Russia's war of aggression on Ukraine and the suffering inflicted on the population are leaving people in Monheim am Rhein lost for words. Many of our citizens have taken in refugees in their homes, have offered free-of-charge living space to the City, support Ukrainian refugees in their day-to-day lives and with visits to authorities, organize events, have worked as telephone interpreters, or have donated furniture, toys or money. Monheim am Rhein welcomes Ukrainian refugees warmly and thanks its citizens for their supportive and committed action.
To make sure that any help provided reaches those that need it, the Advisory Service (Beratungscentrum) is coordinating all inquiries and activities in close cooperation with the City of Monheim and SKFM, the local Catholic social services association. Anyone who would like to help out personally or needs help can turn directly to the Advisory Service by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information for refugees:
Initial registration and personal support
Clothes and furniture
Public transport, cycling, cell phones and internet access
Healthcare and vaccinations
Information from the police for victims of violence
Information on non-local issues in Ukrainian is available from the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior.
Refugees who would like to stay in Monheim am Rhein need to register here. The City has commissioned SKFM, the local Catholic social service organization, with carrying out the initial registration (Erstregistrierung). SKFM staff members come to the immigration point and provide information on the first steps – even in Ukrainian, if required.
To make an appointment: email@example.com
The SKFM continues to offer refugees personal support as needed even after their initial registration as part of the Welcome project. SKFM staff keeps in touch with the refugees, accompanies them on appointments with authorities and helps them build a network in Monheim am Rhein. If you have any questions or need support, feel free to contact SKFM.
Some issues are easily resolved by getting in touch. The right contact person is mentioned underneath each of the items listed below.
Initial entry at Lieselott Diem sports hall
The City operates an emergency shelter at Lieselott Diem sports hall in Baumberg with space for a total of 120 refugees. If you cannot immediately find private accommodation, this is where the City will house you for the time being. The shelter is open around the clock and is managed by the German Red Cross (Deutsches Rotes Kreuz).
Phone: +49 (152) 21770501
Address: Geschwister-Scholl-Strasse 69
Currently, the shelter does not allow pets. The City will try to help pet owners find private accommodation for their pets if required.
Anyone who has the option is requested to stay with friends, acquaintances or relatives.
Municipal housing offers
The City has rented apartments for refugees from private property owners in the area. This space is given to refugees once the City has received their initial registration, regardless of whether they are currently staying in the shelter or with friends or family.
Along with the initial registration, the City will help refugees fill in and submit an application for asylum seeker support with the City of Monheim am Rhein. Then, any other formal requirements are clarified together with the refugee directly at the town hall. SKFM staff will also accompany you for your appointments with municipal authorities.
As a rule, refugees will receive the required financial support within a few days of submitting the application. Initially, funds will be issued by cheque; later, when a German bank account is available, by bank transfer. SKFM also offers support for opening a German bank account. The amount of financial support depends on various factors, such as age or type of accommodation and board. Specific information will be given to you in the course of the application process.
Until May 31, 2022, Ukrainian refugees will receive social benefits directly from the City of Monheim am Rhein in line with their status as asylum seekers (Asylbewerber). From June 1, 2022, Ukrainian refugees will be regarded as having unemployed status (erwerbslos). This means that the Job Center of the district of Mettmann will then be authority that grants social benefits. Refugees will be informed of the exact details in good time. One thing, however, will not change: The City of Monheim am Rhein and SKFM will continue to offer refugees support with whatever issues they may encounter.
The SKFM runs a charity store in the immediate vicinity of the town hall. "SKFM - Der Laden" on Rathausplatz 3 offers second-hand goods at extremely low prices, including shoes, trousers and outerwear.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
The Red Cross operates a clothes bank on Grabenstrasse 54, which gives out clothing to people in need.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9.00 to 11.00 a.m. and 3.00 to 5.00 p.m.
SKFM operates a furniture store called "SKFM - das Möbellager" on the corner of Schwalbenstrasse and Hasenstrasse, which sells second-hand furniture for bedrooms and living rooms and other small items of used furniture at low prices.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.
The Beratungscentrum advisory service regularly sends out emails informing recipients about furniture donated by members of the public. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be included in the mailing list. You can also highlight any specific personal needs you may have via this email address. The Beratungscentrum will then forward relevant offers to you.
Buses and trains
Any Ukrainian who has had to leave their country because of the war is entitled to free-of-charge use of public transport in the whole of North Rhine-Westphalia and in many other parts of Germany. This applies to the use of all regional trains, such as the S-Bahn, Regionalbahn or Regionalexpress, and all subway, tram or bus lines.
A Ukrainian ID card or the "0 Euro Ticket" issued by Deutsche Bahn for long-distance services serve as your ticket. This regulation applies until further notice. The Deutsche Bahn website provides more detail.
Sojus 7 has organized a bike workshop where volunteers repair donated bicycles. These can be borrowed free of charge by refugees.
Many German telephone network operators offer free of charge packages for phone calls and SMS text messages to Ukraine from German cellular and landline networks. Deutsche Telekom, for instance, provides refugees with free-of-charge SIM cards with unlimited data and telephony in coordination with the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. Some supermarket prepaid providers make similar offers. Adult and adolescent refugees aged 14 and older can obtain their free-of-charge SIM card via the official aid organizations or the Telekom shops.
Refugees who have already found an apartment where they can stay and need internet access there can contact the Freifunk/Neanderfunk non-profit association. The association provides the required hardware and installation support free of charge, dependent on the availability of the Freifunk network at the respective residence.
The City covers health insurance for refugees receiving social benefits. If someone needs to see a doctor urgently, the statutory health insurance company Novitas will issue a preliminary treatment voucher (vorläufiger Behandlungsschein) to any refugee. After about eight weeks, a regular health insurance card is issued to refugees.
Refugees from Ukraine can be vaccinated against Covid free of charge. The SKFM arranges for appointments in cooperation with local physicians. Medical information in Ukrainian is available here.
A valid measles vaccination certificate is requested for children who wish to attend schools and is a mandatory requirement for children who attend kindergarten or child daycare in schools. Apart from the measles vaccination, the German Standing Vaccination Committee (Ständige Impfkommission) recommends some additional vaccinations. Should you require advice on vaccinations issues or wish to have yourself or your own child vaccinated, please contact SKFM. The SKFM cooperates with several private practices in Monheim.
A tuberculosis test makes sense for everyone. It is only mandatory for persons who are accommodated in shared accommodation such as the Lieselott Diem sports hall. The health department (Gesundheitsamt) of the district of Mettmann (Kreis Mettmann) arranges tuberculosis tests for refugees in Mettmann within the first three weeks of entering the country. The City will take care of travel arrangements to Mettmann.
Finding work in Germany
Refugees who wish to start working in the Federal Republic of Germany require a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis). To obtain the permit, refugees must apply for it at the District of Mettmann's Immigration Department (Ausländeramt). Once the residence permit – or the preliminary permit, called a "Fiktionsbescheinigung" - has been issued, the holder may start working.
Ausländeramt des Kreises Mettmann
(District of Mettmann Immigration Department)
Düsseldorfer Strasse 47
Phone: +49 (2104) 994553
Working in the Ukraine
Refugees who are continuing to generate an income in the Ukraine, e.g. by means of web-based activities, do not require a permit for this. However, any income achieved must be declared when applying for social benefits; these benefits are reserved for those in need, i.e., people who currently do not have any income of their own.
Support for job seekers
Once a work permit has been issued, the Beratungscentrum advisory service has been commissioned by the City with supporting job seekers in finding a suitable position.
Phone: +49 (2173) 2042015
More information for Ukrainian refugees is available from the website of the German job agency (Agentur für Arbeit).
Offers for children under three years
The parent cafés (Elterncafés) in Monheim and the various groups in the two Mo.Ki cafés warmly welcome parents with toddlers up to three years.
Offers for children aged three and older
The kindergarten places for the upcoming kindergarten year will be allocated from August onwards. At the same time, several of the childcare facilities are installing new small groups for Ukrainian children. Refugees can sign up for the waiting list.
Kivan hotline: +49 (2173) 951-5177
Offers for families
In addition to the regular offers, the Mo.Ki cafés are open on two afternoons each week especially for Ukrainian families to meet, talk and spend their free time together in a relaxed atmosphere.
Mo.Ki-Café Monheim, Heinestrasse 6
Mondays and Fridays, 2.30 p.m. to 4.00 p.m.
Contact: Ronja Muras, Phone: +49 (2173) 951-5193, email: email@example.com
Mo.Ki-Café Baumberg, Geschwister-Scholl-Strasse 57
Mondays and Thursdays, 2.30 p.m. to 4.00 p.m.
Contact: Hannin Nasirat, Phone: +49 (2173) 951-5197, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The adult education center (Volkshochschule, VHS) offers German language courses. Refugees can take part free of charge. Please contact the VHS directly if you would like to take a German course.
Monheim am Rhein offers a wide range of leisure activities, which are open to everyone, including children, adolescents and adults from Ukraine.
Sprachbar at Sojus 7
"Sprachbar" means "Language Bar" in German. Sprachbar is a place where you can practice your German and get to meet new people in a relaxed atmosphere. There are a range of board games and a café service. It is also a good starting point for planning other shared activities.
Wednesdays from 5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m., Café "Zum goldenen Hans", Ernst-Reuter-Platz 14
There are over 60 different sports sites in Monheim am Rhein. Many of them are freely accessible and can be used free of charge. The sports office (Sportbüro) can provide an overview.
You can also join one of the over 35 sports clubs as an active member. The clubs offer a wide variety of sports for sportspeople of any age. From a very active chess scene that holds regular tournaments to almost all of the classic games such as soccer, handball, volleyball and basketball, the sports clubs offer something for everybody. The municipal sports association (Stadtsportverband Monheim) as their umbrella organization can provide more information.
Under the motto "Kaffee, Kuchen und Kunst" (coffee, cake and art), the art school (Kunstschule) of Monheim am Rhein on Berliner Ring 9 opens its doors to children, mothers and grandparents who want to get creative every Friday from 3.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Ulla Hahn Haus
"Café Elmar" is a regular event at the Ulla Hahn house of literature, where visitors are read stories in several languages, there are singalongs and handicrafts. The next event dates are on 27th May and 17th June, always from 4.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. There is no need to register.
The "Zwischen den Zeilen" (Between the lines) course for teenagers takes place every Monday from 5.30 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. It is all about books, current issues and creative writing in your own language. The course is free of charge. To register, contact Ulla Hahn Haus by email to email@example.com or by telephone under +49 (2173) 951-4140.
The library also warmly welcomes refugees. There are illustrated dictionaries and fiction for adults and children in Ukrainian and Russian, and plenty of reading on "German as a foreign language." There's also a large inventory of board games, music and films.
Adult education center
The adult education center (Volkshochschule) offers courses and workshops for adults.
Haus der Jugend
The ‘Haus der Jugend’ youth center is a meeting place for children, teens and young adults on Tempelhofer Strasse 17. Be there or be square – it's all about joint activities, talking to each other and discovering new things together: Games, sports, cooking, handicrafts, music, dancing and celebrating. All offers are free of charge. There is no need to register.
Baumberg Youth Club
The youth club (Jugendklub) in Baumberg is a meeting point for children, teens and young adults on Humboldtstrasse 8. Be there or be square – it's all about joint activities, talking to each other and discovering new things together: Games, sports, cooking, handicrafts, music, dancing and celebrating. All offers are free of charge. There is no need to register.
For 6-to-13-year-olds: Mondays to Thursdays, 3.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.
For teens aged 14+ Mondays to Thursdays, 6.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.
Refugees who bring pets with them must inform the veterinary office of the district of Mettmann by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The following information should be provided:
The veterinary office will then contact the owner to discuss further steps. Animals, especially dogs, cats and ferrets, must initially remain in domestic quarantine until released by official veterinarians.
Refugees do not have to pay dog tax for dogs in 2022. However, they must be reported not only to the district of Mettmann, but also to the municipal office of public order (Ordnungsamt) by emailing to email@example.com. The following information should be provided:
The municipal office of public order will only get in touch, if the animals are "dogs of certain breeds" or "dangerous dogs".
Leashes are always compulsory in the city area, except within the designated off-leash areas. More infirmation can be found in these leaflets.
The police of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia can provide you with extensive support and information on issues such as human trafficking, sexual exploitation, dangers of using the internet, dubious offers of work and victim protection.
The SKFM can provide immediate support in the event of violence against women and children and for pregnant women in need.