Smaller projects to support German minorities are primarily funded by the ifa culture managers' project budget.
The ifa supports larger, long-term projects with funds from the German Federal Foreign Office in a closed, two-stage allocation procedure. Funding is provided for projects run by associations and institutions in German minority communities in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The following areas are prioritised:
Bilingual early education
Strengthening cultural identityThe ability to cultivate, learn and use the German language in everyday situations is an important concern for the minorities. The ifa intends to provide local training schemes on bilingual early education for a greater number of multipliers, and it involves parents in developing kindergartens to further strengthen participation.
Extracurricular youth education
Developing individual personalities and taking responsibilityTo date, concepts for youth education are underdeveloped in the minorities’ associations. Extracurricular youth education helps young people to develop their personalities, gives them a sense of social responsibility, and encourages involvement in the community. The ifa supports stimulus projects (in German), trains multipliers and facilitates partnerships with experienced professionals working in extracurricular education in Germany.
Harnessing and enhancing intercultural skillsMinorities are mediators between different cultures and can act as linchpins between their country and Germany. The skills they acquire in this role are a vital resource, which we aim to enhance and showcase. This can be aided by networking. The ifa therefore initiates and promotes cooperation, emphasising the value of networking and taking advantage of existing local expertise.
Encouraging professional qualifications
Enabling a qualified workforce and developing elitesThe ifa supports full-time and volunteer workers in German minority organisations in accessing education and gaining qualifications. We also encourage the expansion of these organisations – many of which are suffering from falling membership levels. Last but not least, our work in education also aims to address the lack of elite personnel within minority communities.
Highlighting contributions to modern societiesLittle research is currently conducted into minority issues, other than from a historical perspective. Yet it could be highly valuable to examine what contributions minorities make today in modern societies – in particular in terms of participation, identity, tolerance, shifts in perspectives, and intercultural experience. In order to make this knowledge of integration readily available, the ifa supports research projects on minority issues with future relevance.
Increasing relevancy and opening up to Web 2.0The minorities' German-language media are important flagships for the communities. Once they have achieved a certain presence thanks to their circulation, content and quality, they may even enter into local media channels, bringing values based on German media with them. To this end, the ifa supports training for editorial offices and publishers active in the relevant media. We help improve the quality of these media by deploying (in German) mother-tongue editors to the region. In particular, the ifa supports initiatives aiming to make use of Web 2.0 as a medium for information, discussion and interaction. However, for reasons concerning allocation regulations, there will be cutbacks in funding for production costs in the medium term.