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In Austria, a café that connects all generations

A view of Vienna, the Austrian capital, on July 15, 2018 (PIERRE HECKLER / MAXPPP)

This café like no other opened in 2015 in the Austrian capital. This private initiative is based on a simple observation: in cities, there is no place where young and old meet. Yet each generation has an interest. For young people, those who cannot return to their parents, this is an opportunity to have a place reminiscent of the family home.

There are vintage armchairs and family photos. The success was quickly there, suddenly a second cafe of this type opened in Vienna at the end of last year. Today, of the 80 or so people employed by Vollpension, more than half are retirees, aged 55 to 80. most of them are women because they are the ones who most often have small pensions.

This initiative allows retirees to have additional income and to make ends meet. Grandmothers and grandfathers work a maximum of ten hours a week in the kitchen or in the dining room. It was the small amount of her retirement that prompted Doris, 66, to work for Vollpension. She earns a little more than 400 euros per month but she found much more when she arrived at this cafe. “I don't have a family here, so I don't have easy access to young people.”

This work work allows me to meet and exchange with many young people. I like this!

Doris, 66 year old retired
at franceinfo

Before finding this job, Doris applied for many job offers, without success. She believes it is because of her age.

“We have a workshop once a month where a grandmother or a grandfather shows what he can do: sewing, theater or poker”, resumes David Haller, member of the team behind the project. “We are trying to develop this and create a community where we can include people who can no longer work at the cafe or who do not want to work.” He believes that there is potential for this community since Vollpension is followed by nearly 30,000 people on Facebook.

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