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Bank Austria "Best Start 2010" Sponsorship Award: Outstanding social project to be selected through Internet voting

  • 76 projects submitted for the Bank Austria “Best Start 2010” Sponsorship Award, three projects nominated by a prominent jury.
  • The committed general public is called on to select their favourite project by voting via the Internet from 5 July until 31 August 2010.
  • The winning project will be awarded the Sponsorship Award at a grand gala at the beginning of 2011.

The Bank Austria "Best Start 2010" Sponsorship Award is awarded to a project of social benefit which focuses on the welfare of children and young people, or integration and migration. The general public is invited to select the winning project through Internet voting at the website  www.foerderpreis2010.bankaustria.at. Voting commences on 5 July and ends on 31 August 2010.

A jury of experts made up of Christian Moser, Managing Director of SOS Children’s Villages Austria, Michael Landau, Caritas director of the Archdiocese of Vienna, and Willibald Cernko, CEO of Bank Austria, met to select three projects in a pre-selection phase. "We were impressed by the high quality of the projects submitted", says Willibald Cernko. “These show, in an exceptional manner, the many different types of social commitment to children and young people, and to integration and migration in our country “. And Michael Landau stresses: "It is very important for companies to help communicate social needs in this way".

The items submitted were narrowed down to three outstanding projects for Internet voting: the project “Pilgrim on Tour” was launched in Wiener Neustadt in 2007 by the Verein Pilgrim (Pilgrim Association) for people to accompany persons with mental or physical disabilities to events or on excursions, thereby significantly improving the quality of these persons’  leisure time.

The Vienna "HIPPY Programme" (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) of the  Verein für Informationsvermittlung, Bildung und Beratung (Association for Information Brokering, Education and Advice) looks after migrant families with children aged between 3 and 7 who are not sufficiently integrated. The mostly Muslim mothers, the project’s main target group, are visited at home by women from the same cultural background who support them with teaching aids in German which they have developed themselves.

The purpose of the "Tobias" project launched by the Don Bosco Refugee Centre, which was initiated in Burgenland, is to help unaccompanied refugees of up to 18 years of age and refugee children in general meet and talk with people from Austria. The personal contact between asylum seekers and Austrians enables each to obtain a better understanding of the particular circumstances of the other.

From 1 September until 31 December 2010, Bank Austria will organise and promote a broadly based fund raising scheme for the winning project, which will be presented at a ceremony as part of a grand gala at the beginning of 2011. In addition, Bank Austria will donate 50 cents to the project for every newly opened Bank Austria KünstlerSparbuch savings account.

Bank Austria intends to make an additional social contribution to the community with this initiative, while drawing public attention to the work of non-profit initiatives, organisations, associations and other institutions.

"With the Bank Austria “Best Start 2010“ Sponsorship Award and Internet voting to select the winning project", says Willibald Cernko, "we are closely involving our customers, employees and the general public in our social activities. Because we can successfully fulfil our social responsibility only if we are joined by many other people".
Further details on the Bank Austria “Best Start 2010” Sponsorship Award are available at  www.foerderpreis2010.bankaustria.at

Please direct any inquires to: 
Bank Austria Media Relations Austria
Matthias Raftl, tel. +43 (0) 50505 - 52809;
e-mail: matthias.raftl@unicreditgroup.at