

As an emergency aid measure, each facility received up to 30,000 euros from donations. From these 80 facilities, four were finally filtered out that will be supported as “lighthouse projects” in reconstruction with up to 630,000 euros in the long term until 2024."Our aim was to visit every facility, both during the application process and afterwards. The rebuilding and building of children's and youth facilities, retirement homes, fire brigade structures, educational and leisure facilities make it possible to deal with the emergency and support recovery of everyday life," adds Natalie Luetjens.


In addition, we are providing funds to create two social worker positions. These should initiate participatory projects in which children and young people explicitly have their say. "As a youth facility, we see ourselves as lobbyists for young people. In the ongoing reconstruction process, children and young people were never asked for their opinion on how they would organize the reconstruction. We now want to change that with the new social workers who go to the individual locations and, for example offer workshops for the future," stresses director Petra Klein.


This will certainly not be the last, and perhaps not the worst, environmental disaster in Germany, Carina Rolly sums up. "It is all the more important that we concentrate on our strengths, pay attention to those close to us and act together without competition, with compassion, understanding and every possible commitment in the disaster. For better disaster relief, all hands are needed, from the profit sector, politics and civil society."



Thank you very much for your kind donation!

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Aktion Deutschland Hilft
Aktion Deutschland Hilft

In the night of July 15, 2021, severe storms have left major destruction in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia. Many families lost their homes, 183 people were killed. More than 40,000 people are suffering from the consequences of the disaster.

“The mud is gone, the medication is gone, the plaster is off the walls. It’s kind of an open hole.” This is how a pharmacist describes her old business premises in Altenahr, which were damaged by the floods. After the flood disaster, she provisionally distributed medicines in to the affected people in a small issuing office.

She has now moved into one of the newly constructed container from one of our alliance organization and can resume regular pharmacy service.

“Many people are very exhausted. The first wave of colds is starting. In addition, we are observing many complaints about insomnia and inner restlessness. The prescriptions prescribed by the doctors also show that the psychological strain on people is very high” says the pharmacist.

Right next to the pharmacy, in a second container, a doctor and her small team were able to set up treatment rooms. The praxis of the general practitioner was originally located in Altenahr and was also destroyed by the floods. She was only able to save the patient files.

Not everything is as it used to be, but the first patients can be received and treated. “We hope that we will soon be able to take blood samples. That we can vaccinate. That we can examine a little more” she says.

For at least one year, the pharmacy and the doctor’s office in Kalenborn will continue to operate – and with it, basic medical care for the immediate region. The relief workers are now in the process of planning further projects to support the people.

Thank you very much for your kind donation!

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Organization Information

Aktion Deutschland Hilft e.V.

Location: Bonn - Germany
Project Leader:
Theresa Aengenheyster
Bonn, Germany
$87,070 raised of $100,000 goal
220 donations
$12,930 to go
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