The cross-border “Time for Interaction” LEADER Project – an initiative designed to give new perspectives to local teenagers in rural areas, whether of a refugee background or not – is intended to aid the sharing of information and transfer of knowledge between three European countries. Coordinating this initiative is the Austrian “Zeitkultur – Oststeirisches Kernland” LEADER Region. Other partners involved in the project are the Swedish “Västra Småland” and German “Aller-Fuhse-Aue” LEADER Regions.


Improved career guidance for and integration of teenagers in local employment markets
Partnering with local SMEs and the education sector play a key role in providing improved career guidance for teenagers and integrating them into local employment markets. Actively providing general support to local teenagers (irrespective of whether they have an immigrant background or not) is intended to improve integration into the employment market.

Harnessing culture and creativity to generate an inclusive impact
The rural regions involved in this cross-border collaborative venture incorporate a large number of cultural organisations and creative projects (e.g. FlotART or “Kunstspirale e.V.”). These local creative stakeholders and societies are very receptive and ready to help (young) refugees to integrate and already play an important role in helping them to do so. These activities lay firm foundations for intercultural communication, global learning and usefully creative activities (e.g. to get the most out of leisure time or to help cope with traumas).

Supporting volunteers in their work with refugees
Coordinating the support provided to refugees plays a key role in helping them integrate into western society. This sphere of activity focuses on the work of local volunteers and is intended to demonstrate how the commitment of volunteers can be sustainably reinforced. This includes, for example, training courses for integration facilitators, as already provided in the “Aller-Fuhse-Aue” LEADER Region. But it also includes sharing proven methods. Particular emphasis will also be laid on those volunteers, who themselves have an immigrant back-ground (particular language skills, better understanding of different cultures).

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