Bruno Kreisky Foundation

for Human Rights

Father Georg Sporschill (Austria)

Georg Sporschill was born in 1946 in Vorarlberg. Upon graduating high school he relocated to Innsbruck where he began studying theology, pedagogy and psychology. Afterwards he worked in adult education, and joined the Jesuit Order at the age of thirty. Father Sporschill supervised many youth groups in Vienna, and in 1980 he turned his focus to youth who were homeless, or recently released from prison to help them to reintegrate into society. Some of them lived with him personally, and he got involved in finding shelter for homeless youth through the organization Caritas.

After the collapse of the communist system in Romania many children were left homeless. In 1991 he travelled to Bucharest and decided to stay there long term to help these children who were living on the streets. Many of these children are susceptible to drugs, violence, prostitution, and illness. He began five homes for children in the city and one on a farm in Aricestij some 80 kilometers from Bucharest. Along with Ruth Zenkert he founded Concordia, an organization that would go on to provide a social center, youth homes, and trade schools for the homeless youth of Romania. At the time of Kreisky Award he had begun engaging more and more Romanian volunteers, so that the program could become entirely self-sufficient.

In 2004 Father Sporschill moved to Moldova to undertake the same line of work. He was prompted to move to Moldova because it is currently the poorest country in Europe. In 2008 he began working with the underprivileged youth of Bulgaria, effectively spreading the Concordia organization throughout the most deserving parts of Europe. Despite his efforts in Eastern Europe, Sporschill still remains engaged in Vienna by publishing a weekly spiritual email to members of a Viennese Bible study group.