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WU Activities in Support of Refugees

WU is car­ry­ing out a num­ber of activ­it­ies and ini­ti­at­ives for refugees in dif­fer­ent areas.

“Lernen macht Schule” Vo­lun­teer­ing Pro­gram

In 2010, WU launched the “Lernen macht Schule” vo­lun­teer­ing pro­gram in co­oper­a­tion with Car­itas Vi­enna and the REWE Group. Each year, more than 150 WU stu­dents par­ti­cip­ate in this pro­gram as learn­ing bud­dies, provid­ing sup­port to about 220 so­cially dis­ad­vant­aged chil­dren and teens, for in­stance young people who live in refugee shel­ters or shared apart­ments for un­ac­com­pan­ied refugee minors or who are looked after by or­gan­iz­a­tions that provide ad­vis­ory, thera­peutic, and edu­ca­tional ser­vices to refugee fam­il­ies.

Ger­man Courses

WU, Car­itas Vi­enna, and the REWE Group also of­fer reg­u­lar Ger­man courses for asylum seekers who do not have any prior know­ledge of Ger­man. In ad­di­tion, vo­lun­teer fac­ulty mem­bers of the De­part­ment of For­eign Lan­guage Busi­ness Com­mu­nic­a­tion of­fer com­ple­ment­ary con­ver­sa­tion classes to provide a highly ef­fect­ive learn­ing ex­per­i­ence through in­tens­ive prac­tice in a small group set­ting.


WU es­tab­lished eight three-­month aca­demic in­tern­ship pos­i­tions for people who have been gran­ted asylum in Aus­tria, espe­cially refugees who have partly or fully com­pleted an edu­ca­tion in eco­nom­ics, the so­cial sciences, or other suit­able aca­demic dis­cip­lines which qual­ify them to work on pro­jects at aca­demic units or possibly also ser­vice units at WU. WU has es­tab­lished these in­tern­ship pos­i­tions with the sup­port of the Berndorf Private Found­a­tion. The pos­i­tions have been filled in April.

Spe­cial courses

In ad­di­tion, WU also of­fers a num­ber of courses as part of the MORE ini­ti­at­ive launched by Uni­versit­ies Aus­tria (uniko). The goal of the MORE ini­ti­at­ive is to provide sup­port and assist­ance to refugees who are con­sid­er­ing en­rolling in a de­gree pro­gram or are look­ing to im­prove their Ger­man skills.

An Award-Win­ning Ini­ti­at­ive

WU would like to high­light and re­com­mend the “Flücht­linge Willkom­men” (Refugees Wel­come) ini­ti­at­ive, which provides a plat­form for people will­ing to rent private rooms to refugees. The plat­form also provides assist­ance in fin­an­cing the rental fees. The “Flücht­linge Willkom­men” ini­ti­at­ive won the 2015 So­cial Im­pact Award.

Edu­ca­tion pro­gram for vo­lun­teer help­ers

With the POWER 2 HELP ini­ti­at­ive, WU wants to sup­port vo­lun­teer help­ers and teach them how to work ef­fect­ively and re­main healthy in the long term. POWER 2 HELP is a com­pact con­tinu­ing edu­ca­tion pro­gram run­ning until June 2016. The ini­ti­at­ive was born out of the vo­lun­teer work of André Martinuzzi, head of WU’s In­sti­tute for Man­aging Sus­tain­ab­il­ity, Chris­tian Schober, head of WU’s Com­pet­ence Center for Non­profit Or­gan­iz­a­tions and So­cial En­tre­pren­eur­ship, and coun­selor Sabine Eich­inger. POWER 2 HELP is a ser­ies of work­shops designed to provide vo­lun­teer help­ers with the skills and re­sources they need for work­ing in primary sup­port and in­teg­ra­tion pro­jects for asylum seekers.

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