Many different groups have helped to build
Heckinghausen. For a whole week there was a lot of activity at Bockmühle 17 in Heckinghausen. Various groups had met with a common goal: they wanted to build a city, one made of Lego bricks, mind you. The refugees who have found shelter in the Art Hotel, the senior citizens of Heckinghausen from Café Johannis, the children from the Meyerstrasse primary school, the mothers’, fathers’ and children’s groups, as well as professional guidance, had plenty of building kits at their disposal. They all met in the “Krawatte” in the Bockmühle, as the spacious building in Heckinghausen is popularly called.
After temporarily serving as a district meeting place, the area will now continue to be used for social purposes – such as for this large integration project, which on Saturday was also viewed with favour by Sebastian Goecke from the municipal department of immigration and integration.
Many visitors and activists gather around the large table on which the Lego City, a joint project of the Protestant church community of Heckinghausen and the Social Service of Catholic Women (SKF), is set up. It is an imaginative construction in which a large garage is placed next to a Ferris wheel, in which assembled fire engines are moved back and forth by children’s hands, in which an airport, houses and towers have been created.
One tower is even remotely reminiscent of Heckinghausen’s landmark, the gas boiler. And in between, an electric toy train glides along the tracks. “A wonderful example of integration,” says Goecke, pleased with the hustle and bustle, in which refugees from Syria also participated. “They have been in Wuppertal for a long time and came to help the newcomers take their first steps,” explains Jeannette Remberg-Trump, project manager at the SKF.
Lina Lee comes to her aid. She is of Chinese descent, speaks Russian and Ukrainian and quickly gains the trust of the people who have experienced so much suffering in their home country. “It varies: some people find their way around immediately and are happy to join in everywhere, others are more reserved and still need to warm up. Understandable, since many young women in particular are tormented by worries about their husbands, the father of their children, their brothers and other male relatives. They have stayed in Ukraine and have to help as soldiers to repel the Russian invasion. “It is not unheard of that there is sometimes bad and sad news from home,” says Jeannette Remberg-Trump, who tells of a woman who went back to Ukraine for her son’s funeral.
These are moments when even the Protestant parish priest Christian Höhne from Heckinghausen does not have an easy job. But on Saturday, the young pastor is busy with pleasant things: He and the ladies of the SKF are assisted by many volunteers who contribute their various talents – such as Georg Arnolds-Weber, who teaches little Arne how to use a blade saw in an extra room.
At the end, Pastor Christian Höhne has a special surprise in store for the guests: a Christmas fairy tale by Charles Dickens as a puppet show.
THERE’S A LOT TO MARVEL AT: A CITY MADE OF LEGO BRICKS HAS BEEN CREATED IN THE TIE. PHOTO: TIM OELBERMANN
By Friedemann Bräuer