During the global refugee crisis, the Austrian association CONCORDIA Social Projects has emerged as a shining beacon of hope and empowerment. Dedicated to assisting refugees in their integration process, the association CONCORDIA focuses specifically on providing educational opportunities at the LenZ Learning and Family Center. Through its unwavering commitment and innovative programs, the association is not only helping individuals rebuild their lives but also fostering social cohesion and cultural exchange within Austrian society.
History of CONCORDIA Social Projects International
CONCORDIA is a social organisation that has been providing aid for over 30 years to those in need. It was founded in 1991 by Fr. Georg Sporschill SJ in Bucharest, Romania, after the fall of the Ceauşescu regime. The organisation initially focused on helping children who were living on the streets, and it established homes and social centers to provide them with a family-like environment and support. Training workshops for young people were also established.
In 2004, CONCORDIA expanded its services to the Republic of Moldova. Soup kitchens and day centres are set up in the isolated villages left to their own devices, emergency aid is provided, children without parents are cared for in foster families and family-like homes.
Four years later, Fr. Markus Inama SJ set up CONCORDIA Bulgaria. In Sofia, too, many children and young people live under the most adverse circumstances.
In 2016, the LenZ Learning and Family Centre opens its doors in Vienna in response to the specific challenges and needs of children, young people and families with a refugee background.
In order to achieve the greatest possible impact and to attract new supporters, the German foundation CONCORDIA Sozialprojekte was established, followed by its establishment in Switzerland in 2020.
Since 2021, CONCORDIA has also been active in Kosovo, the poorest country in Europe after Moldova. Throughout its history, CONCORDIA has been guided by the principle of going where the need is greatest.
Primary objective of CONCORDIA Social Projects in Austria is to support refugees through education, recognizing the transformative power of knowledge and skills acquisition. With a vision of a society where everyone has access to quality education, CONCORDIA Social Projects in Austria aims to provide refugees with the tools they need to overcome barriers and create a better future for themselves and their families.
Think Human Foundation & Concordia
Both organisations have joined hands in mid 2023 to help and support refugees in Austria. In the CONCORDIA LenZ Learning and Family Centre the organisation provides afterschool support, including help with homework, schoolwork, and tests for 20 primary and middle school students from Mon to Thurs, 1-6pm. This project aims to support 72 refugee children in three years..
Parents’ participation in their children’s education and the strengthening of their parenting skills are promoted through parents’ evenings and consultation days as well as through workshops on various topics (education, health, work and career) with a social worker.
In addition of this Think Human Foundation project, they provide German courses for women/mothers, with two trainers and volunteers. Childcare is offered to the participating mothers.