Project - GEZUMI
Building a home with people with migration background
People with migration background take part in guided peer support groups to exchange emotional and informational support. The groups are linked through a series of cultural events that aim at bringing the locals and the newcomers together.

Frankfurt (Oder),
Halle (Saale),

Stiftung Deutsches Hilfswerk

Project focal point
Maria Zhiguleva

In recent decades, Germany has welcomed many people from all over the world. More than 13 million of the people living in Germany have immigrated from other countries, and more than 22 million have a migration background (Federal Statistical Office, 2022). Migration is not always voluntary: people are often compelled to migrate due to conflict, starvation, or poverty. Those with migratory backgrounds must overcome many challenges, including language barriers, bureaucratic problems, and navigating cultural differences. Communities that unite local residents and people with migration background (MmMs), as well as those with comparable histories and origins, can greatly enhance both the mental health of the residents and the general well-being of their communities.

The GEZUMI project aims to create safe spaces where MmMs have the opportunity to share, learn from each other and give and receive support by building trusting relationships. As part of GEZUMI, MmMs in three German cities – Berlin, Halle (Saale) and Frankfurt an der Oder – are invited to join supportive peer groups led by qualified professionals. There, they participate in activities that promote mental health and well-being and receive informative support on topics relevant to MmMs, such as how to apply for a job, seek medical help or take care of paperwork. The second focus of GEZUMI is on cultural events and workshops where the local population and the newcomers have an opportunity to meet and socialise. At these events, MmMs gain better access to the local community and its diverse opportunities, and the local population has the opportunity to get to know the newcomers and to involve them more actively in the life of their community.