Trauma Surviving & Hope

Nominated 2020

Country: Austria, Croatia

Region: Implemented nationwide, Sisak-Moslavina County, Split-Dalmatia County, City of Zagreb

Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy

Fields of action: Migration, Victim support, Mental health

Project owner: ACT NOW, Projektgruppe "Trauma Surviving and Hope"

Responsible person: Katharina Zangerl

Website: Weblink


Teenagers who fled from humanitarian crisis hot spots experience trauma and post-traumatic stress. Countries along the West Balkan route, including Croatia and Austria, do not have a psycho-social support strategy; this gap also includes care and response to trauma and post-traumatic stress for local teenagers.


Hoffnung für traumatisierte Teenager (“Trauma Surviving Hope”) offers free, easy access booklets to inform teenagers and their caregivers on trauma and post-traumatic stress. The programme was founded and created by a multi-cultural volunteer expert group, who provide multi-lingual and cultural insights. The programme is also integrated with local municipalities through the Now Mayors network.


Teenagers who are 12 years old and older are the primary target group. The teenagers participate in the programme’s project design and give feedback on the trauma booklets. This intervention strategy allows them to engage with the brochures and/or professionals (teachers, social workers, etc.) working with the young people. The Now Mayors Network is also a key support for sustainable local implementation.


We have reached hundreds of teenagers and professionals, who realized that they are not alone. The programme works with trauma under the “do no harm” principle.  Experts and local decision-makers both agree for the need for transnational strategies to address trauma.


The programme can be transferred to other regions and contexts: the concept is designed to work effectively in scenarios where location, documentation status and community affiliation can change rapidly. The programme embraces cultural, religious and linguistic diversity, as reflected in the programme’s expert advisory group.


Photos © Act.Now