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Pilot projects on selected phenomena of group-focused enmity and approaches to strengthening democracy in rural areas

Pilot projects develop and field-test innovative approaches towards promoting democracy and prevention work. They tackle urgent questions and problems, are planned and implemented with the focus on their effect and are participatively based. If the methods and approaches tested in the pilot projects prove successful, the experienced gained in the project work will be transferred to the work of other organisations or support areas, especially in work with children and adolescents. The prime aim is to advance teaching practice, taking into account specific local structures and to transfer this into regulatory structures. The federal programme "Live Democracy!" supports pilot projects that address selected phenomena of group-focused enmity in the following areas:

Racism and racial discrimination: Racism is based on an ideology of inequality, the goal or the consequence of which is that the exercise of equal rights and equal access to resources is compromised. Measures that strengthen the capacity of institutions, educational facilities and affected persons to take action when faced with racial discrimination are being funded, as well as measures that build awareness for racism as a societal problem. Forms of direct as well as indirect and intersectional discrimination are being addressed, as well as the current challenges resulting from the present refugee situation.

Current forms of anti-Semitism: Anti-Semitism as hostility towards Jews manifests in many ways and various 'lines of argument' are put forward in an attempt to 'justify' it. The supported projects fight against current anti-Semitism and develop concrete approaches and services. Projects against anti-Zionist and secondary anti-Semitism receive special support.

Antigypsyism: Antigypsyism as hostility towards the Sinti and Roma people reaches all the way from the peddling of traditional prejudice to latently violent attacks. The sponsored projects aim to encourage civil society engagement and counteract the ethnicisation of social policy problems by scapegoating Sinti and Roma.

Current forms of Islamophobia: Islamophobia is the aversion to persons whose actual or alleged religion is Islam. The sponsored projects aim to enhance appreciation and understanding and to resolve conflicts where culture, ethnicity, origin or religion plays a role.

Homophobia and transphobia: Homophobia and transphobia manifest in the stigmatisation of and aversion to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons (LGBTI). Support goes to measures that encourage the acceptance of same-sex lifestyles, reduce prejudice and hostility towards LGBTI people and address violence on grounds of sex or gender, gender identity and sexual orientation.

Support also goes to pilot projects working against right-wing extremism, violence and group-focused enmity  that focus on the special framework conditions obtaining in rural, structurally weak areas. The aim is to strengthen the democratic culture of, first and foremost, young people and to field test novel forms of conflict and problem resolution.

Anti-discrimination and early prevention among preschool children. Counteracting racial discrimination and discrimination on the basis of religious affiliation as well as gender and sexual identity is already of importance in the preschool setting. This is why projects are being funded that provide primarily professionals involved in education, as well as parent representatives at preschool level, with tools for handling prejudice, discrimination and diversity. In particular, measures are being funded, the aim of which is the empowerment of children who are (potentially) affected by discrimination including the support of the affected parents, as well as projects that prevent any potential influence of right wing extremist actors in early childhood settings.