350,000 children and young people in Austria are at risk of poverty. Due to unaffordable afterschool activities, these children are excluded from leisure activities and extracurricular education. Educational programmes outside the classroom are vital for children and young people to develop social skills, discover new interests, and broaden their horizons.
2nd Prize 2022
Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy
Fields of action: Poverty, Non-formal education, Mental health
Project owner: Vienna Hobby Lobby - Freizeitverein für Kinder und Jugendliche (Vienna Hobby Lobby - leisure association for children and young people)
Responsible person: Rosa Bergmann, Caroline Loudon, Magdalena Zak
Hobby Lobby provides free leisure courses taught by volunteer instructors for children living in low-income districts in Vienna. Hobby Lobby creates a space for young people to meet, discover new talents, and learn new skills. Through our cooperation with local schools, our programme directly addresses the needs of low-income children and families.
Children and young people from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds are offered free leisure courses in 4 Hobby Lobby sites in Vienna. Courses on different hobbies are taught by volunteer instructors who work with local site managers and connect to the children and young people.
Hobby Lobby has worked with nearly 1,500 children and over 100 volunteer instructors since 2019. Our programmes also expanded from the Favoriten site to 3 new sites in 4 low-income districts in Vienna. Hobby Lobby makes afterschool education accessible for all children, regardless of their family’s income.
Hobby Lobby currently operates 4 sites in the districts of Favoriten, Brigittenau, Ottakring, and Landstraße in Vienna. The project will expand nationwide in Austria to the provinces of Tyrol in March 2022, as well as Lower and Upper Austria in the autumn of 2022.
Financial privilege should not determine access to afterschool and informal education. Hobby Lobby offers various high-quality courses in low-income districts in Vienna, free of charge. Through their cooperation with local schools, the project directly addresses the needs of low-income children and families. The project is socially conscious and empathetic; it enables exchange between marginalised communities and allows them to follow their passions. We are also impressed by the project’s young leaders programme, which enables pupils to step out of the role of participants and become co-leaders of the courses.