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Here's Another Story Of Refugees Giving Back To Germany

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 30/03/2016 Sabrina Hoffmann
REFUGEES WELCOME GERMANY © Ina Fassbender / Reuters REFUGEES WELCOME GERMANY

I want to tell you the story of three refugees. You'll probably say to yourself: "Well, these are isolated cases." They could be.
But it's important to talk about these isolated cases. Because that's the only way to see the full picture. I won't stop talking about stories like these. At least not until the message is received, including by those of you who are reluctant to see the truth.
So the next time you find yourself reflecting about the refugee crisis (and that'll be soon), think of Saad, Okba, and Siba. They came from Syria to the Oberfranken district in Bavaria, Germany. One day, they wandered into an assisted living facility and offered to help. Just like that.
They wanted to do something for the senior citizens living in the home. This is significant, because not many people in Germany care about the elderly. This may go back to the fact that our society ostracizes those who can no longer contribute.

Saad, Okba, and Siba remind us that among the million refugees who arrived in our country in the past year, there are many who want to give back.

The three Syrians help to take care of the home's residents. As the German daily Munich Merkur reports, they play games with the residents and handle small tasks and errands.
Saad, Okba, and Siba could have just waited in their refugee shelter and done nothing. But they made a different choice.
Their current residency permit is valid for three years, and they want to do something meaningful in that time.
"In Syria, it's common for the young to help the elderly," Saad tells Merkur. They want to give back after all the help they've received in Germany.
I want you to understand one thing: These three Syrians are not exceptional cases. The number of Syrians who want to give back far exceeds the number of refugees who commit crimes in Germany.
You can't silence or ignore them. Because these three human beings exist and they're not the only ones who want to help.
Saad, Okba, and Siba remind us that among the million refugees who arrived in our country in the past year, there are many who want to give back.
These three refugees fled a war. Now, they're helping the people who rebuilt Germany after World War II. Isn't that a nice thought?

In the assisted living home, the three Syrians care for people who often feel lonely and unheard. And in the coming decade, there will be more and more lonely old people. And there will be fewer and fewer young people able to care for them.
And have you noticed anything else? These three refugees fled a war. Now, they're helping the people who rebuilt Germany after World War II. Isn't that a nice thought?
What Saad, Okba, and Siba are doing represents an opportunity. In many assisted living homes, the workers have to do an incredible amount of work, because the facilities are understaffed. I don't even want to imagine what that's going to look like in 20 or 30 years if things don't change.
To begin with, the three helpers worked in the home on a volunteer basis. In the meantime, they've embarked on a year of volunteer civil service, which for a while now has been available to asylum seekers.
That's a small step, but in the right direction. Because this way, refugees can immediately begin to contribute to our society.
I have one thing to ask of those among you who have hope: Keep repeating stories like this one. Don't stop. Tell stories that give courage and show the whole picture. In these fearful times, it's especially important that these stories be heard.
This post first appeared on HuffPost Germany. It has been translated into English and edited for clarity.

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