Exchange student helps with Germany’s immigration crisis

Greta Markey, Freelance Reporter

LT sophomore Angelina Kapp ‘18 has been helping establish immigration refugee shelters with her host family as a part of her year abroad in Germany.

From July 2015 to July 2016, through the Congress Bundestag Exchange group, Kapp will be spending a year in a town called Erkelenz Germany, Kapp’s mother Gia Kapp said. She is attending school throughout the year and will return fluent in German.

“She has jumped in two feet,” Gia said. “I hope for her to discover that she can overcome any obstacle. It is my hope she finds this world is small and we are responsible for  all of it and it’s inhabitants.”

According to the UN Refugee Agency, there are almost half a million refugees and asylum seekers in Germany fleeing war stricken areas in Syria and the Middle East. This is causing problems in Europe with regards to what to do with the excess number of people.

Angelina and her host family are helping with this crisis, Angelina said. The school her host mother works at has set up living courts in the gym and part of a wing. Angelina is helping to plan a camp in Eine Welt (translated “One World”), a club dedicated to help girls around the world as well as the refugees, she said. Her town also hosted a day for children welcoming the refugees and having celebrations.

“I went with my [host] sister and [host] Mom, and loved seeing all of the children dance to their native music.” Angelina said.

Angelina hopes to help communicate with the refugees, because often refugees only speak their native tongue and English- not German, she said. Because English is her first language, it may be easier for her to talk to them.

Angelina and her host family are still waiting for the refugees to arrive at the school, but until then there is not much she can do, she said.

“My [host] Mom and I really want to help,  but we are simply waiting until they come to the school so we can do more,” Angelina said.

Angelina also spends her free time doing school work, art projects with her host family, playing on the local soccer team and practicing her German, she said.