IIn 1978 some AFS-Alumni in Austria wanted to add to global awareness through AFS work global action to contribute to the development of a better world. 

The AFS-Refugee-Aid-Foundation orientates its work by the roots of the global organization. The so-called 'Ambulance-Drivers' are still in the consciousness of AFS. Two World Wars were the starting point of AFS. Unfortunately wars are still going on and most refugees come from war zones. Refugees depend on the help of the ones that are living in peace and wealth in order to survive and possibly to be able to return home later.

The foundation was founded as a comparably small organization in Linz (Upper Austria) in 1978. Its aims are to support particularly affected refugees in Austria and abroad as well as to broaden the knowledge about and awareness of the backgrounds and circumstances of refugees. So-called "forgotten camps" are the focus of its activities. It has thus specialized on groups of refugees who need help in places that are not any longer or even have never been helped by large organizations. 


Since 1978 a large number of projects has been conducted

In the beginning our work was mainly determined by personal engagement for refugee groups in Upper Austria. Language and vocational training courses as well as refugee kindergardens were set up.

In view of the extent of the problem our work was soon shifted to an international level including projects in Asia, Africa and the Balkans.

In cooperation with AMREF (African Medical & Research Foundation) ten thousand African refugees could get medical assistance. In 1988 severely hurt Afghan juveniles were treated in Upper Austrian hospitals in cooperation with IOM (International Organization for Migration). After their medical treatment volunteer families hosted the juveniles until their complete recovery.

The "Initiative Rwanda" also covered the most urgent need of medication in refugee camps in Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. Because of a high outcome in donations the foundation could finance an extensive vaccination-project for epidemic control for small children and later on also for juveniles and adults in these areas. Also seventeen health centers were erected in Rwanda and financially supported.


Read more unter "Geschichte" (only in German, however, Google translator works quite ok)