Since summer 2018 we have been running our model project to promote voluntary work in Saxon mosque communities. This project is funded by the Free State of Saxony within the framework of the guideline Integrative Measure Part 1. The project was initially planned to last until the end of 2019. An extension and expansion of the project have been proposed because the project is still necessary and, above all, the potential it offers is enormous!
Especially for refugees, mosques are usually the first port of call in the new environment. However, the mosques lack the capacities, and so they have no other choice: They have to limit themselves, and so of course certain needs of the visitors always fall by the wayside. The numerous demands of the mosques and the communication with the whole society, as well as the social demand to communicate with the mosques lie at the heart of our project. This brings with it numerous challenges, and it is in this form unique and new in Eastern Germany. This is exactly why we document every single step in detail and, of course, also deal with problems, difficulties and challenges, so that we can avoid them in the future.
The promotion of volunteer work does not only occur in direct exchange with the local people, but also, for example, through the organisation of events or network work. During the project’s duration, staff members of the project provide advice and support to governmental, civil society and religious community actors. Communication between the actors should be as open, trusting and lasting as possible. Especially in Eastern Germany, particularly in Saxony, there is a lot of communicative work to be done, and this is only one of the big challenges. Therefore, there was and, still is, a lot to do, but we are working on it together!