She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.
She says: “It is not wise to establish a group of underprivileged people. Even if these people can, or are forced to, move back to their homeland, it is better that they learn something here”. And: “I used to be able to buy subway tickets for people. Nowadays I have to think about being able to afford lunch”, is how she describes her situation. (1000PeaceWomen).
Ute Bock erhält 15′200 Euro, 28. Dezember 2006. Oft wurden wir in den letzten Wochen gefragt, wieviel Geld wir nun spenden können. Jetzt sind die Abrechnungen endlich abgeschlossen und wir können uns über einen gewaltigen Betrag von 15.200 Euro für die Ute Bock und ihr Flüchtlingsprojekt freuen! (full text).
Read in german: Solidarität mit Frau Bock – Eine Aktion des WBDS.
Ute Bock – Austria
Ute Bock worked professionally for many years as a social worker and educator/teacher, before she became director of the Zohmanngasse Home in Vienna in 1976.. In the early 1990s, she started to take care of teenage immigrants. She also took in underage refugees from countries at war, who came to Austria on their own looking for asylum. Ute Bock was the last hope for many teenage immigrants for whom nobody else cared. Her small project has grown into a community of 50 apartments where over 200 people find a home. She has also provided a legal address and legal aid for more than 1000 immigrants so that they can pursue their asylum procedures.
She was born in Linz, Austria in 1942.
In the early 1990s, Ute Bock started to take care of teenage immigrants, who were sent to her by the youth welfare office. At first, they were mostly children of immigrant workers. But soon enough she also took in underage immigrants from countries at war, who came to Austria on their own looking for asylum. Zohmanngasse and Ute Bock were the last hope for many teenage immigrants for whom nobody else cared.
Any time a social or immigrant worker was at a loss, the teenagers were sent to Ute. At Zohmanngasse no youth was turned down, no matter where he or she came from. And when she ran out of space, Ute Bock organized and financed flat-sharing apartments for communal living.
During a police raid in September 1999 at her home, 30 youngsters and young adults from Africa were arrested on grounds of suspected drug dealing. Ute Bock was accused of dealing with drugs and supporting gangs. She was briefly suspended from her job. While the indictment and suspension were lifted, Ute Bock was not allowed to shelter African immigrants at her home any longer.
Ute Bock has won numerous awards for her social commitment. She was given the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Refugee Award in 2000, the Bruno Kreisky Award for Human Rights in 2002, the Dr. Karl Renner Award in 2003, the Humanity Award by the Red Cross and the Spin the Globe Award from Siemens Austria in 2004.
Ute Bock retired in August 2000 and since then she has been working full time taking care of African immigrants, who like to call her ‘Mama Africa’. Her original small project has grown into a community of 50 apartments, where over 200 people find a home. Apart from this, she has provided a legal address and legal aid for more than a thousand immigrants, so that they can pursue their asylum procedures.
Ute Bock has been financing her project with her own pension, her savings, financial awards and donations.
At this point, Ute Bock is almost incapable of financing these apartments any longer. In order to pay for rent, gas and electricity she has to come up with 10,000 Euros each month. (1000PeaceWomen).
‘Ohne Kohle’ is not only the title of this filmfestival, but for us also a social task. From the very first it was important to us to support institutions that – like our filmmakers – have to get by without our with just a little bit of money.
Therefore in the past years all the cinema entries of the festival in summer were donated to different institutions. We also provide the possibility for those associations to present their activities in a friendly atmosphere to an interested audience. (full text).
A New Office for Ute Bock, Vienna, AT: Following Bene Consulting’s ”Picture BC!” photo competition, and funded under a euro 60,000 sponsorship programme, the office space of the Ute Bock Association, a very useful refugee service agency in Vienna, has been completely redone just recently, June 2006. (full text).