Securing a sustainable future – our employment integration project in a seminar hotel in Lower Austria

HOPE FOR THE FUTURE helps and supports people affected by sexual exploitation or human trafficking by offering opportunities for a new professional start (economic empowerment). Since 2016, we have been offering various job preparation workshops and vocational training courses as work readiness programmes.

Once our trainees have participated in our work readiness programmes, the next step is integration into the job market via appropriate job placement. By careful assessment of appropriate and safe work opportunities for our target group, we were able to win a seminar hotel in Lower Austria as an employer partner.

THE FIRST STEP OUT OF AN EXPLOITATIVE LIFE

According to the estimates of international organisations, there are currently 30-40 million people worldwide who are trafficked. Many of them are exploited in the field of prostitution, but there are also forms of exploitation such as begging or labour exploitation in construction. Austria is both a transit and destination country.

Escaping such horrendous exploitative situations takes a lot of courage. Many of those affected are severely traumatised, have been pressured or have become dependent in one form or another. When they think about their escape, many questions pop up such as: ‘What should I do for a living and where should I live?. It is therefore important to provide solid, sustainable support and to accompany survivors on their way to a self-determined future in freedom and dignity.

As part of the workshop programmes at HOPE FOR THE FUTURE, the trainees take part in various courses. The severely traumatised survivors have the chance to discover their individual talents and abilities in a safe and personal setting.

The goals of our programmes are diverse and are not just about skills development and vocational training. It is about creating a daily structure, strengthening social skills, determining individual abilities, increasing resilience and developing core competencies for the job market such as punctuality, reliability, regularity and flexibility. After years of struggling for survival, it is a completely new experience for our trainees to build up trust, feel proud of their achievements and learn to deal with setbacks.

THE EMPLOYMENT INTEGRATION PROJECT WITH OUR PARTNER BUSINESS AS FURTHER SUPPORT ON THE PATH TO A FREE LIFE

Without any proper support and preparation, it is extremely difficult for those affected to access the job market. HOPE FOR THE FUTURE therefore strives to cooperate with appropriate companies to be able to offer partially supervised housing and jobs. Such offers, carefully adapted to this target group, have been missing so far. The employment integration project in cooperation with the seminar hotel in Lower Austria is therefore setting an important milestone. As part of this project some of our protégés are given the opportunity to work part-time in the hotel sector to gain valuable professional experience and thus take the first step towards a new professional future. During this time, HOPE FOR THE FUTURE stays by their side to support them in any way they need.

What distinguishes our seminar hotel project? The participants take their first steps towards financial independence and accumulate valuable references while they are still supported by HOPE FOR THE FUTURE in all areas of their daily life. Furthermore, they gain valuable professional experience in the hotel industry and can learn what it is like to pursue a job in freedom and dignity. During this time, people can set their own personal goals and achieve some of them during the employment integration project.

For many of those affected by sexual exploitation and human trafficking, learning how to deal with finances is an important step towards a self-determined future. During our project they will experience personal development and a strengthening of self-worth. Health literacy, nutrition and housing issues are other areas in which we support the trainees. The project offers a suitable and safe framework to train personal stability, self-management and perseverance in a regular workplace.

Thereby we can help the participants create a foundation for a future social life beyond exploitation.

HOW HOPE FOR THE FUTURE SUPPORTS THE EMPLOYMENT INTEGRATION PROJECT PARTICIPANTS ON-SITE

In addition to the new job, personal leisure activities also play a crucial role in their new everyday life. As part of the project, all-round support and a beautifully designed living environment are also important. A good balance between personal time for oneself and social activities is needed.

A well-supervised project requires a competent social worker on-site. And we found them! Now we would like to set up and stabilise the financial means for the social worker on-site and are therefore trying to set up permanent charitable contributions. For an active and meaningful organisation of such leisure activities, various materials and money for admissions, transport, etc. are also required.

In order to maintain and expand all these framework conditions, it is important that we find many supporters for our crowdfunding campaign. You can transfer any donations to our bank account via online banking. The proceeds from the crowdfunding are used to finance our social worker on-site. The campaign will be open until the 12th of December 2020. Please put in ‘Seminar hotel’ as the purpose of your donation.

Please support us!

Opening a bank account at the BAWAG P.S.K. can currently also support HOPE FOR THE FUTURE. Come and give us a LIKE!

Between October and November 2020, the BAWAG P.S.K. bank is donating money to social projects for every new account. Every LIKE on Facebook or Instagram for the respective social project guarantees donations!

Please select project no. 3 ‘Stop modern slavery’ via the following link and give us a LIKE.

You can also directly support HOPE FOR THE FUTURE at any time with a donation. Our bank details are:

IBAN: AT72 2011 1826 6412 2100 BIC: GIBAATWWXXX

Translated by Sophie Kitchen

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