In addition to the basic project vision and its implementation, we would like to list and answer frequently asked questions. We look forward to further questions or constructive criticism of our answers (also by email). We are also happy to receive comments on our underlying assessment of the local and temporary political situation.
Why do you want to go to Greece?
Even though we see the need for safe places for women in almost every country in the world, we have decided to go to Greece for the time being. This decision is due to women in particular fleeing to Europe via Greece, as this route is considered to be “easier” than the alternative Balkan route. Another reason is that many people spend several years in Greek refugee accommodation, unlike in Bosnia and Herzogowina or Serbia, for example, where people move on every day.
Do you also want to be active on the Greek islands (e.g. Lesvos)?
NGO’s and initiatives that have been active in Greece and Lesvos for many years have advised us not to go to Lesvos. One of the reasons for this is that the Greek authorities are increasingly repressing foreign aid projects and the passage to the islands have been blocked more and more frequently in the past. In addition, the density of aid structures on the islands is comparatively high and there is also a need for safe places for women on the mainland.
More and more collective shelters in Greece are closing or trying to refuse entry, especially foreign NGO’s. How do you provide the necessary help if you cannot get into the accommodations?
The closing of these collective shelters is leading to increasing homelessness, especially in the regions around Athens. With the truck, we have the advantage of being able to get to locations flexibly and adapting quickly to changes. Presence in the immediate vicinity of the accommodation has also proven to be sensible in recent years, since at least in the time before COVID19, people were allowed to leave the accommodation during the day.
Why do you need to set up an organisation? Why can’t you drive to Greece as quickly as possible?
We see our work as a political issue, the need for a gender-sensitive perspective on flight and migration has been known for many years, but too little is happening. All over the world women live in precarious situations because of their gender and are exposed to more dangers and stresses than men. We see a clear connection between capitalist and patriarchal structures that manifest these repression patterns. That is why we want to create a public platform with active help on site and bring about political work for a feminist social change!
To what extent were / are people affected by flight involved in the conception of ROSA?
The idea of a sport, combined with medical advice was brought to us by a group of Syrian women. In the study on female refugees, interviews were conducted with refugee women about their gender-specific needs; potential dangers were highlighted. The collaboration between the authors and ROSA resulted in a strong alignment for the ROSA project concept. Since the association was founded, we have been in constant contact with various women projects in Greece and also aid structures from Germany in order to be able to fill the gap as appropriately as possible. This gave us the opportunity to design the Rolling Safespace.
How can a basis of trust be built up for the Safespace when constantly changing crews are on board?
The idea of the safer space should not depend on the people who support there. Rather, the idea is that the changing volunteers only provide the support around them. The women who use the offer should therefore be offered an infrastructure in which they can exchange ideas and network with one another. The women can take part in workshops, led by volunteers (therapists) or can ask questions in one-on-one discussions with a medical professional and translator. However, the safer space should be created so the women can be amongst themselves and can talk to each other over a cup of tea, for example, while the children are looked after. We will not be able to guarantee permanent psychological support in this setting, but we want to use the positive psychological effect of the sports workshops and enforce the right to body-related knowledge. Furthermore, we plan to be able to provide permanent psychological support through cooperation with local structures. We hope for a permanent network of volunteers who regularly support the Rolling Safespace with their work. On the one hand, we want to create and maintain a pool of experience and on the other hand, ensure that the volunteers themselves are not harmed by their work.
How can I help if I cannot / do not want to help ROSA on site?
I identify as a straight man. Can I still support ROSA?
Yes! Patriarchal structures are a structural problem that affects all genders and whose resolution also benefits all genders. Gender issues are not a “women’s issue”, rather it is about structural inequalities, similar to the issue of racism. We want men* to feel responsible for eliminating these inequalities too, therefore, we are encouraging heterosexual men to join ROSA but ensure we avoid patriarchal structures. We also don’t want to have more male socialised members on the board than others. We are also skeptical of any power structures within the association and want to work with one another in a way that is critical of the hierarchy (perhaps rather “without a fixed hierarchy”). If you are motivated to work for a feminist future, to critically question the prevailing systems and to work politically, then you are cordially invited to support ROSA in your own way (see also participate)!
What happens to the donated money if the project fails?
If the project should fail and the organisation dissolved, the entire capital of ROSA e.V. goes to