For me, us and for everyone: a conclusion

Looking at the projects of the Muslim women, which have been developed, this has to be stated: The model project has been a clear success. At least three projects had to be created; in the end, seven projects have emerged. Not all possible projects have been listed in the overview because plans for creating a women’s association, in order to stabilise and consolidate the work in this area, for example, are still pending, as the project duration was too short to materialize this.

That is a crucial lesson we have learned from the model project. Namely, that the project’s timeframe has to be longer. This is because many ideas are time consuming, which means that they extend over a longer period of time, so that the implementation takes a lot of time- especially considering that the women are doing this voluntarily. The recruitment of participants has also taken a lot of time or, in any case, more time than we thought.

The main problem was that Ramadan began right at the start of the project and the women had no time to volunteer during Ramadan. Also, the general recruitment of the participants was very difficult at the beginning, because it took some time until the project became known within the community. After two months, this finally happened and we had many inquiries from interested women, not only from Grünau, but from all over the city. The latter were even clearly in the majority. This made it clear to us that the geographical scope of the project had to be larger. Although it still makes sense to focus on one district (or even on two districts), the project should, nevertheless, also be open to Muslims from neighbouring districts.

Yet, despite this need for optimisation, it must once again be emphasised: The project “For me, us and everyone” was a success. Particularly important here is the selection of the project manager, since she should be a Muslim woman herself, in order to guarantee easy access to the target group. In addition, it is particularly helpful, if a local network already exists and can be built upon. Primarily, the offers should not be implemented by us, as the project-executing agency, but by socio-cultural institutions in the district, so that added value will be created directly there and will also be visible for other residents in the district.

This is exactly what we have achieved in this model project despite the obstacles and difficulties mentioned above. The central goal, to empower the women and to accompany them, so that they can realize their own project ideas, was, therefore, achieved. What is more, it also became clear that the needs continue to exist, and that there is still a lot of potential in this community. It only needs some support to become activated, something that “For me, us and everyone” has managed to do.

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