Frankfurt am 60311
Maisha e.V. – African Women in Germany
Who we are
We are an organization of African women in Germany. Our aim is to assist African women living in Germany. We are a self-help group and we assist each other in crises, in dealing with German authorities and the society in general. We address issues like childcare, jobs, daily problems, health and psychological problems. The concept is to empower each other to become a proud and active part of German society but at the same time remain firmly rooted in our culture and African background. We encourage each woman to become active in her own community.
We were founded in 1996 by Virginia Wangare Greiner and 6 other people, who thought it was about time that African women speak out for themselves. Virginia has been our General Manager since. In 2002 Maisha got the Integration Award (Integrationspreis) of the City of Frankfurt. In 2006 Virginia was awarded the German Federal Cross of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz) .
Since 2006 Maisha holds the chairmanship of the Organisation European Migrant Women in Belgium. In 2010 Maisha was awarded the Gabriele Stecker Preis by the organization Soroptimist. Internal Organization We are registered in Frankfurt am Main and are officially certified as non-profit organization.
According to our statutes we elect a new board of directors once a year. The present board 2012 consists of 6 women and one man. The position of a chairwoman is held by Elizabeth Gavi. Maisha has 550 members. Apart from the General Manager it has no salaried executives or employees but many volunteers, Christa the office secretary the most active among them.
Our daily job is being a low level clearing office for the International Clinic (Internationale Sprechstunde) at the Frankfurt Health Department by the Frankfurt Department of Women’s Affairs. We are called on by Africans (and lately East-Europeans and other nationalities) who want to get an appointment with the clinic and we have to process their paperwork. While
they are with us we have to deal with numerous other problems concerning housing problems, alien status, discrimination, health, nutrition, childcare and other issues. Our African clients come from all African nations, Eritrea and Nigeria being high on the list. In the last few years we had a steady rise of pregnant African women searching our help.
FGM – What we do for Africans
One of our current projects is prevention work against female mutilation in Germany. We are aware of a growing concern in society about this issue, but the German organizations who dealt with it are not representing the African women the way we would represent ourselves. At the same time they are not reaching many African women. We offer preventive counselling to African families. One way is information about the legal situation in Germany. On this background we want to convince mothers to stop the practice of FGM. We want to keep them from being prosecuted and expelled from Germany. Instead we want to support them in finding ways to alter this tradition, to preserve its valuable elements and negotiate a creative compromise by finding non-violent ways of performing the ceremony. We work with African girls and with their mothers. Contrary to other organizations we want
nurses, midwifes healers and circumcisers to play an important role in the concept of altering the tradition.
Cooperation with German groups and institutions
We work together with schools, community agents, government offices, police and the Ministry of Family Affairs, as well as with other German organizations who also deal with FMG. We teach them for example how to communicate with the victims of this practice in sensible and respectful ways. We lecture about FGM, this involves giving the agents insights into the cultural background of the women and what these traditions mean for them. We offer
trainings for different institutions and give interviews on radio and TV.
We want to empower other African women to become active multipliers for our approach in their communities throughout Germany and Europe. They should be enabled to inform about FGM-prevention in combination with AIDS-prevention. Also we are in contact with organizations in Africa to exchange experiences, to learn from each other and see how they work in respect to FGM.
Funding and Partners
Our longtime funds are mainly from
City of Frankfurt am Main – Public Health Department
City of Frankfurt am Main – Department for Women’s Affairs
The FTV 1860 (Sports Club), helps us by offering us free office space
Our partners are:
Federal State of Hesse – Department for Justice, Integration and Europe
Africa Diaspora in Europe (NGO)
Amnesty International / End FGM European Campaign
Terre des Femmes
European Network of Migrant Women (NGO)
Akidwa Ireland (NGO)
EKS Prag (NGO)
African Women’s Organization in Vienna
The African Women’s Organization in Vienna is a non-governmental organization established in 1996 by African women from Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt and other African countries. Membership is open to all interested in the welfare of women. It works jointly with other non-governmental organizations as well as government agencies and offices involved with the welfare of women and immigrants.
Objectives of the Organization
The main objectives of the Organization include:
Creating awareness and appreciation of the various political, economic, social and traditional problems women face in different societies;
Creating and promoting understanding and accommodation among different cultures and societies in the community;
Assisting and providing consultancy in the integration of immigrant women.
Promotion of good and beneficial cultures and traditions.
Campaigning against harmful traditional practices affecting the health of women and children.
Integration and promotion of culture:
The Organization carries out cultural exchanges, traditional shows, exhibitions, seminars, discussions to implement this programme.
Campaign against harmful traditional practices:
Since 1998 the campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM) became the organization’s area of priority. Its aim is through awareness and change of values prevent its practice among immigrant population originating from FGM risk countries.
Updating the status of FGM practice among immigrants in Austria.
Creating awareness and understanding of the nature and magnitude of the problem both among the local community and immigrants. It is a continuous and target specific exercise and addresses various aspects of FGM: origin and justification, health and medical consequences, political, legal, social and cultural aspects.
Provide information and resource material to students, researchers and media people.
Provide consultation to FGM victims.
Prepare an FGM training aid kit and train trainers.
Strengthen communication and cooperation with FGM European network.
Membership and cooperation
The African Women’s Organization is a sector of the Inter-African Committee and its representative in Austria. It is a member of the European FGM Network. In the past, A.W.O. has also, in partnership with RISK (Sweden) and VON (the Netherlands), run a EU Daphne funded project.
The Maisha initiative was launched in 2007 with the aim to make visible the contributions of women and role models within the African diaspora in Sweden. The association presents cultural events; seminars, workshops and promotion of cultural exchange between the African continent and Sweden. The major event since 2008 has been the Maisha gala, African Diaspora Awards.
Kf Maisha skapar möten och arrangerar evenemang. Vi vill bidra till att berika bilden av Afrika och den afrikanska diasporan genom kultur.
År 2008 hölls den första Maishagalan med syftet att uppmärksamma de som gjort betydande gärningar kopplade till den afrikanska kontinenten. Syftet var att berika och nyansera mediebilden av Afrika, synliggöra kvinnor samt lyfta fram förebilder inte minst dagens unga. Projektet utmynnade i bildandet av kulturföreningen Maisha, ett namn som betyder ”liv” på swahili. Föreningen verkar för att skapa fler tillfällen till möten mellan människor – för vad vore livet utan kultur och möten?
Om kulturföreningen MAISHA
I och med att Kulturföreningen Maisha bildades breddades verksamheten:
Maishagalan är ett årligt återkommande evenemang där flera priser delas ut bland andra i följande kategorier: Årets inspiratör, Årets entreprenör, Årets artist, Årets nykomling och Årets Diaspora pris. Utmärkelserna Maishas Hederspris, Hedersomnämnande samt Pionjärpris har tidigare delats ut.
Stolt! där vi lyfter fram oetablerade unga kulturutövare och skapar ett forum för kultur och dialog. Stolt! hölls för första gången 2009.
Global Education där ambitionen är att bidra till en hållbar samhällsutveckling.
Kulturprogram med seminarier där fokus är att uppmärksamma personer som verkar i den afrikanska diasporans tecken.
Vi samverkar med andra föreningar och skapar en plattform för bildandet av nya nätverk, där mötet mellan det svenska och afrikanska är en del.
Plusgiro: 69 59 31-6 för dig som vill stödja oss med valfritt belopp eller genom att bli medlem.
Bli stödmedlem! Avgiften för medlemskap är för närvarande 100kr/per år.
Som medlem får du:
Maisha nyhetsbrev flera gånger per år
Möjlighet att delta i olika aktiviteter
Rabatt på events, seminarier och andra evenemang som vi arrangerar.