Dresden (dpa/sn) – The Arbeiterwohlfahrt (AWO) Sachsen arranged more than 600 sponsorships for refugees this year than ever before. More than a third of this benefited people from Ukraine, as the Central Association of Free Welfare claimed in a statement on Tuesday in Dresden.

Through the program, volunteers support refugees, people with disabilities and children in need in everyday life. The regular meetings over six to eight months enabled an intensive exchange with people who have been living in Saxony for a long time, whereby there are contacts right down to the families.

According to AWO, the commitment has grown significantly in the course of the Ukraine war. “We are still receiving inquiries, especially about 1:1 sponsorships, but no new sponsorships can be accepted for this year,” it said. Funds have been requested for 2023 to continue the program. The AWO is thus making an important contribution to the welcoming culture in Saxony, said project manager Ilko Kessler. By taking on a sponsorship, those involved would help refugees arrive and be gradually integrated into society.