Local Actors

Islamic Communities as Local Actors

© Yuri ArcursMuslima | © Yuri Arcurs
Foto: Yuri Arcurs

In a society made up of diverse cultures and faiths, it is important for everyone living in Germany to be integrated and have the opportunity to participate fully. In that regard, it is essential to continue promoting exchanges and dialogue between Islamic communities and municipal organizations. The Goethe-Institut has been active in this area for several years. The project Muslim Communities as Local Actors, carried out in cooperation with the Robert Bosch Foundation, was a successful initiative to provide responsible individuals from Muslim communities with the necessary skills for successful outreach and cooperation. It provided the necessary training to enable committed men and women all over Germany to serve as contacts at the local level.

With the follow-up project Islamic Communities as Local Actors, the Goethe-Institut seeks to build on the existing processes, again in cooperation with the Robert Bosch Foundation. The participants are functionaries from Islamic communities involved in such tasks as organising youth activities, serving on the boards of associations, or planning public relations work. Like the project Muslim Communities as Local Actors, this project again prioritises a participatory approach and, wherever possible, encourages the participants to get involved in developing the contents.

The project is being implemented in Essen and Ingolstadt.

Six men | © ZouZou

Foto: ZouZou

In Essen the focus is on increasing the inclusion and involvement of young Muslims in society. Here the Goethe-Institut is working with municipal partners such as the Kommission Islam and local mosques, Arbeitskreis Jugend (a coalition of local youth advocacy groups) and the Municipal Integration Centre.

The focus in Ingolstadt is pastoral work in an interfaith context. In cooperation with Klinikum Ingolstadt, the region's largest hospital, and its Christian chaplaincy, men and women from Islamic backgrounds are being trained for the hospital's voluntary visiting service. At the same time, the project is working to establish permanent structures for an Islamic visitors service.

The key objective of the project, besides enabling the project groups to organise their own activities and work autonomously in the development, planning and implementation of the project concepts, is the improved networking of Islamic functionaries with local actors and the inclusion of stakeholders from the local administration. The participation-oriented approach is intended to build stable and sustainable communication and cooperation structures that will continue to function beyond the 20-month project period. Complementing the training for the visitors service, the Goethe-Institut also offers the project participants language training geared to their needs.

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Earlier Activities

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Muslim Communities as Local Actors

The aim of the initiative Muslim Communities as Local Actors of the Goethe-Institut and the Robert Bosch Foundation was to improve the skills of these committed men and women, who are trusted opinion leaders in their communities, and to help them to network and interact with municipal institutions.