Story of Success
Frauenhäuser für Afrika e. V. was founded in 2014 by i+m NATURKOSMETIK BERLIN as a non-profit association. The first women’s shelter in the country has already been built through our donations in the city of Kabwe, Zambia, and has been continuously expanded ever since. With this project, i+m commits itself to the fight against domestic violence against women in Africa and sets an example for the right to self-determination. Our vision is to establish a whole women’s shelter movement in Zambia.
i+m for Women’s Rights
Many women in Zambia live in precarious conditions: Violence against women and children, great poverty, a high AIDS infection rate favoured by polygyny and hardly any access to contraceptives are the order of the day – also because contraception is considered a taboo subject in this predominantly Christian country. The first women’s shelter in the country – financed by i+m – wants to offer these women support, help them to help themselves and secure accommodation.
The women’s shelter is a development project by Zambian women for Zambian women: While i+m guarantees the financing and the organisation of the association is controlled from Germany, the actual management of the women’s shelter is in the hands of Beatrice Chama, a native of Zambia.
The initiative to build the women’s shelter came from Beatrice himself. We at i+m consider this modern development policy approach to be the right one for various reasons: On the one hand, the aid projects can be optimally tailored to the needs and conditions of local residents by organising them. On the other hand, this self-responsible structure creates a place that strengthens women’s emancipation and self-determination. Finally, the aid projects can be carried out much more cost-effectively and thus more effectively, as there is no need to set up a local development aid office. In this way all donations benefit the women themselves.
A safe haven
With the women’s shelter in Zambia, i+m, together with the local women, gave a first impulse to find ways out of the precarious situation of many Zambian women. In August 2014, the first of them were able to move into the new buildings. About 100 women and their children can find refuge here every year. Beatrice and Julliette take care of the affected women and children in the women’s shelter and look for individual solutions to their emergency situations together with them.
On average, the residents stay in the women’s shelter for about three months. This offers not only a safe refuge, but also medical care, education and legal advice. In the past year, none of the women returned to domestic violence, in most cases an alternative could be found in the circle of other relatives.
In order to support their independence, the women seeking protection can provide for themselves during their stay in the 2015 large vegetable garden. The garden not only creates a real basis for life, but also a professional perspective: Here the women gain valuable experience in gardening and landscaping as well as in the production of healthy food. This occupation with nature creates an environment in which experiences can be processed. Since 2016 they have also had the opportunity to learn how to sew in their own sewing workshop and to draw new strength for the future from this activity.
And the i+m women’s shelter continues to grow thanks to tireless investments and donations: from 2018 it will be enriched by a school, a women’s education project and an orphanage. We report regularly on our blog about these news, further developments and donation possibilities around the i+m women’s shelter.
Together for new joy of life
In addition to counselling and further education, the community of women is of course decisive for the success of the project: the often traumatised women can exchange their experiences here in safety and find courage and new joie de vivre together.
Impulse for an entire movement
“Overall, at i+m we see our role in providing the impetus for a women’s shelter movement in Zambia and throughout Africa. Our shoulders are too narrow to finance other women’s shelters ourselves. Therefore we want to win further partners for the association women’s shelters in Africa and thus support the African women to lead a self-determined life in dignity and security”.Bernhard von Glasenapp, Managing Director of i+m NATURKOSMETIK
You can also be your part in our vision of a women’s shelter movement. With a one-time or regular donation to Frauenhäuser für Afrika e.V. in any amount. Since we do without intermediate donation platforms, every Euro arrives also in Africa.
You can’t wait to help the women of Zambia?
» More information about donations for the women’s shelter in Zambia