A service to strengthen social diversity and social participation in Styrian municipalities.
War, violence and terror force people to leave their homes in search of protection and peace in another country. More people than ever before are currently on the run, an incredible 60 million people are affected.
In fulfilling the quota of the federal provinces, Styria strives to distribute the new shelters among the regions – with a view to share responsibility, but also to give the people the opportunity to come into contact with locals.
However, experience shows that very often the lack of factual information on the topic of asylum and migration as well as language and other barriers can create an inhibition threshold and rejection. Refugee accommodation and its residents are initially perceived as disturbances in municipalities and are often met with scepticism or are ignored. Asylum seekers therefore often live isolated from the rest of the local population.
The project Zusammenleben in Quartier & Gemeinde (Living together in shelters & municipalities), funded by the Styrian Ministry of Social Affairs, Labour and Integration, aims to address this challenge by taking into account the concerns of the municipality and the local people. The project was launched in August 2014 with four pilot municipalities; in the meantime, we support around 30-40 Styrian municipalities with refugee quarters on the topics of flight and asylum. ZEBRA cooperates with the respective municipality, i.e. with the mayors and the respective contact persons in the municipal offices. Recently, this offer has been expanded to now also enhance migrants’ social participation.
Through educational work and joint activities, the mutual understanding of the local population and people from the shelters is promoted and a better integration into community life is sought after, so that everyone feels comfortable and welcome.
The municipalities receive information and advice from ZEBRA on the non-profit employment of asylum seekers, one of the few legal exceptions. This enables asylum seekers to play a productive role in communal life.
With the help of the Leitfaden zur gemeinnützigen Beschäftigung für Gemeinden (Guide to Community Employment for Municipalities) and through our personal counselling, municipalities are informed about the legal basis, employment opportunities and receive tips for implementation.
Through the project Zusammenleben in Quartier & Gemeinde (Living together in shelters & municipalities) ALL Styrian municipalities, municipal representatives and private persons may contact us with questions and concerns about the topic of asylum/migration!