Volunteer with us. Which teams you may join.

Since February 24, 2022, we have been helping children and adolescents with disabilities and mental peculiarities, as well as their parents or other caring persons, to relocate from Ukraine to a safe place, settle down, and receive the first necessary assistance.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Our initiative group is called Sunflower Care. Since February 24, 2022, we have been helping children and adolescents with disabilities and mental peculiarities, as well as their parents or other caring persons, to relocate from Ukraine to a safe place, settle down, and receive the first necessary assistance.

Our team includes volunteers from various backgrounds. Among them are also neurodiverse individuals, people with disabilities, and queer persons. We embrace diversity and do not discriminate based on nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, skin color, disability, neurodiversity, or mental health status. Welcome!

All volunteers and the people we all help together can expect to be treated with care.

Remember, any time you spend volunteering is valuable. Base your involvement on your personal capabilities and resources.

About our working groups:

We have four main working groups, which can be called "evacuation", "family coordinators", "translators", and "therapists".

More about accompanying families and volunteer duties:


This job involves a lot of communication with the family through messengers and/or offline. One family may have several curators at different stages of their journey from Ukraine to a safe country.


- Primary information gathering about the family and communicating with other volunteers to enter the information. It's very important to call the family yourself and find out all the details and individual needs that might not have been reflected in the initial application.
- Organizing and obtaining urgent medical care, if needed.
- Assisting in the preparation of German documents and finding doctors. More information about the registration stages in Germany will be provided separately.
- Identifying points of humanitarian aid, tips on finding free food and household items, helping to find Ukrainian-speaking communities and volunteers at the place of distribution, schools, kindergartens.

How does your volunteering start? Initially, we connect you with one of the experienced volunteers, who will work with you in pairs using one family as an example, and you can consult on all matters in Signal. You can ask questions and get help and support. The same applies if you want to help with evacuations. Once you gain experience, you may choose to take care of a family or evacuate a family on your own. If you're more comfortable not taking responsibility, you can continue to work in tandem with another volunteer.

Difficulty of the job: you need to be psychologically resilient to help people who might be confused, disoriented, etc. Many receive not what they expected. Many want to return, cannot figure out the documents, call at odd hours, etc. The same applies to the group of evacuators.

EVACUATORS More about the evacuation group:

The evacuation group has a separate chat where evacuation requests are discussed. Many people with disabilities cannot be evacuated on a regular train/bus. They require an ambulance, a reclining seat, etc. The evacuation group decides how and where to evacuate a person/family, buys tickets, explains how to get to the place, looks for volunteers at train stations, and temporary housing en route, if needed.

Difficulty: it's often hard to understand whether it's worth transporting a person or not, people have wrong ideas about what awaits them, they ponder on the way, unexpected things arise, both dependent (omitted to say they have a dog) and independent (train canceled). You need to keep a clear head and stay calm. In non-standard situations, you will always get support and/or brainstorming in the internal Signal chat.

Third group - TRANSLATORS.

This group of people spontaneously intercepts translations when required. They are not in constant contact with the family but only take over for a specific call/visit somewhere. Translations are possible both in person and over the phone.

What's difficult about translations?

Individual translations do not require understanding the family's situation entirely, but you still need to get an idea of the family's specific difficulty, not just translate word for word. For example, if someone needs urgent treatment, it's necessary to emphasize that the person is in severe pain/deteriorating. So, you are not just acting as a translator but as the family's "advocate", aiming to achieve a certain goal during the translation.

You often need to be persistent, demanding additional explanations from doctors and social workers.

Often curators, who have many families, don't have time to find out why the family is going to a particular appointment. You should independently ask the family and understand their situation.

If people ask for further help and you are not ready to provide it, you need to insistently tell them to contact their curators as they contacted you the first time.

How does it work? In case of translations, we will add you to a separate chat in Signal. In the chat, you can discuss and request translations.


These are separate specialists in art therapy, psychology, etc. They are not united into a special group, but we have their contacts, involve them in workshops

, ask them to connect with families for psychological assistance, etc. If you are such specialists and want to volunteer, please let us know what and how you can do, and we will figure out what format we can offer you.


- To provide real estate services: choosing apartments not based on needs but on the family's subjective wishes (more rooms, better area, better furnishings)

- To mediate in obtaining medical services that you do not deem necessary, for example, someone wants an appointment at Charité with endocrinologists, but does not want to visit a general therapist first.

- To provide psychological help if you do not have relevant education. In this case, you should turn to specialists from other groups.


- To people without disabilities, neurotypical people. Remember: there are invisible forms of disability, neurodiversity, chronic diseases. You can only learn about them directly from the person or from their caregivers.

- If there is disrespectful or negligent treatment of your time: calls at any time without special reasons if they are uncomfortable for you, exaggerated demands on you in general.

- If there are systematic violations of agreements (lateness, no-shows for appointments, refusal of processes organized with third parties at the last minute, refusal to provide data for entry into the table and housing search).

- If there is systematic refusal of communication without a valid reason (not answering calls and messages in messengers, not passing on data necessary for finding temporary and permanent housing, certificates, and diagnosis confirmations, if any). Remember: there are cases where it was not possible to make a diagnosis in Ukraine (especially in the case of autism, ADHD, and other neurodivergences).

Please remember, volunteering is not always easy for everyone. You must set personal boundaries in communication with those you are helping and with other volunteers. You can ask someone not to call you but only write, turn off the phone, give only contact, for example, in Telegram, get a separate phone, not respond to messages, etc.

If you feel overwhelmed, you can always turn to the coordinators of the groups and ask for support, consult on what you doubt.


None of the above - evacuation, coordination, translation, therapy - is suitable for me. Can I help?

We need help with writing texts and letters to officials, finding things, finding housing, design, and much more. Write how much time you could volunteer and what you can do. We will see what we can come up with.

I don't know if I can volunteer. How to determine?

Just try. In any case, you lose nothing.

What if I harm the family?

There are so few volunteers and so many families that even an attempt to help will be useful. Many families have no one to help them.

I don't know German. I'm not in Germany. Can I volunteer?

Primarily, we need people who know German. Even a little knowledge is better than nothing. However, we can still try to come up with a format of help for you where it is not required. We have such volunteers. The same can be said about being outside of Germany.

What is ableism and what does this concept have to do with Sunflower Care e.V?

Ableism is discrimination against people with disabilities, chronic illnesses, and neurodivergence. Ableism can manifest both in the denial of disability or neurodivergence, for example, attributing it to weak will, etc., and in considering people with disabilities and neurodivergence as "inferior" to neurotypical persons and persons without disabilities and chronic illnesses. Ableism in Germany manifests both in individuals and entire organizations. For example, people in Heim - institutions for people with disabilities, neurodivergence, chronic illnesses, and for very elderly people - especially suffer. It's important to remember that persons with disabilities, neurodivergence, and chronic illnesses, as well as their caregivers, often face ableism. Since Sunflower Care e.V. helps such persons, it's important to remember this and try to change the conditions of people where possible. Government institutions often do not protect their interests.

We are very grateful for your solidarity.

Thank you for being with us!

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