On the 5th of June our member Diakonie Austria celebrates Neighbourhood Day, a day to be grateful for the help and support of our neighbours, especially in the challenging times of the COVID pandemic. It is noted that 17% of Austrians live alone and have nobody to turn to in case of an emergency. In such cases having a neighbour they can count on is essential.
To commemorate the event our member is calling for investment in projects which promote community participation and, in turn, is highlighting four projects aimed at fostering neighbourhood ties.
LeNa (“Living Neighbourhoods”) is one such project which aims to take residents out of anonymity and encourage informal communication to solve common problems such as carpooling, celebration activities etc.
Similar project in the city of Graz has persons with disabilities run errands for the local residents as a way to foster trust and cooperation between the tenants. Among the help people with disabilities offer is shopping, bringing lunch, watering plants, card games or simple conversations.
“Chat Tables” is a project taking place in Vienna which sees local residents regularly meet in cafes or community centers to talk to other members of society regardless of age, background or means.
Lastly, “Social Area for Youths” in Villach is a youth emergency center which provides housing for young people who grew up in foster care and have lost their welfare allowance. Having no family or relatives to turn to, the value of strong and supportive communities shines even brighter.
To learn more about Neighbourhood Day, please visit our member’s website.