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Physical & psychological empowerment for refugee women in Berlin

A project from Hildashaus e.v.
in Berlin, Germany

Hildashaus e.V. brings women and people who menstruate in vulnerable and marginalized positions together to reach their economic empowerment by overcoming the physical, psychological, and educational barriers that stand in their way.

Federica Cecalupo
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About this project

Hildashaus e.V. brings women & people who menstruate in vulnerable & marginalized positions together to reach their economic empowerment by overcoming physical, psychological & educational barriers that stand in their way.

Hildashaus has implemented programs both locally (Berlin) as well as internationally (Nepal & Lebanon). Each program is tailored to the communities’ specific needs.

An important part of our mission is to work on health, well being & overcoming stigmas. 

For our year-end campaign, we have set a goal to raise €4,800 to start our “Empowerment and Well Being program” with JACK-Berlin’s community of 30 women in refugee status or seeking asylum.

The seed phase started in summer 2021 with activities on how to work with body, emotion & mind:

  • Self defence 
  • Art as a self-care practice
  • Gentle movement based on Trauma Sensitive Yoga
  • Self massage
The attendees’ active participation, their questions related to personal challenges & willingness for a second cycle concludes the program is ready to be implemented.

JACK-Berlin e.V. is an education center for female refugees & women in need of shelter in Germany. In 2020, Hildashaus & JACK-Berlin began a collaboration using 2 essential pillars for economic empowerment: 

  • Physical & Psychological empowerment: through the “Empowerment and Well Being” & “Menstrual and Menopause Awareness” programs
  • Educational empowerment: through JACK-Berlin’s current projects & activities for digital skill development and Hildashaus' mentoring program (2022)

Due to migration experiences, refugees & asylum seekers are at particular risk of mental health issues & low subjective well being. Evidence shows that women forced to flee war, persecution or violence experience acute anxiety & stress, alongside the pandemic promoting risk factors for domestic violence & depression.

Hildashaus strongly believes in the need for an “Empowerment and Well Being program” due to the link between mental health & economic empowerment. 

This program helps women focus on physical & psychological barriers that stand in their way, to ultimately reach economic empowerment.

For the program’s long-term sustainability, we are diversifying our financial resource portfolio with grants, companies’ social responsibilities & private donors.  

The implementation phase of the program will consist of:

  • 30 attendees (3 groups of 10)
  • A cycle of 5 classes for each activity: art therapy, trauma sensitive yoga, martial arts & self massage

Alongside instructors, Hildashaus staff works on a voluntary basis.

Thanks to your contribution, participants can learn techniques to defend themselves in difficult situations & to find a safe space within themselves.