Cohort 2019 meeting the Austrian president Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen
The Austrian Service Abroad is a non-profit association founded by Prof. Dr. Andreas Maislinger and Mag. Michael Prochazka. It provides young Austrians the opportunity to work in partner institutions worldwide serving Holocaust commemoration in form of the Gedenkdienst, supporting vulnerable social groups in form of the Austrian Social Service and realizing projects of peace within the framework of the Austrian Peace Service. The program is rooted in the Austrian government’s acknowledgment regarding the share of responsibility of Nazis of Austrian origin for the crimes committed by National Socialism. The program is funded by the Austrian government.
The Austrian Service Abroad is headquartered in Innsbruck and has an office in Vienna. It provides Austrians (male & female) a platform for being sent abroad for a time-period of 6 to 12 months within the legal framework of voluntary work. In addition, young male Austrians may accredit their service abroad as an alternative to the compulsory military service provided their service lasts for a time-period of at least 10 months.
In addition, it provides an educational platform for being educated in the fields of memoria (remembrance), misericordia (mercy) and pax (peace). The Austrian Service Abroad volunteers are sent to work in its many partner institutions, while being financially supported by the Austrian Ministry of Social Affairs for their work abroad.
Examples of partner institutions / organizations are the Auschwitz Jewish Center in Oswiecim, Poland, Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel, the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, United States, the Center of Jewish Studies Shanghai in Shanghai, China, the Russian Research and Educational Holocaust Center in Moscow, Russia, the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Melbourne, Australia, the Tom Lantos Institute in Budapest, Hungary, the Ashraya Initiative for Children in Pune, India and A chance for children in Zigoti, Uganda.
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