The welcome agency “Comeback Elbe-Elster” is a contact point for repatriates, individuals interested in repatriation, newcomers, commuters, and individuals changing jobs with free counselling services on topics such as work, housing, and leisure. In the agency’s “Heimatladen” (homeland shop), interested parties can purchase, for example, regional literature, regional handicrafts, food and products with (homeland) identity-forming branding (e.g. postcards, pendants, clothing). Comeback Elbe-Elster is well-networked with other regional actors from the economy, civil society, public services and politics, and already exchanges information on a supra-regional level.

Comeback Elbe-Elster has been awarded in the third funding round of the “Neulandgewinner. Inventing the Future Locally” programme sponsored by the Robert Bosch Stiftung. Since 2012, the programme has been supporting civil society actors in their commitment to and for rural areas in eastern Germany in what are now more than 50 initiatives. As a return initiative and welcome agency, Comeback Elbe-Elster is facing the challenges of ageing and shrinking populations in rural Brandenburg against the backdrop of demographic change and migration processes in rural areas. In the current fourth funding round, In the 4th funding round, a mutual exchange of experiences was initiated in cooperation with a return initiative in the Hochsauerlandkreis (Home Advantage HSK). The joint project work will be supplemented by the empirical surveys of the nexus Institute and should thus create added value for both tandem partners and a qualitative increase in their work and services.

The project “Hüben wie drüben?” thus focuses on a comparison of the work of an East German and a West German repatriate and welcome culture. The aim is, among other things, to gather experience about similarities or differences (e.g. in work, objectives, target groups, approaches, offers, reach, networking and cooperation experiences of both agencies) and to utilize the outcomes for the future work of both agencies. nexus is supporting the project “Hüben wie drüben?” in achieving these funding goals as accompanying scientific research.

Duration: 01/2019 – 09/2020
Client: „Generationen gehen gemeinsam“ (G3) e.V.
Team: Dr. Angela Jain (project management), Ansgar Düben