Centers Of Social Innovation / Factfinding Visit Austria /
Grenzenlos English Description
Thanks to Barbara Resl ! And Nadia Meister for the photos!
“Grenzenlos” ("Borderless") creates a community space for integration of local inhabitants into a vibrant local life through cooking sessions, playing games, sport, singing and an annual summer festival
2003, St. Andrä-Wördern/Lower Austria: A small town with 6.000 inhabitants of 64 different nations.
Most of the 650 people with non-austrian origin were living isolated in their families with few contact to the Austrian locals. In 2003 a group of 4 families (Austrian, Czech, Turkish & Kurd), had the idea to invite all the migrants in the community to cook meals together in a local event location.
Every month they invited via local press and multilingual flyers everyone of the village. The project found great acceptance and in November 2003 the group published its first cookbook. In 2004 the group founded an association called “Grenzenlos St. Andrä-Wördern – Verein zur Integration” (Cooking without borders in St. Andrä-Wördern – Association for Integration).
In 2004 the organization started to develop other activities:
In every activity are participating various groups of migrants, coming from all over the world, and Austrians. The community recommends our activities to the newcomers to get in contact with the locals. By the means of cooking, singing and playing together we try to open a neutral and secure room to get to know each other, to respect each other and to loose fears of the unknown.
Good press references (TV, Print) made the project widely known throughout Austria and we are visited by various communities to let them participate in our experiences.
We won several awards – Rosa Mayreder Preis, Sozialmarie, Dr. Erwin Pröll Zukunftspreis
5. Briefly describe how you would use the support received from potential sponsors to expand and replicate the project during 2013. (max. 300 words)
All our activities and projects and all the work was realized voluntarily without any financial support to the activists. The costs for renting rooms, event locations, train tickets, office rent, material, sport equipment etc. were financed by the publication of books, prize money, a little financial support by the community and charity.
With your support we could emphasize our efforts towards the publication of our experiences by means of a symposium. On the other hand we are planning a project for accepted refugees to support them in their search for jobs and secure their living.
(max. 250 words)
Because we are a group of voluntaries, who made a lot of experiences, which we would love to share with others. With very restricted means but open hearts we organized a project, thats worth it.