“Hope for the Future” – For a Life in Freedom and Dignity

Non-profit-organisation “Hope for the Future” is deeply dedicated to creating a society in which people can live in freedom and dignity, and where exploitation has no place. It supports people in breaking free of exploitative working relationships and getting on their own two feet. The aim of doing this is to help those affected make a new start, and provide them with a wide range of skills to enable them to do so.

Hope for the Future was founded by Andrea Staudenherz in 2015. Originally focussed on women, its target audience has been extended to men since 2019. The non-profit organisation accompanies people who have experienced exploitation in prostitution or other areas as they make their way towards a self-determined life.

To do this, it offers support opportunities individually tailored to the needs of clients. The most important services offered include sewing workshops, literacy courses and German language courses from Levels A1 to B2. An embroidery machine has also been available for the past year and-a-half. Work resources are financed by donations, with the majority of co-workers offering their time on a voluntary basis.

As well as this, a cooperation is in place with a seminar hotel in Lower Austria. This gives clients the opportunity to gain experience in low-threshold professions in gastronomy and housekeeping. Hope for the Future accompanies clients during their employment, with co-workers serving as contact persons for problems and uncertainties.

As well as specialist training, Hope for the Future sets great store by the acquisition of soft skills. These include punctuality, reliability and compliance with daily structures. These skills are not just crucial for professional success, but also for functioning co-existence.

The priority is always on the anonymity of clients. Many have been traumatised by their experiences. The association creates a respectful and secure environment in which those affected can get help without fear of stigmatisation.

Another important part of the work of Hope for the Future is awareness-building amongst society. Blog articles on the website and a range of social media channels inform readers about the issues of human trafficking and prostitution, so creating awareness of the problem.

From 2022 to 2023, Hope for the Future took part in EVI, one of the projects co-financed by the EU which supports the incorporation into the job market of people with experience of gender-specific violence.

By offering targeted education and training programmes, teaching life skills and intensive information work, Hope for the Future makes a valuable contribution to social integration and fighting exploitation and people-trafficking.

In the years it has existed, the NGO has already achieved many successes and milestones. Ongoing redevelopment of its programmes and adaptation to the needs of clients are central pillars of the group’s work.

By founding Hope for the Future, an important anchor has been set for people to live a fulfilled and self-determined life.

Translated by Tim Lywood

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