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Our commitment to Ukraine

At Kunsthaus ACUD, the inner courtyard served as a projection screen and stage for the installation "Alarm"
Helen Bozhko © Goethe-Institut im Exil

The support offers for cultural workers in and from Ukraine expired at the end of 2022. Should new funding opportunities arise, we will provide information on this page.

German courses at a symbolic price, an emergency aid fund or a placement offer from Ukrainian artists and cultural workers to German host institutions: In order to mitigate the consequences of the Russian war of aggression on the cultural and educational sector in Ukraine in particular, the Goethe-Institut 2022 implemented a comprehensive package of measures with special funds from the supplementary budget for Ukraine. The Federal Foreign Office provided 11.7 million euros for this purpose. On this page you will find an overview of the projects that the Goethe-Institut launched in response to the war in Ukraine.

The Goethe-Institut is in full solidarity with the Ukrainian people and especially its partners. In Ukraine, the Goethe-Institut has been represented by a large institute in Kiev since 1993, from which a nationwide network of three cultural societies, 15 language learning centres, 16 partner libraries or reading rooms, 17 PASCH schools supervised by the Goethe-Institut and currently 18 university cooperations is managed. At the Goethe-Institut in Kiev, up to 6,000 people learned German every year until the Covid 19 pandemic and around 10,000 exams were taken. Since the Goethe-Institut has been active in Ukraine, trusting partnerships have been developed with institutions, educational providers and cultural workers on the ground. Especially in times of war and crisis, the sustainability of these networks is of great importance.

Emergency aid programmes for people from Ukraine 

Immediately after the war began, the Goethe-Institut implemented programmes to support and protect Ukrainian cultural partners and cultural workers. These include - together with the German Federal Cultural Foundation - the emergency grants for cultural workers from Ukraine. Since March 2022, around 540 cultural practitioners have been supported. Among others, the theatre director Andriy May, the visual artist Katya Libkind and the music curator and critic Liubov Morozova received an emergency grant.

"A Suitcase Full of Books" in Ukrainian for libraries

To support the arrival of children and young people who have fled Ukraine, the project "A Suitcase Full of Books" was launched together with the Ukrainian Book Institute and the German Library Association. More than 600 libraries in Germany were provided with a total of around 20,000 books of Ukrainian children's and youth literature designed for refugee families. 17 Ukrainian publishers were involved in the project. Interest in the Ukrainian book cases continues to be very high. From Munich libraries to city libraries in Cuxhaven, libraries of all sizes have been equipped, making Ukrainian children's and youth literature available nationwide.
More information on the project "A Suitcase Full of Books"

Coordination service for cultural workers from Ukraine

In order to enable refugee artists to continue working artistically in Germany and to quickly establish contacts in their scenes, a "Matching Portal" was realised in cooperation with the international non-governmental organisation "Artists at Risk". Offers from cultural institutions in Germany - residencies, scholarships or work residencies - are bundled here and placed with cultural workers from Ukraine who have fled. By November, more than 129 artists had been brought together with almost 60 institutions nationwide, such as the artists Artem Volokitin, Tetiana Malinovska, Anna Moskalets and Valeriia Buchuk, who work and live in the artifact e.V. studio community in Potsdam.

German courses for Ukrainians

With free or heavily discounted language learning programmes, Ukrainians who had to seek refuge in Germany were also very quickly supported. With this offer, the Goethe-Institut reached a total of over 17,000 people. The greatest demand was for beginners' courses. About half of the participants were in Ukraine and half in other countries, especially Germany. Since March 2022, a total of around 7,000 course participants have taken part in the language courses offered by the Goethe-Institut in Ukraine, around 700 of them under the age of 18. Since May, almost 10,000 people have purchased the "German Training Online" for self-learning German at level A1, the so-called Welcome Course, which is also offered at a steep discount. The courses have provided comprehensive support to the participants and facilitated their arrival in Germany.
To the Goethe-Institut Ukraine

Mein Weg nach Deutschland - Information for Ukrainians

Usually, the web portal "Mein Weg nach Deutschland" is aimed at people who come to Germany to work. Since the Russian attack on Ukraine, however, there are also many questions about the effects of the war. That's why the Goethe-Institut provides important information on the portal for refugees from Ukraine coming to Germany, for example, on assistance, telecommunications, health insurance, kindergartens and schools, and plenty of information on free self-learning opportunities for the German language.
To the web portal Mein Weg nach Deutschland

Voice of Ukraine - The Kyiv Symphony Orchestra on tour in Germany

In an unprecedented action, the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra was brought from the war zone to Germany for a tour in April and May. Seven German cities with their most important concert halls - including the Dresden Kulturpalast and the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg - spontaneously agreed to take part. With this tour, the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra is setting a sign of resistance against aggression. Ukrainian compositions from four centuries make the previously all too seldom heard voice of Ukraine audible. The tour was created in cooperation with Konzertdirektion Schmid and in partnership with the Goethe-Institut.

Support for Ukrainian PASCH schools

17 of the almost fifty Ukrainian PASCH schools are supported by the Goethe-Institut Ukraine. With the exception of the PASCH school in Mariupol, all of these schools are currently in operation and function as official places of refuge - also for PASCH students who have lost their homes. All of the schools supported by the Goethe-Institut were able to receive support in the form of sleeping bags, sleeping mats, warm underwear, rescue blankets, bandages and power banks.

"All-Ukrainian Online School"

There are more than 31,000 schools and pre-schools in Ukraine. The Russian war of aggression has already damaged more than 4,000 and completely destroyed more than 420. In this situation, it helps that the country has already built up extensive competencies in the area of resilience in education over the past nine years of war - and places a lot of emphasis on digitalisation. In this area, the Goethe-Institut Ukraine has been working closely with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine as well as the subordinate education authorities for years, providing substantial and sustainable support for the large-scale, ambitious education reforms.
One of the most important joint measures is the new state education platform "All-Ukrainian Online School". Originally designed to bridge teaching shortfalls during the pandemic, the offer has been scaled up by the authorities as quickly as possible since 2022. The aim is to enable the children and young people who have fled Russian attacks and the often widely scattered classes to receive high-quality learning even when school buildings are destroyed.

Stabilisation Fund

In order to support cultural organisations in Ukraine and selected countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the Goethe-Institut set up a new stabilisation fund of 2.5 million euros. It is aimed specifically at institutions whose commitment has been directly or indirectly affected by the war in Ukraine and whose work is of great importance for artistic freedom, cultural education and a pluralistic society. The applications come from all cultural and educational fields - whether media art and literature, music or theatre. Almost 400 institutions submitted projects, and around 140 were funded. Of these, about half were in Ukraine and the other half in neighbouring countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Among other things, the 19th International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, the "Docudays", was funded in Ukraine. For the HAYART cultural centre in Yerevan, seven artists from Armenia, Ukraine and Italy will create anti-war murals in public places in Yerevan. The stabilisation fund is instrumental in supporting cultural institutions in times of war, energy crisis and inflation and ensuring their "survival".

Support in the fields of Literature, Film and Music

The Goethe-Institut also supported Ukraine's country presentation at the Frankfurt Book Fair, which otherwise would not have taken place or would have been much smaller. In addition to 30 publishers, authors and activists from Ukraine also travelled to Frankfurt. Among others, the writers Yuri Andrukhovych, Tanya Maljarchuk, Andrei Kurkov, Natalka Sniadanko, Haska Shyyan and Serhij Zhadan, winner of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, as well as the human rights activist Oleksandra Matwijtschuk, who has just been awarded the Alternative Nobel Prize, came, the paramedic and chronicler of the war Julia "Taira" Pajewska, who was freed from Russian captivity, and the editor-in-chief of the largest Ukrainian news portal "Ukrainska Pravda", Sevgil Musaieva.
Together with the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Goethe-Institut also supports the German Film Academy with the Film Fund Ukraine, which funded 60 scholarship holders in August. In cooperation with the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, a funding programme totalling 160,000 euros was set up to support Ukrainian musicians.

Goethe-Institut in Exile

A festival on 6 October 2022 in Berlin was aimed at Ukrainians in exile and a German audience. For four days, the Goethe-Institut invited to the Kunsthaus ACUD for the inaugural festival of the "Goethe-Institut in Exile" with a focus on Ukraine. With 45 events with over 100 participating Ukrainian artists who came to Berlin from Ukraine, Germany and other European countries, as well as 11 partner organisations, a multi-layered cultural and discourse programme could be realised. In addition to performances such as "Alarm" and "Bomb Shelter Night", curated by actor and theatre project manager Andrii Palatny and the CCA Center of Contemporary Art "DAKH", the Peace Prize winner of the German Book Trade Serhij Zhadan read from his poems and played with his band. The festival reached around 2,500 visitors.

Teachers and Volunteers

The Goethe-Institut has also set up courses for refugee teachers from Ukraine who are staying in Germany and are employed as "welcome teachers" at German schools. They accompany pupils from Ukraine in regular classes to make their arrival easier. By the end of November, around 500 welcome teachers had been given their first German language skills and information about the German school system. The Goethe-Institut has also organised support for volunteers who help refugees: The so-called FEELS courses were able to train 600 volunteers by the end of the year in how to give refugees a positive first contact with the German language and an initial orientation in the country.