We support refugees in Stuttgart!

You are affected by the war in Ukraine and fled to Stuttgart?

You have been through a lot. We listen and support you in many aspects of everyday life after your arrival in Stuttgart, including:

  • Initial reception at the main station and accompaniment to the reception facilities
  • Language accompaniment during doctor’s visits
  • Care for families and vulnerable groups.

Looking for help for refugee friends or want to help yourself?

You would like to become directly or indirectly active and support refugees? We are constantly looking for committed helpers and cooperation partners. Check out our outreach areas and get in touch if there’s something you’d like to join.


The most important in a nutshell

You have just arrived in Stuttgart and need some initial orientation help? Please read the following information carefully – especially if you have not yet made a decision for an initial reception center. We primarily provide empirical values here, are in close coordination with the Stuttgart authorities and endeavor to keep them up to date at all times:

Arrived in Stuttgart – what now?

The first step is to register at one of the initial reception centers. For refugees from Ukraine, the state initial reception centers are usually the first point of contact. From here, refugees are assigned to a district in Baden-Württemberg after a specific period (usually within four to six weeks) and are given a residence requirement there. Refugees have no influence over this process and cannot decide in which region they will ultimately be accommodated. Among the available initial reception centers, we recommend the NUK Freiburg and the AZ Meßstetten. We strongly advise against the LEA Karlsruhe because it is overwhelmed due to the current overall situation.

In the past, the NUK Sindelfingen was the central point of contact for newcomers in Baden-Württemberg, and as part of our efforts, we provided extensive support to refugees during the admission process, including our own transport services. As of September 28, 2023, this option is no longer available; refugees from Ukraine are no longer accepted at the NUK Sindelfingen.

NOTE: Directions to AZ Meßstetten can be downloaded from us. Due to the new situation and the geographical location of the accommodations, our ability to assist with the initial admission is now limited. However, we continue to be active in Stuttgart and the surrounding region and assist with transitions.

Another option is to go to Arrival Ukraine in Stuttgart. Here, refugees are assigned to the Schleyerhalle mass accommodation (Mercedesstr. 69, 70372 Stuttgart), where they stay for an indefinite period of time until they are assigned to a final accommodation in Stuttgart. Arrival Ukraine is located in the Jägerstr. 14, 70173 Stuttgart and is open at the following times:

Monday: 08:30 h – 12:00 h
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday: 08:30 h – 12:00 h
Thursday: 13:00 h – 17:00 h
Friday: closed

You can find more details about the admission in Stuttgart on the website of the city of Stuttgart.

Important: The accommodation at the emergency shelter Schleyerhalle is only and without exception with the start-up certificate, which is issued at Arrival Ukraine. If you are planning to register in Stuttgart, you must observe the above opening hours and plan your stay carefully. Temporary accommodation free of charge is not possible.

Also important: We do not advise refugees to register at Arrival Ukraine unless there is a valid reason to do so, because this will lead to final placement and residence requirements in the city of Stuttgart. In Stuttgart, however, refugees are at a disadvantage compared to other districts because residence permits have not been issued here to date, which results in considerable disadvantages when leaving the country and applying for social benefits.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Admission in the city of Stuttgart is now only granted if there is a justified connection to the city, meaning either friends or relatives have settled here.

Are refugees allowed to travel for free?

No. As of September 2022, almost all public support has ceased. The “help ukraine” ticket is also no longer issued by Deutsche Bahn in Stuttgart. Exceptions apply only in special cases or official measures, such as cross transfer from other federal states, where tickets are issued to the state initial reception facility.

Are there any free overnight accommodations in Stuttgart?

No. All refugees must make their own plans for temporary accommodation – also to bridge the waiting time for visits to the authorities. The possibility to stay overnight at waiting hall 2 at Stuttgart main station – as in the past until September 2022 – is not possible. We therefore advise all refugees to plan their stay in Stuttgart in good time.

How do I obtain a residence permit?

Refugees from Ukraine usually enter with a special status(§24 Residence Act). They receive a temporary residence permit (fictitious certificate), which entitles them to access the labor market and apply for social benefits at the Job Center. A fictitious certificate is also granted to refugees from other countries, but here without a work permit and only under the Asylum Seekers Act. In principle, a final decision on a residence title should be made in the course of the temporary stay, and refugees should receive their ID in plastic check form. Unfortunately, this does not happen in practice in Stuttgart until today, which causes considerable disadvantages for refugees in terms of applications and travel options. We therefore advise refugees to approach the initial reception outside Stuttgart (see above).

blue and yellow striped country flag

For more relevant info, check out the UAHelp wiki, a very well documented and maintained information platform for refugees and engaged people.

We are here for you!

Welcome to WOLJA! We are a non-profit association that cares for refugees in Stuttgart. We help you with the initial reception and with the new challenges of everyday life after your arrival. We understand that fleeing war, violence and persecution is a huge challenge and that there are often many difficulties when you arrive in a new country. But don’t worry, we’re here and we’ll do our best to welcome you and support you as much as we can. Our members and helpers have extensive language skills in German, Ukrainian, Russian and English, which we use as needed. We are here for you:

In the first registration
(Arrival Support)

We support refugees in the process of evacuation and admission to initial reception facilities. To this purpose, we work closely with internationally networked partners, including BAS and Rubikus, who coordinate with us the onward journey with the destination or stopover in Stuttgart. Please note the information below:

Evacuation from Ukraine

Our partner Rubikus is networked across Europe and supports refugees in evacuation from any region of Ukraine. A defined target can also be specified here. If you need assistance with evacuation, fill out the appropriate form and include the Telegram username @pavelleonidov as an additional contact. Then we will coordinate your departure and arrival in the Stuttgart region together.

Onward journey from Berlin

In many cases, Berlin is the primary point of contact and connection for people leaving Ukraine. On site, refugees receive support from volunteers from Berlin Arrival Support (BAS). We work closely with BAS and coordinate the onward journey to Stuttgart. In Berlin, BAS assists, among other things, with the purchase of ‘Help Ukraine’ tickets for the onward journey to an initial reception facility in Baden-Württemberg and contacts us directly if necessary. If you need local support in Berlin, it is best to contact BAS directly.

As soon as you arrive in Stuttgart, we will be there to support you and guide you through your next steps. On site, we offer the following support services:

Arrival at Stuttgart main station

The Bahnhofsmission Stuttgart is our cooperation partner and there for you at Gleis 16:

Monday – Friday18 – 21 h
Saturday14 – 17 h
Sundays and holidays9 – 21 h

We work closely with the “Bahnhofsmission” and are on-call on-site. Please contact us in advance if you need support on-site.

Arrival at a bus station

If you arrive at one of the bus stations Airport/Trade Fair (Flughafen / Messe), Kornwestheim, or Zuffenhausen, depending on our available capacity, we can pick you up and accompany you to Stuttgart; in justified exceptional cases, we can also transport to other places in Baden-Württemberg.

Please note that our resources are limited at this time and we are not able to provide a ride in every case.

Initial reception facilities

As outlined in the FAQ above, there are several options available for initial intake in Stuttgart and the surrounding area. We would like to tell you about the following options:

First state registration in Meßstetten

The main point of contact for Ukrainian refugees in the state of Baden-Württemberg is the AZ Meßstetten. It is open continuously and after a waiting period of typically 4 – 6 weeks, refugees are assigned to any municipality in Baden-Württemberg. However, refugees have no influence on the final destination.

Please note the following directions:

From Stuttgart main station:

Ideally, you would take the following route:

  • IRE 6 to Tübingen, then transfer to:
  • SWE RB66 to Albstadt-Ebingen, followed by:
  • Walk to the bus stop Ebingen Groz-Beckert, Albstadt, and get on bus 361, then:
  • Bus 361 to Rathaus Meßstetten.

Depending on your arrival time, you can use the fee-based shuttle bus that operates until 6 pm (until 1:10 pm on weekends); otherwise, you can reach the AZ Meßstetten on foot. For this, refer to the following instructions:

Initial registration in the Stuttgart area

We are also in direct contact with initial reception facilities in the Stuttgart area, where in consultation with us can be admitted directly. Refugees then remain resident in the relevant commune after the initial admission procedure has been completed. Contact us and we will be happy to advise you on the next steps.

Accompaniment to the initial reception facility

Since the NUK Sindelfingen has stopped admitting refugees from Ukraine and other initial reception centers are not geographically close to Stuttgart, we can unfortunately only offer limited accompanying services or transportation services. However, we are still active in Stuttgart and will assist as needed as far as our capacities allow. Please contact us using the form below if you need our help.

As a language companion during doctor’s visits

You are already accommodated and need interpreter support for official appointments, e.g. doctor’s appointments or an appointment with the authorities? Contact us, we will do our best to assist you with your appointments!

We run the language support group in cooperation with our partner YES! For this purpose, YES! has set up a Telegram platform in which dedicated interpreters can participate. Translator activities at doctor’s visits are remunerated with an expense allowance.

Please note that we only provide interpreting services on a voluntary basis and cannot provide official translations, such as for identity documents. For this you need to contact the appropriate offices of fee interpreters.

In the care for vulnerable groups

We support and accompany refugee parents and families in childcare and leisure activities. Members of vulnerable groups receive our special care. Our offers:

Support group for parents of children with disabilities.

  • Every two weeks
  • An open offer, each meeting represents an independent individual. Registration possible at any time.
  • Our offer
  • Education about different bureaucratic processes with a focus on “disability”.
  • Invited experts from different areas of disability care in Stuttgart
  • Childcare during the self-help group for single parents (prior registration required).

Play and support group for children with disabilities

  • Twice a week
  • Relief for parents
  • Offers for children in areas: play, movement, creativity, relaxation, language development, logical thinking, everyday life.
  • currently no registration possible!

Chat on Telegram for parents of children with disabilities.

  • over 100 participants
  • Free space for questions and exchange between parents
  • News about offers for children with disabilities and their parents
  • Information on general questions and processes (e.g. disability certificate, degree of care, education)

Volunteers wanted!

You want to become active and actively support refugees? We are always on the lookout for active comrades-in-arms and look forward to getting to know you!

How it all began

About us

We are “WOLJA“. “Volya” (Ukra. Воля) means “freedom”. Founded immediately after the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, WOLJA had established itself as an initiative in the Stuttgart area at the end of February 2022. Our association has made it its mission to support Ukrainian people who have been forced to leave their homeland. We are active in the heart of Baden-Württemberg, in Stuttgart. Our journey began with a simple poster at the Stuttgart train station, which serves to provide arriving refugees with a point of contact for information. From the desire to not only passively watch what was happening, but to be able to act and help, an association with about 100 volunteers was formed within barely two weeks.

As the suffering grew, so did the awareness of the people’s need, which is why our initiative received enormous media attention after only two weeks, with several press reports: among others: on ZDF, SWR, Stuttgarter Nachrichten and others. Add to that our presence on social media (Instagram/Facebook), where we had reached over 2500 followers in a very short time.

In our daily work we cooperate intensively with authorities, similarly oriented organizations and our cooperation partners of the network “ukraine engaged“. In order to coordinate our tasks, we meet regularly with the responsible persons of the social welfare office to discuss the situation at the training campus.

Completed projects

Free time

In 2022, we had offered a whole range of leisure activities for refugees (young and old) and supported partnered sponsors. These included.

  • Theater workshops for young and old at JES Stuttgart
  • Theater workshop with guided tour at Schauspiel Stuttgart
  • Musical workshops
  • Piano lessons
  • Ribbon
  • Yoga course in the park
  • Playgroup for children with disabilities
  • Regular meetings for the refugees to exchange ideas in a relaxed atmosphere
  • Active offers for children and teenagers

In addition to these activities, we also organized sports events such as soccer matches to promote team spirit and fair play. Art workshops were also offered, where participants could unleash their creativity and learn new skills.

In collaboration with local libraries and educational institutions, we also provided resources and learning materials that helped refugees integrate linguistically and culturally. Through these diverse recreational activities, we were able not only to create a sense of community and belonging, but also to strengthen mutual respect and understanding between Ukrainian and German cultures.

WOLJA School

In cooperation with the training campus, we had offered a preparatory class for young refugees in 2022. The focus here was on supplemental mentoring during normal school hours. The aim of this program was to support the participants both linguistically and culturally and to facilitate their entry into the German education system. Experienced teachers and dedicated mentors worked together to create individualized learning plans and help youth overcome academic challenges. Furthermore, additional activities such as workshops, excursions and joint leisure activities were offered in order to strengthen the sense of community and to promote exchange between the participants. This holistic approach enabled the young refugees not only to improve their academic skills, but also to acquire valuable social skills and integrate them into German society in the long term.

Language courses

We supported refugees of all ages in 2022 with language courses (Ukrainian – Russian) and language tandem partnerships. Our language courses were led by volunteer and qualified teachers and were tailored to different levels to meet the needs and abilities of the participants.

Our language tandem partnerships enabled refugees to exchange ideas on an informal level and apply their language skills in everyday life. This format promoted mutual learning and integration by building personal relationships among participants and helping them improve their language skills in a relaxed and friendly environment. We also organized regular events and meetings where tandem partners and course participants could exchange ideas and network. This created new friendships and intercultural connections that helped the refugees find their way in their new environment and build a stable social network.

Our team

Executive Board

Vitaliia Kochurova

1st Chair woman

Team Family/Child Care

Florian Schmid

2nd Chairman

Team Administration & Finances

Janina Malz


Team IT + Administration & Finance

Extended Board

Pavel Leonidov

Board Member

Team IT + Arrival Support

Sofia Kaerlieber

Board Member

Social Media Team

Daria Diachenko

Board Member

Team Family/Child Care

Natalie Pfost

Days in use
Refugees cared for
people walking near mosque

Get in touch with us!

Contact us

Please fill out the form on the right and we will get back to you as soon as possible! Note that our resources are currently limited and you may have to wait.