"I help people hold on to their dreams"

Anna Eder, 21 years old
Founder Integradsion project, Student in Arabic Studies 
Vienna, Austria

I had lots of dreams who to be in the future. After I graduated high school I traveled and worked for a bit and dreamt of being a captain, then a writer, then a director. I really can’t tell what made me choose Arabic studies but I guess it was the right thing as it brought me in contact with refugees from different countries. I heard their dreams and realized that this is what I wanted to do: help people to hold on to their dreams no matter how hard it is. Sometimes their situation is really tough, for example finding a place to live or taking a German course. They don’t really see a way out. But dreams make people go on! Therefore, I founded the Integradsion project, which provides young refugees in Vienna with bikes in order to discover their surroundings.

I get a lot of inspiration from the refugees I work with. I met a young man from Afghanistan who came to Vienna by himself at age 16 and started to build his present and future all at once. He learned German and graduated within 6 months and now he’s studying successfully. I am so impressed with his courage, strength and joy of life! The refugees whom I teach German inspire me every week. Because they understand the necessity of learning German at their age and because they spread such a good mood every time they enter the room.

In my community most people don’t know any refugee. It’s why they fail to see the human behind the „flood of refugees coming to Austria” media headline. I sometimes get the feeling that people forget that refugees are not the ones to blame for the situation in their country. It’s the right for every human to live, work, get education. To be safe. I think that people in Europe look away so they don’t have to take care about it, about someone else.

My solution:

I think that projects like Integradsion and migrationlab that are trying to bring people of different cultures together can be a solution to the integration in our communities. At the same time, we also need to find a way to reach out to more people, to those who are not brave enough to take some steps on their own and get in touch with people they think are different.  


This summer Anna will go to Palestine to take Arabic classes. She will travel alone and she is eager to embark into this inspiring journey!

You can support Anna’s Integradsion project here: www.facebook.com/integradsion