Strengthening Diversity, Combating Racism, Engaging Locally

With a Regranting scheme, we support people on the ground throughout Germany who oppose racism and are committed to the recognition of diversity.

Germany is a diverse immigration country. At the same time, the rejection of diversity and racially discriminatory and marginalizing ideas are increasingly normalized and made more socially acceptable in public discourse. It must be countered everywhere directly and locally! With the action-fund ViRaL, we seek to support people who are committed to opposing these tendencies in their environment with courage and creativity, but who so far lacked the resources to do so. We promote anti-racist projects in urban and rural areas, in Western and Eastern Germany, and contribute to the development and dissemination of knowledge and strategies to strengthen the recognition of diversity. ViRaL combines both a financial grant of €5,000  and an accompanying year-long tailored program to empower the grantees to grow, professionalize and implement their project idea with impact. ViRaL started in March 2018 and ends in September 2019.

"Racism is a category of discrimination that affects people in all places and is experienced at all times. The same must apply to our anti-racism work", says Charlotte Bechert, project assistant at ViRaL. The action-fund ViRaL aims to:

  • support anti-racist projects in the very places where they seem to be failing
  • allow informal groups to receive support
  • encourage new persons to engage in anti-racist action
  • reach people who have not been actively engaged in the fight against racism
  • promote societal education on racism and the recognition of diversity
  • make various methods, actors and areas of application in everyday life visible

The ViRaL action fund focuses above all on cooperation with smaller civil society actors that have recognized the problem of racist exclusion and discrimination in their immediate surroundings and want to develop concrete solutions for overcoming them. ViRaL attaches a particular importance to the local anchoring of projects, that is, the conception of the problem of racism in its local context and its embedding in and cooperation with local structures. ViRaL seeks to reach out with anti-racist counter-narratives to people who have have not yet dealt with the topic, as well as to provide resources and support to those who are targeted by racism and exclusion.

ViRaL combines both a financial grant of €5,000  and an accompanying year-long tailored program to empower the grantees to grow, professionalize and implement their project idea with impact. Within that program, ViRaL supports grantees by sharing our network and infrastructure and offering specifically tailored support and mentoring. Grantees can gain access to legal, technical and financial advice, anti-racist and diversity consulting or communication trainings. Along with local trainings for the grantees, the program invests in digital learning and knowledge dissemination formats (e.g., webinars, podcasts) to produce content that is accessible to anyone on the web. 

The ViRaL action fund is a re-granting and micro-granting instrument.

Citizens For Europe, with its broad network and reputation in civil society, acts as an intermediary between those who will receive funding and large donors. With its structure, it also enables the promotion of informal groups. In addition, Citizens For Europe mobilizes its expertise and network as a civil society player to help monitor the content and strategy of the projects.

In contrast to subsidies with a broad target group, the ViRaL action fund makes it easier for us to check the impact of the funded projects and the fund itself. The funded projects have clearly defined target groups from their immediate environment and are usually anchored themselves in the communities to be reached.

"We focus on tangible change at the local level. Successful local alliances or projects show that positive change can be achieved. In the medium term, a similar dynamic can be established on a national or European level.” says Lucile Gemähling, project coordinator for the action-fund.

The documentation of the projects’ progress plays a central role in our funded projects. We promote the projects using video, images and texts on social media. Thus, the parties involved increase their visibility and multiply the enlightenment effect of their work.

For further information please visit our website https://aktionsfonds-viral.de/ or contact us at viral@citizensforeurope.org

Cooperation between:


Dezember 3, 2018

Re-granting, um Aktivist*innen zu empowern

Re-granting, um Aktivist*innen zu empowern

Das von Citizens For Europe (CFE) und der Bertelsmann Stiftung initiierte „Re-granting und Micro-granting Programm" namens „Aktionsfonds ViRaL – Vielfalt stärken, Rassismus bekämpfen, Lokal engagieren" verbindet die Netzwerke, Expertise und Reputation einer Non-Profit-Organisation mit dem finanziellen Engagement und den Förderzielen einer Stiftung. Beide arbeiten zusammen, um diejenigen zu erreichen und zu unterstützen, die gegen Rassismus und Ausgrenzung auf lokaler Ebene und in ländlichen Gebieten kämpfen, die sich außerhalb des Stiftungsradars befinden, die keinen Rechtsstatus haben, noch nie zuvor eine Förderung erhalten haben oder diese einfach nicht anders beantragen würden. ViRaL kombiniert einen finanziellen Zuschuss von 5.000€ mit einem einjährigen, maßgeschneiderten Begleitprogramm, um die Projektträger*innen zu befähigen, ihre Projektidee wirkungsvoll zu entwickeln, zu professionalisieren und umzusetzen.
Dezember 3, 2018

#ViRaLfonds in Sundern

"What does history teach us, Mrs Himmler?"

In the old dairy in Sundern (Sauerland), the organizational team has just gotten more chairs. Almost a hundred people are sitting in the hall where the film "My Family, the Nazis and I" is being screened. Afterwards, one of the protagonists of the film is available for an interview with the audience: the author and historian Katrin Himmler, grandniece of the Reichsführer SS and organizer of the Holocaust, Heinrich Himmler.
Oktober 24, 2018
Tandem Europe- Animation Video the Circle of trust


Erstellung einer Multimedia-Dokumentation

Das Programm zielt in transeuropäischer Zusammenarbeit auf sozialen Wandel ab und stärkt den Austausch zwischen Kulturmanager*innen aus Europa. Das Tandem-Programm hat spezielle Werkzeuge und Methoden entwickelt, um diese Partnerschaften und Kooperationen zu erleichtern und zu stärken. Bei der ersten Runde von Tandem Europe zwischen 2015 und 2017 war Citizens For Europe verantwortlich für die Dokumentation der Geschichten der Teilnehmenden, die in das kollaborative Programm involviert waren und der Methoden, die sie genutzt haben, um ihre Partnerschaften zu stärken.
Oktober 24, 2018
Kick-Off Meeting - group photo

Kick-Off #ViRaLfonds

Kick-Off #ViRaLfonds: Together against racism!

On September 22 and 23, 2018, the kick-off meeting of our pilot project Action Fund ViRaL - Strengthening Diversity, Combating Racism, Engaging Locally - brought together representatives of the 10 funded projects from all over Germany. In addition to the exchange with and between the participants, a debate on racism and empowerment played a central role. Here we report on these two exciting days.
September 11, 2018


ViRaL Action-fund

Strengthening Diversity, Combating Racism, Engaging Locally

With a re-granting scheme, we support people on the ground throughout Germany who oppose racism and are committed to the recognition of diversity. ViRaL seeks to reach out with anti-racist counter-narratives to people who have have not yet dealt with the topic, as well as to provide resources and support to those who are targeted by racism and exclusion. We provide the selected projects with mini-grants, tailored trainings and the tools they need, and we share our network and infrastructure with them.
September 10, 2018


European Democracy Network

For the defense of freedom, democracy and fundamental rights!

We build an international network of activists and watchdogs united by the idea that we can only exist in international solidarity in order to counter the internationally networked opponents of the new Right. Our partnership currently supports, empowers and networks activists who stand against the erosion of democracy, the rise of nationalism and white supremacy, as well as the shrinking of civic spaces where civil society is under pressure.
September 8, 2018
CHIEF Feature Image


CHIEF, Towards an inclusive cultural education

Designing a multi-stakeholder collaboration to trigger change

The European CHIEF project builds a dialogue between young people, researchers, education practitioners, policymakers, community leaders and civil society activists in order to facilitate a future of Europe based on more inclusive notions of cultural heritage and cultural identity. Citizens For Europe will methodically design a multi-stakeholders' process and accompany a series of workshops to create a sustainable environment for dialogue between these actors and develop effective policy recommendations at the local and European level.
September 1, 2018


Wahlrecht für Alle - Voting right for all

We demand the right to vote for all people living here!

In Berlin more than 700,000 residents are excluded from voting in elections for local, regional and national representatives and referendums, simply because the Berlin electoral law is tied to German citizenship. Since 2011, the Berlin alliance “Wahlrecht für Alle” (“Voting Right for All”) has drawn attention to this injustice and has been committed to enabling the political participation of all people living in Berlin, regardless of their nationality. We therefore call for national voting right for EU citizens and third-country nationals, as well as for local and municipal voting right for third-country nationals.
August 31, 2018


NiCeR - Empowering local and newcomer youth

Using theater to strengthen youth participation in local life

Started in December 2015, the two-year NiCeR project used theater and the power of storytelling to develop a counter-narrative that strengthened youth participation in local cultural and social life while promoting skills development, empowerment and living together in cultural diversity. In Berlin, 30 young people from Berlin, Kosovo, Syria and Afghanistan came together, created and performed the musical What the Volk?! based on identity, belonging, migration and the power of language.
August 30, 2018

You and Me DE

You and Me - Empowering rural youth

A Youth film project for a new European narrative

Our youth film project brought together 9 young who grew up in the rural areas in Spain, Greece and Germany. They grabbed a camera and told their own stories beyond the media spin and stereotypes that have dominated the mainstream narrative in the European Union over the last few years. After taking part in a film training, they travelled in September and October 2016 as transnational groups through the rural areas of Brandenburg (Germany), Lesbos (Greece) and Aragón (Spain), where they interviewed other youngsters about their lives in the rural areas, their dreams and everyday challenges.