“Grenzenlos without Barriers”
What is Grenzenlos?
Grenzenlos is part of the international youth exchange network (the ICYE Federation). It was founded in 1949 as a pacifist programme standing for tolerance and re-conciliation between different cultures. Grenzenlos is a non-profit and non-governmental organisation, which main aim is to promote peace and tolerance through international non-formal education programmes that combine cultural integration with engagement in non-profit initiatives worldwide.
We are located in Vienna’s 9th district. In our (small) office, 9 paid staff members are employed. Many volunteers and voluntary co-workers, Austrians as well as internationals, visit our office on a regular basis, as well as young people interested in our exchange offers which makes the office a lively place to work for a volunteer, with many opportunities to meet people.
The possibilities and capacities for youngsters with disability and disadvandaged youngsters to include and integrate into voluntary services are often limited. Grenzenlos therefore exclusively hosts ESC volunteers with disabilities, to provide a possibility to otherwise disadvantaged youngsters, and wants to offer an international experience to them.
As a volunteer at the Grenzenlos office, you will learn
- learn about working in an NGO,
- learn about international youth exchanges and voluntary services, and
- have the possibility to get to know other social institutions in Vienna.
- Additionally, your expertise could be used to adapt and improve the projects/ programmes/ activities/ implementations to the needs and capacities of the volunteers.
As every volunteer has different capabilities, different mobility, different interests, and different support needs, every volunteering project at Grenzenlos is different. The specific tasks and fields of action of the volunteer will be tailored to your skills, interests, and abilities.
One part of the project will be working in our office and support the team, gather information, do research, visit organisations, speak to other volunteers and compose results of your research as resource material for future exchanges.
Depending on the time of the year you will be with us, there will also be the possibility that you join our special events and current activities of the seasons. During summer, this would for example mean that you could join the short-term international projects. These projects have a focus on the integration of national and international people with disabilities. As the volunteer at Grenzenlos you can help the team preparing and organising the activities for the short-term projects as well as participating in them.
Another focus of the project could be that you visit other ESC Hosting organisations in Vienna: according to your interests, you would be joining another organisation for one or two days per week and develop a small project of your own there. In this way, you have the chance to be active in an additional field of work. Furthermore, ESC hosting organisations who are not sure yet about hosting a volunteer with disabilities for a long-term project would have the opportunity to try a small project first and see how that works out.
Grenzenlos’ focus on including and fostering the engagement of people with disability in all our programs means that there is a constant need of knowledge, and expertise which a volunteer with disabilities could contribute: for example, as a peer-volunteer for volunteers with and without disabilities.
Profile of the volunteer
To be an ESC volunteer at Grenzenlos, you do not need any special previous experiences nor specific working or language skills. The only thing which we expect from a volunteer is the motivation to work within our organisation. “Grenzenlos Without Barriers” is only available for volunteers with a disability. As our project will be very tailor-made to the individual volunteer, it is hard to say which profile a volunteer should have. We would welcome in any case volunteers that are open to new experiences, willing to try new things and to challenge their personal limits.
Application and recruitment process
If you are interested, please send your filled in “Melange application form”, your CV (curriculum vitae), and a motivation letter to Grenzenlos ( [email protected] ). Please make sure to submit all requested documents before the application deadline and that you indicate the details of your supporting (sending) organization.
You can find more information about our ESC vacancies and the application procedure on our website: http://www.melange.at/en/application-govienna/
In general, all available placements of Grenzenlos ESC projects are open to everyone (fulfilling the general ESC criteria). However, in the selection procedure a preference is shown for candidates with fewer opportunities (gender, background etc.).
Impressions and reports
You can find more information about Grenzenlos and our work on our websites:
and on our Social Media pages: