In addition to the basic project vision and implementation, we would like to list and answer frequently asked questions here. We look forward to further questions or constructive criticism of our answers (also via e-mail). We are also happy to receive comments on our underlying assessment of the local and temporary political situations / local repression.
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. The reason for this decision is that many women, in particular, flee to Europe via Greece, as this route is considered “easier” than the alternative Balkan route. Due to a lack of European admission regulations (and quotas), Greece is a place where people fleeing often spend many years waiting for their asylum applications to be processed. This waiting takes place under inhumane conditions in the camps, which often lack basic equipment (e.g. hygiene products and medicines).
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 on the Greek islands like Lesvos for many years have advised us against going to Lesvos. This is partly due to the fact that the repression of foreign aid projects by the Greek authorities is increasing and the crossing to the islands has been blocked more and more frequently in the past. In addition, the density of auxiliary structures on the islands is comparatively high. On the other hand, the need for safe places for women on the mainland is increasing, as more and more refugees are resettled there and have to live in camps in more remote regions.
More and more accommodations in Greece are closing or trying to deny access, especially to foreign NGOs. How do you deal with it and can ROSA provide the necessary help if you can’t get into the accommodation?
It is true that only a few registered NGOs are allowed access to refugee shelters. Most camp managers tolerate the presence in the immediate vicinity of the camps. So far, this has also proven to be sufficient, as people are allowed to leave the accommodations – some women and children also reported back to us that it is nice that the Rolling Safespace can be found outside the camp walls. However, we are in contact with other NGOs that are active in the camps and hope to be allowed to enter the camps in the future as registered NGO in Greece.
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 was/are people affected by flight involved in the conception?
A group of Syrian women approached us with the idea of offering sports combined with medical advice. In the study on female refugees, interviews were conducted with refugee women, and their gender-specific needs and potential dangers were identified. Through the cooperation between the authors and ROSA, the project concept of ROSA was strongly aligned with the study of the Berlin Charité. Since the association was founded, we have been in constant contact with various women’s projects in Greece and also with aid structures from Germany in order to be able to fill the gap as appropriately as possible. This gave us reason to design the Rolling Safespace as described here.
How can a basis of trust be established for the safespace when there are constantly changing crews on board?
The idea of the safer space should not depend on the people supporting it. Rather, the idea is that the changing volunteers only provide the support around it. The women who use the offer are therefore offered an infrastructure in which they can exchange information and network with each other. If necessary, the women can take part in a thematic workshop, which is led by volunteers (therapists), or ask questions in one-to-one discussions with the midwife or the doctor and translator. However, the safer space is created by a room in which the women are mainly among themselves and can talk to each other over a cup of tea, for example, while the children are being cared for. We cannot guarantee permanent psychological care in this setting, but we want to use the positive psychological effect of the sports workshops and enforce the right to body-related knowledge. We are also working on providing permanent psychological care through cooperation with local structures. We hope for a solid 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, we want to ensure that the local volunteers themselves are not harmed by their work.
How can I help if I can’t / don’t want to help ROSA on site?
In order for ROSA to function continuously, it needs a lot of help, which can look very different. We want the organization to be as big as possible and therefore get as many members as possible.
You can and should become a member quickly! In this way you help ROSA to plan the work in the long term. In addition, the motivation for the daily project work increases when we know that many people are behind the idea. Last but not least, a large association also increases the mouthpiece with which we promote feminist practice.
Do you like manual work on trucks? Do you like working as a journalist? Are you organised in a radio collective or do you work in a corporation that doesn’t know what to do with its money? Or maybe you have a band yourself and want to organise a concert for ROSA? No matter what your talents are and how much time you have, we will be happy to find a way together for you to support ROSA in implementing the project!
I identify as a straight man. Can I still support ROSA?
Yes, in any case! Patriarchal structures are a structural problem that affects all genders and from the resolution of which all genders will benefit. Gender issues are not a “women’s issue”, but rather structural inequalities, similar to the issue of racism. We wish that men* also feel responsible for eliminating these inequalities. The way there will not be patriarchally structured; meaning that we don’t want to have more male-socialised members on the board than others, for example. We are also sceptical about any power structures within the association and want to work together in a way that is critical of 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 fails and the association is dissolved, the entire capital of ROSA e.V. goes to