Sad but true. The NGO ZARA (Zivilcourage und Anti-Rassismus Arbeit), which is famous for its fight against racism in Austria, is also fighting for its survival.
The org just celebrated its 10th anniversary last month. Unfortunately, the 1000 or more people who attended the party couldn’t save the org as 200 people supporting members are missing. There’s also lack of donations coming in. Due to lack of funds several projects have been turned down or simply cancelled.
Can we blame it on the recent financial crisis where many workers either lost their jobs or businesspeople losing faith in the economy. For many of us who earn the minimum wage it is pretty hard to part our hard-earned money. But somehow it is strange and dreadful to think that the Austrian government tried to save banks and reluctant to punish large firms that made a fool out of the people. Non-government organisations like ZARA and co. don’t receive any penny nor other means of support from the establishment except from the Greens and the socialists and other groups and individuals that promote the same ideals like ZARA. Because of the org’s mission to eradicate racism and help the victims of racist attacks in the country, the conservative politicians don’t see it as useful to their aims.
A huge bulk of ZARA staff is made up of volunteers. If we want ZARA to continue its work we must help the org to survive. If not now, then when? Or else it would be all too late.