Refugees often live in seclusion; they also balance and live between the cultures of their host and home countries. Mothers are often overwhelmed to raise their children without the support of the children’s fathers. As a result, many expectations are placed on mothers and families in the new country.
2,000 Euro Prize 2020
Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy
Fields of action: Awareness raising, Family, Interculturality
Project owner: Verein NACHBARINNEN, Katholisches Bildungswerk Wien
Responsible person: Renate Schnee
In the spring of 2019, the first three men from Chechnya, Somalia and Syria participated in the training course at the Catholic Educational Centre in Vienna. Since this first workshop, the trained moderators have each gathered six to eight fathers from their diaspora communities in a “men's table”, where they discuss education and social support in their mother languages.
We work together with immigrant families in Vienna, in particular young men and their fathers. The men’s tables are held in homes, public libraries, association clubhouses, and mosques. Moderators work together with the Catholic Educational Centre for training and facilitating men’s table events.
There are monthly “men’s tables” in three different communities and languages with four trained moderators. We offer 40 to 80 men's tables each year and reach between 300 to 400 fathers. We hosted talks with topics ranging from finances to supporting children struggling in school.
The project will train four to eight additional men as facilitators in the coming year. We also want to connect and implement this project with Turkish and Afghan communities.
Through the Männersache project, men from immigrant communities are given the practical tools to take extra responsibility as fathers to raise their children and support their wives. The project is a socially innovative combination of tried and tested methods for gender-based outreach in immigrant families. As a peer-to-peer project, the men discuss and receive support among themselves, then exchange these lessons with female project members, their wives and families. Männersache is overall a well-developed and self-organised project. We can expect a snowball effect of new ideas from the men’s tables to society.