How to eat to be torn
My cell phone vibrates. I pick it up and read the desperate message from Akram (name changed), a refugee from Afghanistan. He only received a tolerance, and he had hoped so much for recognition. My thoughts are torn. I'm sorry for Akram, because it is very difficult for him to be tolerated. His inner conflict will not improve. Because he doesn't know how long he can stay. His hopes were dashed again and he has no perspective for his life here in Germany.
On the other hand, I think: “Your own fault. Why didn't you pay the lawyer either? ”In this way, he would most likely have received recognition as a person entitled to asylum. But it's not that easy either. Akram and many other young men I deal with never learned how to handle money. You enter into contracts that involve regular costs. But they cannot pay for it in the long run. Then there are reminder fees and in a very short time young men have debts of 1,000 euros. If you have to get by on 320 euros a month, that's an enormous sum. How do you ever get out of this debt trap? Again and again I help the men to terminate contracts and support them in dealing with the debt collection companies.
And then there are the expectations of the relatives in the home country. Suddenly the mother gets sick. You can't refuse help from your own mother! Then 100 euros are quickly sent to Afghanistan and in the end there is no more money left for food, bus tickets or a new shampoo. It's amazing that they somehow manage to make ends meet.
I pick up the cell phone and leave Akram a message. I try to give him courage. A few days later I encourage him to seek help from a psychologist. His inner conflict and despair is great. Five years in Germany - no work, no prospects, no family ... I am also torn inside. Tobias Zinser
Tobias Zinser worked as a development worker in Afghanistan from 2012 to 2015. He has been working among refugees in Bad Liebenzell since 2016. Since 2018, he and his wife Sarah have been the project manager of the Bad Liebenzell Hope House.
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