Connecting People

ZEBRA connects committed people with refugee children through a sponsorship program.

The sponsorship program for refugee children started in 2003 and is professionally supervised by ZEBRA. It has since been honoured with the following awards: TrauDi! 2013, SozialMarie 2007 and TrauDi! 2007.

Refugee children

Most refugee children are minors aged between 14 and 17 years. They were forced to flee without parental protection – because they either lost their parents in the home country or during the flight, or because they were forced to flee alone due to an immediate threat. They encountered war, torture, flight, loss – these experiences have shaped them. Here in Austria, they seek refuge, safety, and guidance.

Why do refugee children need special support?

They have to deal with the loss of their family and with traumatising experiences in their country of origin and during the flight. In addition, their residence status is often unclear for a long time and access to education and work is largely limited. In addition, everyday life in Austria is completely unknown to them.

Young refugees need someone who is interested in them; a person who supports them, makes time for them, and is able to offer assistance in everyday life.

Connecting People sponsors …

  • … become important attachment figures. It is incredibly helpful for young refugees in order to feel welcome, be able to trust someone, and receive emotional support. This offers guidance, stability, and trust. 
  • … regularly spend time with a young refugee. Activities can be chosen based on individual schedules and life situations.
  • … build a relationship that is voluntary and enriching for both parties.
  • … exchange interests, knowledge, and hobbys. They share experiences and get to know new perspectives.
  • … accompany challenging and joyful moments of arriving in and living in Austria.

How do I become a sponsor?

If you are at least 21 years old, like to volunteer, are interested in the lives of young people, and willing to have long-term and regular contact with a young refugee, you have the best qualifications to become a sponsor. If you take on a sponsorship, you will be professionally accompanied and supported by ZEBRA from the moment you first meet.

A sponsorship can be held by individuals, couples, or groups.

Interested persons are invited by ZEBRA for an interview. Expectations, requirements and time at your disposal are clarified. A training course professionally prepares you for your work as a sponsor.

After completing the training, sponsorships are arranged. We try to take into account individual wishes, possibilities and potentials of the prospective sponsors (especially when it comes to language skills, hobbies, etc.)  as well as the needs and interests of the young people to be supported.

As a sponsor, you benefit from professional support from our ZEBRA team! We support you in your sponsorship with our project coordinator and our experts in the areas of psychotherapy and legal advice! Your sponsorship will be accompanied in the form of:

– Regular meetings of sponsors

– Joint activities

– Further education for free on current topics

We are currently looking for sponsors in Graz!

Funded by

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