With everyone wearing a uniform of a blue T-shirt, the employees' first task was painting the walls a sunny yellow. "It is fantastic to do something with your hands and to get together with co-workers from other departments who you otherwise wouldn't necessarily meet," commented Julia Hörmann, who normally works in Integration & Release Management, while she was painting the base of the hallway. Out in the garden employees worked on building a sand box and seating.
One particularly important feature of the day was the interaction with the refugees. A few residents slipped on a blue T-shirt and pitched in. Even though one or two of them may have been a bit shy, using gestures and actions plus roller and paint helped bridge the communication gap.
These individuals from foreign lands were glad to share details of their lives. They included young men who have been in Germany for three or four years and are awaiting a response from the authorities and are working temporary jobs to earn a bit of money, as well as a mother, who together with her three children, brothers, and her own mother has lived in this residence for 13 years.
"After today the main thing I will take away is being more careful not to have prejudices against refugees. This was the first time I have visited this kind of home – an emotional experience. But our conversations with the residents have shown me that you can't just lump everyone together into one group," said Olena Franchuk from Risk Management at Daimler Financial Services.