Special Pot in the “Auf Augenhöhe” Fund depleted after more than 125 Project Grants
Not only did the attack on Ukraine in February 2022 trigger the fastest-growing movement of refugees since WWII, but it also generated a great willingness among the German population to help. In order to assist those seeking protection as well as those involved in the acute phase in equal measure, the Software AG Foundation (SAGST) made 300,000 euros available to the “Auf Augenhöhe” fund – to celebrate its 30th anniversary – which could be accessed without any unnecessary red tape via a simplified application form. Due to the great demand, this special pot was increased by another 250,000 euros alongside the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Barthel Foundation. More than 125 types of support and acts of solidarity were made possible by the total of 550,000 euros, which is on track to be used up after one and a half years in September 2023. Community foundations with a quality seal, those eligible for a quality seal, and Houses of Resources throughout Germany could apply for up to 5,000 euros either for their own activities or to pass the funds on to friendly non-profit organisations.
SAGST project manager Andreas Rebmann emphasises, “For us as a foundation, they have been important partners in the ‘Auf Augenhöhe’ fund for many years. This proven format is based on trust in local expertise, which has strengthened social cohesion since 2016 and will be provided with further funds in the future.” These funds will be used in particular to promote civic initiatives for, with and by refugees and/or migrants with a focus on meeting formats to support their sustainable integration into society rather than emergency aid. Andreas Rebmann adds that, according to recent surveys, almost half of the more than one million war refugees want to stay in Germany for the long term, underlining the importance of just such an approach.