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

Project Report | Jul 7, 2022
A friendship that will last

By Theresa Aengenheyster | Project Leader

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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Organization Information

Aktion Deutschland Hilft e.V.

Location: Bonn - Germany
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Theresa Aengenheyster
Bonn , Germany

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