Shopping Trip Builds Relationships

It felt like a piece of home to residents of TeachBeyond Deutschland’s refugee house in Marzell. Our refugee workers Susanne Seywald and Natalie Rudolph took their friends on a trip to a large, open-air market in Mulhouse, France, where the shoppers and stand-holders are a mix of nationalities and cultures. The refugees could hear their own language, find products from “home,” and bargain for the prices as they did in their home countries.

It was amazing how everyone in the group supported one another, and the adults took turns caring for the toddlers in the group so their mothers could browse in peace. Susanne and Natalie learned about the products imported from Syria. It taught the Germans something about the Syrian culture.

It was interesting to them that the women in the group asked their opinion about the fashion choices in the market. It was important to them that Susanne and Natalie look at and comment on what they saw.

The refugees enjoyed this relaxing time away from everyday life and the stress of learning a new culture and language. Community activities like this are important because they strengthen relationships. A trusting relationship creates real interest in the other person – for their culture and belief.