2,000 Euro Prize 2016

Country: Austria

Region: Upper Austria

Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy

Fields of action: Migration

Project owner: Conclusio

Responsible person: Johannes Brandl

What is it about?

In Kirchdorf district, a well-established neighbourhood help instrument, the Time Bank, has been opened up to the new neighbours from further away. Asylum seekers now also help a farmer with his wood-cutting or a neighbour in her garden; they carpenter an access ramp for a wheelchair user and maintain hiking trails. They are association members like their Austrian counterparts, equally insured. They’ll exchange the hours credited them against support for dealings with authorities, for German lessons or transport services. More importantly, they build a socially integrative network that makes their staying easier. And if they obtain asylum and stay in the region, a tutor will help them find a house and work.

Appreciation of the Jury

Conclusio offers asylum seekers no value courses, it offers valuable work, work valued by the community. And asylum seekers embrace this opportunity of exchanging voluntary work against time so eagerly that new fields of work have to be added all the time. For future use, apprentice trainers have started checking on time bank contributors’ skills. Early integration into a neighbourhood network by means of concrete joint work allows encounter and mutual recognition. Out of this comes trust. The communities benefit from the potential of those who, fleeing, ended up in their arms. A socially innovative form of regional development, set up with circumspection, immediately applicable, providing effectively, for all.