Refugee Aid Vienna
As the unsettling condition began in Syria, Europe experienced a flux of migrants, especially within Austria. With the refugees spreading to our home town, Vienna, we felt it necessary to take action and address their growing need of basic humanitarian rights.
Our support began in the largest camp in Vienna, in which we pursued to help a young couple from Afghanistan who were expecting a baby that week. We realised the camp would not be a suitable home for the baby to begin its life in, thus we decided to provide them with a home.
By using our real estate network, we initiated a project of providing housing to families in urgent need. This ran on the basis of either part donation by the owner, our organisation, or both.
Our project has the ability to deliver families a home, and provide financial support for the most basic needs, such as water, gas and electricity. Besides financial aid, we also visit the children and their parents on a regular basis to assess the situation and provide them with essential goods.
In addition to this, we initiated a buddy network, whereby each and every family is appointed someone to turn to should they need help. This includes issues arising upon day to day errands, such as grocery shopping, going to the GP, etc. The buddy network allows the refugees an easy transition into their new lives here in Vienna.
To date we are supporting 12 families (45 people – 17 of which are children) throughout the city of Vienna who have been forced to flee their homes in Afghanistan and Syria. Although the refugees have migrated from Syria, some of them were born in Palestine, but have spent the majority of their lives in Syria. Our organisation is supporting their housing, however they are still in desperate need of basic essentials.
The monthly help that these families receive from the government alone is insufficient – €200 for an adult, €90 for a child. The funds are too low for anyone to survive upon. In order to help them, we have decided to provide the children with further financial help. Every month the parents receive a certain amount per child in their bank accounts, offering them control of how best to use their financial resources to provide their families with basic needs.
Our team regularly visits the children and their families in their “new” homes. We discuss their situation, hopes and whatever remains of their dreams. However, with the peace talks stalled, there is lack of hope for any change in the home countries of the Syrian and Afghan refugees. This means that more support is required to help them live not only safely, but with dignity.