Help for refugees – Back to school after 20 years of retirement


Currently, more than 150 teachers, who are retired, are helping to teach Ukrainian children. The “Krone” accompanied Rudolf Hüttner (77) from Vorchdorf.

Rudolf Hüttner (77) from Vorchdorf has been retired for 20 years – but now he returns to class at his old school: he helps Ukrainian children who had to flee from home learn German. At the local inspection “Krone” in the secondary school in Vorchdorf, he stands with an apple in front of the eleven students, they eagerly point to it, join the lesson – “he peels”, “I peel”, the children say in German , that’s already very good.

“It goes without saying that I help”
“The mood is good, everyone is very eager to learn,” says the teacher. You can see how much he enjoys helping and teaching again: “I have eight grandchildren, the oldest is 18. If my grandson had been in Ukraine now, he would have been summoned and the others would have come with me to flee their mothers . If you put yourself in the shoes of how it would be the other way around for us, it goes without saying that I help.”

Experiences with Turkish and Bosnian children
More than 30 years ago, the Vorchdorf native began teaching high school in his home community. Director Sonja Staudinger describes it as a “walking encyclopedia”. He had already taken care of Turkish and Bosnian children in the 1980s and 1990s: “When those children came, the question was briefly ‘What are we going to do with them?’ This has given me some experience for the current situation,” said Hüttner.

“The mood among the children is very positive”
He teaches for two hours once a week, but he is not alone. An 82-year-old also returned to the classroom in Vorchdorf. But it’s not just retired teachers who help, two secondary school teachers are also involved in teaching German. One of them is Margarete Kienesberger (60) from Gmunden, who, in addition to being the director, played a decisive role in the organization and also devotes a lot of time to this task: “The mood among the children is very positive considering the situation. They are grateful for everyone word we speak to them, our students have really accepted the Ukrainians,” she says.

future is uncertain
However, there is hardly any mention of fleeing their homeland, here they are cautious: “People don’t know what they really went through. But if they want to talk about it, we are all happy to listen and we are there.” Whether the students will still be in Vorchdorf in the autumn: “If they are still there, we want to fully integrate.” them in the normal classes. We all hope that peace will come after all, and they all want to go back to their homeland,” Kienesberger said.

Director Sonja Staudinger is also happy to be able to help: “It is not only good for the children to build up a social life with us. It is also good for the parents if they have a morning to themselves.”

Source: Krone


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