Migration, social, cultural, job inclusion

Gaining Ground shortlist


Who is behind this?

Margot Deerenberg

Paradocks, bridging potential



Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

Austria is an important gate to Europe for many refugees, including teenagers. After reaching the age of 15, the local government is not obliged to provide further education for teenage refugees and they have therefore fewer opportunities at the job market. With our project, we want to fill this gap and match-make teenage refugees with small Viennese entrepreneurs to develop their knowledge, interests, provide meaningful occupation and gain ground to the everyday life in their new home – Europe.

Where will your idea take place?

Vienna, Austria

Why does Europe need your idea?

Individuals and often whole families, hope to find a safe environment to set up a new home either in Austria or elsewhere in Europe. While waiting to receive a decision on asylum, the local government supports the refugees by taking care of basic human needs such as food, shelter and education till the age of 15. We believe that for teenagers, a continuation of education and positive stimulation of interests is not only mentally nurturing but is also essential to create and develop social ties.

What is your impact?

Paradocks manages with das Packhaus -a former vacant office building in Vienna- working space for small entrepreneurs and creates a fertile ground for diverse fields of work and a wide network. We aim to bring entrepreneurs and teenage refugees together, which on short term will create a platform for teenagers to learn something new, develop their skills, gain perspectives and open doors to a new culture. On long term, a work experience, which includes the teenagers into everyday life in Europe.

How do you get there?

Our cooperation partner is Red Cross in Vienna. They provide living space for refugees and have experience with the life and needs of teenage refugees. We offer our network at das Packhaus - a number of small entrepreneurs who will provide work experience and professional support to the teenagers. Paradocks acts as an intermediator between teenage refugees and small entrepreneurs. We are able to provide 30 teenage refugees work-placements for a period of 2 months at small Viennese entrepreneurs in various professional fields, such as online platforms, photography, technology, fashion, product- and graphic design, and crafts. Essentially, we also provide language classes, working material and legal consulting.

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?

Our project focuses on teenage refugees between the age of 15 and 20. We aim to create a positive outcome for two groups: first we match young refugees with young creative entrepreneurs in Vienna to offer work perspective, cultural exchange and meaningful occupation and secondly we set a positive example, a pioneering project to make the empowerment of NGOs and other smaller civic groups visible. Independent actions from the capacities of state governments can act as important change makers!

What makes your idea stand apart?

At the moment, Europe’s’ main focus to support refugees, is addressing basic human needs. With our project Gaining grounds we are adding another layer of needs and that is the feeling of belonging and self-actualization. Teenage refugees have very little possibilities when it comes to further education. We believe that through the possibility to educate and to develop interest and skills we can provide a fertile ground to feel included, to connect and to build something new.

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 59380,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Material costs: 35800€ - monthly office support for creative enterpreneurs 9000€ = 150€ per month - fees courses* 2700€ - support food & beverages refugees* 8640€ - sports & hobbies* 3000€ - travel cards refugees* 2910€ other costs are office expenses, material & room rent courses, PR, publication etc. * = package refugees Personnel costs: 23580€ for 8 months - project leader 18€/h 10h a week - communication, coordination & PR 15€/h 15 h a week - pedagogic 15€/h 15 h a week



Idea created on March 8, 2016
Last edit on Oct. 30, 2017

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