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The word oasis is said to come from ancient Greek and means “inhabited place”. By definition, it is a patch of vegetation in the desert. Both describe the oasis in Haslach quite well. People with disabilities have been working in the Arcus Oase facility for 25 years. Because in a society in which egoism and narrow-mindedness have started to become socially acceptable again, at least since the outbreak of the pandemic, the oasis is a real patch of warmth. Here people approach each other, here they laugh together and not at each other, here they greet each other in a friendly manner. In this respect, there is no question at all that the people with disabilities in Haslach can celebrate an anniversary in high spirits. This year’s 25th birthday of the facility will be celebrated with a concert by singer-songwriter Konstantin Wecker.

The oasis has been part of the Arcus social network since 1998. Walter Gierlinger, who has worked there almost since the beginning, has been the facility manager since 2005. Seven supervisors, two civil servants and 24 employees with disabilities make up the extraordinary team – a colorful group of colleagues. “We all treat each other as equals, and our colleagues with disabilities thank us with honest feedback,” say the supervisors.

Important orders

In the oasis, as in other Arcus facilities, good partnerships are maintained with business. Cables and plugs for eco-stoves are built in the workshop. In the creative area, images are captured on textiles. Other colleagues are out in the field. “Thanks to our customers, our employees with disabilities can look beyond our oasis,” says Gierlinger happily. To this end, the facility works with the municipality of Haslach, the local savings and university supermarkets, egg producer Stelzer, the Kitzmüller weaving mill and the Stefansplatzerl. Gerlinde, for example, is a gifted painter, but she also loves working in the Kitzmüller weaving mill, where she works in quality control and folds tea towels. Hermann likes it best when he can work outside with the machines tending the green space. But he also shows special talent when it comes to precise work in the workshop. “Some of our disabled colleagues have been here for many years, and during this time we’ve all been able to grow enormously. Sometimes we’re not sure whether they learn more from us or whether we learn more from them,” says Heidi Eckerstorfer.

Holidays are also spent together as a team that has been welded together in this way: “The highlight is our summer vacation. Our employees can now choose from three travel destinations, and each time there is also a flight to a Greek island,” says Walter.

Big party for the 25th

The big celebration for the anniversary takes place on September 22nd in the TuK Haslach. Konstantin Wecker will give a concert. Afterwards, the party is invited to the party with beer brewed by the Oase employees and music. Advance ticket sales for the concert start on February 1st (50 euros at Sparkasse, Ö-Ticket).

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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