"Face masks instead of ethnic fashion"
- by Sascha Margon, TA, from April 15th, 2020
Project group of the integration funding group adapts to the current situation.

Impulse Region
The project has since been supervised by Melinda Miclaus. PHOTO: FORDERKREIS INTERGRATION.


Apolda. The sponsorship group's fashion project was launched at the beginning of the year..

A virtue has been made of necessity recently in both the Ethno Fashion project group in the Apolda Integration Circle. Originally, the integration project launched at the beginning of the year sought to bring women from different backgrounds together and bring the fashion of their home countries to Germany. Among other things, because ethnic fashion is enjoying increasing popularity. Therefore, when selecting the participants, care was taken to mix their origins well. The women come not only from Syria, Afghanistan or Iran, but also from Germany or other European countries, such as Romania.
The course, which has been scheduled for a year, is not just about getting to know each other.
For the participants, it is also about exchanging manual skills, learning the German language and showing a way to independence and developing entrepreneurial skills.
Now the Corona virus has thrown all plans over the top, explains project manager Melinda Miclaus.
Nevertheless, they did not allow themselves to be intimidated and looked for alternatives. Because the original plan for the sewing group to meet two to three times a week is not possible for an indefinite period.

Thanks to the support of the Apoldaer Bildungswerk, which provided a sewing cabinet, the basic conditions were
already existed before the crisis. In small groups - that is, a supervisor and a seamstress - facial masks have been produced in the cabinet for some time now. A few hundred pieces have already been created. However, these are not only distributed free of charge in the shared accommodation for personal use, but also passed on to other institutions such as the district office or the churches.
"The women want to make an active contribution to the common good and show that the people here are not a burden for society, but rather care," explains Ernst-Michael Christoph from the Association for the Promotion of Integration. Christoph hopes that the project , which is financially supported by the Ministenum für Migration, will soon be able to continue as planned.

Even after that, it remains to be hoped that the idea will continue. Because designing and producing fashion yourself could pave the way for women into professional life.
While the self-designed designs are currently only for personal use, Christoph could also imagine that the whole thing could become a real business idea for women.
At present, three of the ten integration projects due to the Corona Crisis are completely on hold. The rest only take place in one-on-one supervision.
"We are currently cooking everything on a low flame," says the support group. German classes for residents of community accommodation are also completely paralyzed. For this reason, too, individual support and hopefully an early end to the crisis will be used.