As refugees from North Africa and Syria continue to flee violence and make their way to Europe, one hotel has found a way to welcome them to their new homes—by providing them with jobs.
The Magdas Hotel in Vienna, Austria, employs refugees and asylum seekers at a chic, 78-room former retirement home. The boutique hotel pairs 20 refugees with 10 hotel industry experts, giving them both an income and long-term job training.
Though it was founded by a Catholic nonprofit, Magdas aims to be a sustainable business that shows how valuable refugees are to European society.
“They are open-minded, they speak many languages, they are warm-hearted, they like to work, they are engaged,” says founder Gabriela Sonnleitner. “They really want to contribute to the country. It’s a big chance for Austria if we get young, talented, motivated people who want to work, and I think we should make use of these talents.”