Under the slogan “choose one item from the list and make a difference”, the attendees of SIMPLEXITY could solve a complex problem by taking a simple step: providing those in need with everyday objects.
They were asked to bring in-kind donations for a well-known Austrian charity: Diakonie Flüchtlingsdienst aids asylum seekers and refugees (among others in need) by promoting their (re-)integration into society, investing in educational opportunities for children, teenagers and adults as well as helping them find accommodation.
“For Diakonie Flüchtlingsdienst, it is important to make international contacts, since our clients are international, too, and we rely on the exchange with people from different backgrounds and paths of life”, Pamela Haderlein explains their cooperation with TEDxVienna.
She has been working at Diakonie Flüchtlingsdienst for three years — enough time to make intense memories.
“Unfortunately, there are more negative than positive memories, considering that we work with people who have gone through traumatic experiences. Personally, I find it very hard to read a negative asylum decision. When a person has travelled so far and experienced such terrible situations only to arrive here and be sent away with flimsy and racist excuses… that is heartbreaking. On the other hand, it is so beautiful to witness the people arriving in our houses, regaining a sense of stability and finding some rest eventually. In addition, I have the honour of accompanying them through their new daily routine. It warms my heart to see kids making new friends on their first day at school, but also to see the people leave our homes and finally move into their very first flat here.
I can already envision the children’s big eyes once they see their first school backpack. Donations show that we people are here for each other, and that we care”, Pamela says, glancing into the donation box next to us.
If you are interested in the work of Diakonie Flüchtlingsdienst, take a look at a current campaign they are running: Rightly independent (Zu recht unabhängig) is an initiative aimed at standing up against the current policy plan to cancel independent legal support for refugees and substitute it by a “national agency for care and support”. This raises questions of constitutionality — so enter into a dialogue with Diakonie Flüchtlingsdienst and inform yourself here.
Being an aid organization examined and certified by the Austrian Donation Certification Centre, Diakonie Flüchtlingsdienst can guarantee that the donations will arrive where they are supposed too: in the hands of their clients. And indeed, ten days after the conference, Pamela sent us some lovely pictures of the donated items in the hands of their new owners:
We are so thrilled to see the in-kind donations from this year’s conference being used by people who really need them, and want to thank Diakonie Flüchtlingsdienst for this exciting collaboration.
Header image credits: Royalty free