CGrow Vienna Region – Laying the foundations

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In Austria’s capital, the YFU spirit spills over to Coloured Glasses. The past weeks have been particularly dedicated to laying the ‘offline’ and online foundations for a successful project and boost its visibility.

Part of these endeavors is an informative and attractive representation of CGrow Vienna Region online. As a first big step forward, we developed an Austrian Coloured Glasses website to spread our mission and vision, inform educational organizations about our offers and reach out to potential future trainers. After a careful revision of design and content and thanks to strong coffee, we will now soon be able to launch the website!

Further steps have been taken to help CGrow grow. Last week, we introduced Coloured Glasses for the first time at one of YFU Austria’s get-together for students and their parents. This first presentation will be followed soon by our launch event on 30th of September. We are proud to announce that we have managed to organize it a top Vienna hotspot which is one of the biggest cultural centers of Europe: the WUK! Moreover, the dates and locations for the next informational events within YFU and at educational fairs have been organized. For instance, we will have a stand at vocatium, a specialized fair for education and studies, just like Coloured Glasses Germany has had in the past. The first workshops are planned to be delivered at schools in the course of the ‘Langer Tag der Flucht’ (long day of flight), a day which is dedicated to refugees. The future home page of the Austrian Coloured Glasses website will refer to all these up-coming events so that anyone with an interest in tolerance can visit us and participate. We hope to build a strong network of volunteers who can take on responsibilities and have a well-visited first training for trainers in October.

Based on my personal international experience with all different kinds of cultures, religions, sexual orientations and social strata, I believe that tolerance is not only crucial for those who are currently in an ‘outsider’ position within society but that each of us has to internalize tolerance as a premise for our own well-being. We cannot be at peace with ourselves if we are concerned with judging others for who and how they are. Coloured Glasses workshops can help us live in a functioning and inclusive society by educating us, sowing the seeds of tolerance. With this goal in mind, I will pro-actively advocate tolerance and CGrow workshops. In our digital, fast-paced environment, public relations – including a good online representation (website, social media) – will be a cornerstone of the future success of this project. Therefore, I will lend my expertise in PR and social media to the project whenever needed. A first step was to support the Regional Coordinator Judith Haidacher with setting up the Austrian Coloured Glasses website.

Despite the recent launch of CGrow in this region Judith has already managed to reach out to YFU volunteers and awaken their interest in tolerance workshops. Thank you for your dedication! I believe that if we manage to keep up the current motivation and well-structured organization, CGrow will be able to attract enthusiastic volunteers who in turn will have a lasting positive societal impact.

Let’s spread the tolerance,

Written by: Valerie-Sophie Schönberg, Future Coloured Glasses Trainer, YFU Austria