Social Services


Renovating a refugee hostel humbles volunteers

Diakonie Austria provides disaster relief and assistance to people affected by natural disasters, war or displacement. All projects are developed and implemented in cooperation with a local partner organization. Disadvantaged groups are a particular focus including people with disabilities, single mothers, young Ashkali and Roma to name but a few.

Birgit Feierl-Giedenbacher, Project Leader in Austria for the Global Day of Giving, initiated the relationship with Diakonie. The project involved supporting a refugee hostel. There volunteers renovated balconies, planted plants, and cooked lunch with the residents. XL Catlin provided the ingredients for lunch, the equipment for painting the balconies, and the plants and flower boxes.

“The first visit to the refugee hostel proved to be a very moving experience for all of us,” says Birgit. “We were unaware of the extent of the refugee problem. It left us feeling more thankful and humble. Often, there isn’t time to realize how privileged we are in being able to live in a peaceful country without fear for one’s family and friends.”

The Global Day of Giving helped colleagues build a sense of pride for their company and taught the volunteers about good collaboration skills and personal integrity.

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