Kathrin Limpel

Kathrin has been “Austrian of the Year” since October 2016. She received the award for her association “Fremde werden Freunde” (“Strangers become Friends”), promoting social inclusion of refugees.

Supporting refugees

Kathrin is Head of Corporate Communications at TUI Austria. When large flows of exhausted refugees from war-torn countries arrive at Austrian railway stations in summer 2015, the native Viennese is deeply moved by the events. She immediately decides to offer help.

„Fremde werden Freunde“

Joined by other people ready to help, Kathrin starts the association “Fremde werden Freunde“. Its focus is on joint activities. Unlike other organisations, the initiative does not aim to provide one-sided assistance, but promote social inclusion. Austrians and refugees jointly organise leisure time activities such as hiking tours, city walks, cooking evenings or sewing sessions.

" The initiative enables you to personally get to know people. Great, courageous people. This experience changes your outlook on things happening in the world. "

The “Austrian of the Year” award

At the gala held by Austrian newspaper “Die Presse” in October 2016, the association wins the “Austrian of the Year” award in the category “Humanitarian Commitment”. The award earns Kathrin and her team a great deal of recognition and reward but also financial support for their initiative.