ZEGG Education Centre

Life Teachings

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Jack's Workshop for Refugees

Jack Schrecker from ZEGG started an initiative for refugees some time ago. He makes used bicycles fit again and passes them on to interested people and also regularly invites people to an open repair workshop. Here is an insight into his work in the screwdriver workshop:

"It was very colourful in front of the Schrauberwerkstatt. Many people from the African continent (about 15 to 20) were with me in and in front of the workshop. You might think that this was another regular open workshop for refugees. Far from it.

A meeting with two of the refugees gave rise to the idea that two or three of them would come by on Saturday to either repair their bikes or to see if we had anything suitable in our bike pool.

Punctually at 10 am on Saturday, only one of them was standing there alone with his bike. When asked if the others were coming, he just shrugged his shoulders: "I don't know!
Around eleven, out of the blue, at least 15 refugees (mainly from Kenya) arrived. Some had been there before, some had only heard about us. No matter. They were standing there, making funny remarks, and little by little they dared to ask if we could fix the flat on the front wheel, the broken chain, the broken spokes, the broken saddle and much much more. Luckily, I had the support of my eleven-year-old junior mechanic Lars. He removed defective tyres, filled the hoses with air and oiled the chains. He even centred a rear wheel. The boy has real potential and, above all, he's calm. The way he moved through the crowd of people in front of the garage was sensational.

Along the way, we also had a chat. A pregnant refugee told us about her three children (9, 7 and 5 years old) and that she finally has a new boyfriend with whom she is having her fourth child. Another proudly reported about a job in a laundry in Beelitz. It was noticeable that the trip to ZEGG was a great change from the dreary everyday life in the transitional home.
At one o'clock in the morning I said goodbye to them all.
The exciting thing for me was that the work and the contact with the people gave me more energy. It's nice to notice how feelings of familiarity develop.
The ground for a stable contact seems to be slowly prepared."

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