Supporting the German minority

Project description

Title: Measures to support the German minority in Kyrgyzstan
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI); German Federal Office of Administration (BVA)
Country: Kyrgyzstan
Lead executing agency: German Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI)
Overall term: Since 1996

Kyrgyzstan ©  GIZ

Context

Since the early 1990s, around 2.1 million ethnic Germans and their families have relocated to Germany from the former Soviet Union. Today, the German minority in Kyrgyzstan numbers around 8,300, the majority whom live in rural areas with poor infrastructure and difficult economic conditions. The German Government is working hard to make amends for the consequences of the Second World War, and is making efforts to improve the livelihoods of the German minority in the post-Soviet states and to provide ethnic Germans with a brighter future.

Objective

The German minority represents its interests independently in its country of origin. It is developing its ethno-cultural identity and actively fulfils its role as a bridge between Germany and the country of origin.

Kyrgyzstan © GIZ

Approach

To achieve the programme objective, GIZ organises various projects in cooperation with the Volksrat der Deutschen in Kirgisistan (Council of Kyrgyz Germans, VdD) and its ten committees as well as the Deutscher Humanitärer Hilfsfonds (German humanitarian assistance fund, DHHF) which has three welfare centres.

The measures to support the German minority focus primarily on cultural activities and youth work, promoting self-organisation and the development of those who actively represent ethnic Germans, and social assistance.

Founded on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI), DHHF has a social focus and ensures that those in need receive regular social and medical assistance. Particular attention is being paid to the older generation, as its members not only suffered the most from the consequences of war, but are also the ones who remember and pass on German cultural traditions.

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, GIZ provides the head association, VdD, with advice on project management. Responsibility for the programme and its implementation lies with the GIZ programme office in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Results

A comprehensive range of language activities and trainings as well as extensive leisure activities for young people and the guarantee of social assistance for those in need aim to provide a basis for allowing the ethnic minority to not only preserve its own identity, but further develop it. These measures have been used to establish a close-knit network of youth clubs that are well-integrated in their respective communities. For the members of the ethnic minority, they make an important contribution at a social level as well as to broader aspects of their lives.

Kyrgyzstan ©  GIZ

Joint cultural projects with other minorities and international exchange programmes are helping to boost the profile of the German minority in Kyrgyzstan while at the same time enabling ethnic Germans to act as a link between Kyrgyzstan and Germany.