CORE – An incubator for innovative integration projects in Vienna
20 calls - 51 co-financed projects
Against this background, a variety of integration projects were selected for funding. The first call for concepts was launched in March 2018. So far, in total 20 calls for concepts for the implementation of integration activities for refugees were published. As a result of the first 18 calls, in total 51 innovative projects were selected for funding by the end of April 2019, thereof 31 in the area of project ideas. The implementation of this wide range of activities allows the CORE project to reach a high number of refugees with different services and offers.
Supporting innovative approaches
The fact that CORE can grant funding to projects that support the aims of CORE turned out to be one of the main success factors of the CORE project. Not only did it allow CORE to follow its participative approach by implementing various integration projects together with volunteers, civil society initiatives and refugees. It also allowed CORE to be perceived as the project that supports innovative approaches related to integration of refugees. This becomes especially apparent in the area of project ideas, as the beneficiaries that receive funding mainly are small initiatives or associations of volunteers, who mainly did not have access to public funding before CORE. Thus, CORE is perceived as the incubator for innovative integration projects and has contributed to a larger variety of integration measures in Vienna.
The projects ideas that were selected for funding cover a broad range of topics and address various sub-target groups. They range from e.g. a soccer team created by youth refugees, creative workshops to enhance refugees’ self-esteem, theatre projects, a refugee choir, first language courses in Farsi and Pashtu or info brunches for youth refugees, to communication workshops as preparation for the asylum procedure and a safe space for teenage refugee girls.
Learning craft work together
One offer amongst the 31 project ideas are crafts workshops for women under the title “DO IT – ReparaturWERKstatt” organized by the association Craftistas. Craftistas is a Viennese initiative of women with competence in different fields of technical and craft work, committed to gender equality in everyday life as well as social and professional participation of girls and women in all professional fields. In Craftistas’ crafts workshops ambitious women with a refugee or migrant background get the opportunity to work together with women who have lived in Vienna for a longer time and learn craft work. They learn how to sharpen knives, how to deal with electricity and electric cables as well as how to easily make reusable, compostable food wraps yourself. At the same time, they receive support for necessary repairs, maintenance work and furnishing and design of their own four walls.
While the fun of doing things together is always in the focus, the participants are – at the same time - approving their German skills. The techniques they learn during the workshops help the participants to increase the quality of their housing and to save money by applying do-it-yourself methods.
That's exactly what Khalod likes so much about the workshops. The young woman from Syria has been living in Austria for three years now. “In these workshops I do not just learn how to grind knives or make natural alternatives to plastic wrap for food storage myself. I can also improve my German here and I have found new friends”, she says with a smile on her face.