Since the floods in the Ahr Valley, the children of St. Martin primary school in Dernau gone to school elsewhere. A new container village is coming soon.
Eight months have passed since the terrible water flooded Jan’s family home. “We had water on the ground floor and a little on the first floor,” says the nine-year-old. For three years he attended St. Martin Folkeskole i Dernaubut the school building was also in July meters high in water.
Jan and the other students now take the school bus up the mountain every day Gelsdorf. Two classes from the Dernauer school are housed in the primary school there, four more at two other schools in Leimersdorf and Ringen.
“Everyone here has their own tablet,” says Jan enthusiastically, and there is an electronic whiteboard in each class. Paulina (10) also likes this, but she misses second and third grade at her school, which she no longer sees. In Gelsdorf she only meets the first classes, and that’s just the way it is, because the fourth classes are sponsors for the little ones.
Julian (7) is one of those he lives in law “On the mountain,” he says, for the water could not come forth in the summer. “Our sponsors explained a lot to us,” he recalls. “And we ate breakfast together. It was lovely.” Julian also likes that there are no whiteboards here, but smartboards. “You can watch movies and show pictures on it,” says the first-class enthusiastically.
Houses were demolished
In the valley of the river Ahr, many people do not yet live where they used to live. Many houses are still being renovated, some even had to be demolished after the flood. First class Mia (7) says: “We have entered Mayschoß lived down by Ahr. Below us was a pizzeria where I always got salami. Now I live in Oberdorf. ” The pizzeria no longer exists.
Mia remembers July 14 when her father picked her up from home. Her mother, stepfather and little brother were in the house when the water came during the night. Mia was lucky and did not have to experience the flood directly. But the places along the river are unrecognizable. After all, Mia has a big heart, and these days she is thinking of the children in Ukraine who are suffering during the war. “I donate something to them,” the seven-year-old says.
The dryers hum
Ralph Stollorz is the principal of St. Martin School. In the empty school building down in the valley, he shows how far the water has risen. The plaster has been knocked off the walls, it is extremely dusty, the dryers are humming in the corners – still. In a classroom on the first floor, the board is still written with keywords: bird, father, volcano. Date in the corner: July 9, 2021.
In the gym, the rings are still dangling from the ceiling, tables and chairs are stacked on the dirty hall floor, in one corner is the village’s makeshift laundry with ten washers and ten dryers in a row. A dirty line on the basketball hoop shows how far the water was in the hall in the summer.
Fuel oil-water broth moved into the walls
It is still unknown whether the school will be renovated again. The heating oil in the basement had run out into the water in July, the liquid stood in the building for days and penetrated through the walls. Sankt Martinskolen should therefore first be moved to a container village in Marienthal draw. “If nothing comes up, the containers must be ready for occupancy two weeks before the summer holidays,” says Ralph Stollorz. “That would be nice for the fourth year’s expulsion.”
Bianca Mies, a fourth-grade teacher, could have imagined staying at Gelsdorf Square. “We feel comfortable and in good hands here,” she says. “We have a lot of play equipment here, it will definitely be a bit cramped in the container village.” Up on the mountain, the children also have a small “perfect world”, in contrast to down in the valley, where the consequences of floods are still visible everywhere. In Dernau there is no supermarket, no butcher and no baker anymore.
Supervision in the blue circus tent
In the planned container village of St. Martin School in Marienthal will not only have classrooms and staff rooms, but also rooms for full-time care. It is currently housed in a large, blue circus tent in Dernau. “JUHte Laune” is written above the entrance. Johanniter’s aid organization organized childcare. There is even play, fun and a building corner in the tent. “Parents are not going to pay any fee this year,” the school principal says.
Reconstruction in Dernau will take a long time. Sometimes Paulina is upset. “When I look out the window, I can still see Grandma and Grandpa’s ruined house,” she says. The grandparents lived in Bonn for a long time after the flood. Now they’re back in town, but not back in the old house yet. Many people feel the same way, they still live in holiday apartments or small houses.
Many large machines work in Dernau
Like many other children, Jan did not lose any toys in the flood. “There was only a tiny bit of water in my room on the first floor,” the nine-year-old says. “My bike did not swim away either, only the gears had to be repaired. My sister got it. I now have a new bike. ” And Jan will be able to move into his house again when it is finally renovated.
The fourth grade also sees something positive in the construction site atmosphere in Dernau. “Here you can now see many large machines, for example the Fendt 936 Vario. This is one of the largest tractors in the world! “
The charity collects donations
St. Martin’s elementary school friends Dernau eV would like to new play equipment buy for the breaks when the container village stands. He also gives Families Money that has lost a lot and will day trips organized.
Association account in Kreissparkasse Ahrweiler: IBAN: DE37 5775 1310 0000 8924 63
Please write in the subject line: flood campaign for children
More articles from this category can be found here: Children’s News