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Chronicle of AMICA e.V.

2018

March 1: AMICA is 25 years old. The partner organization from Benghazi, Libya is participating in a training about teambuilding, individual coaching and self-care. In Freiburg, AMICA is hosting events in the municipal program on International Women's Day. The local newspaper reports about the panel on "Early and forced marriages".

April: In Berlin, AMICA participates in regular meetings of the BMZ team on gender topics and in gatherings of the "Bündnis 1325". In Lebanon, counselling and art therapy for local women and Syrian refugees are continuing.

May: The project "What makes us strong. Empowerment for Refugee Women and Girls" starts in Freiburg. Workshops, networking and group activities foster the integration of refugee women and create a stronger network in the city.

June: This year's General Assembly and the summer festival of AMICA take place in Kiel. Since 25 years, local women groups of the protestant church are supporting the work in crisis and post war regions.

July: In Jordan, AMICA participates in a symposium on psychosocial support facilitated by the GIZ. Despite the difficult conditions, the project partners in Libya are constantly expanding their counseling and education programs for women.

August: In Bosnia-Herzegovina, AMICA and a new partner organization are supporting rural women many of whom are witnesses of war crimes but receive too little support.

September: In Ukraine, the first project starts with a partner organization from Mariupol. Mobile teams visit 15 villages and cities along the demarcation line and are offering social and therapeutic counselling, and medical consultations. They are also supporting the creation of self-help groups.

September: In Freiburg, AMICA facilitates the international conference "What makes us strong. Empowerment for Refugee Women and Girls". Among more than 100 experts attending the conference are AMICA project partners from Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ukraine.

October: The project partner of AMICA in Lebanon joins a working group designed to develop better legal protection for survivors of domestic violence. Meanwhile, the counseling center operates an emergency telephone for women in crisis situations.

November 25: AMICA is awarded the Helga and Werner Sprenger Peace Prize of the INTA Foundation in Freiburg.

2017

January: Training for Syrian human rights activists continues. This year, the workshops focus on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women or CEDAW.

February: The Swiss journalist Christina Brun presents her foto story about Lebanon at the MUNDOLOGIA in Freiburg. AMICA e.V. supported her project.

March: On the International Women's Day, AMICA e.V. organizes a panel discussion on "Women in the Islamic World". Three speakers discuss the situation of women in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Libya.

April: AMICA e.V. analyses what has been achieved for women and girls in the post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina over the past 25 years. The results will be presented at the anniversary in 2018.

April: As opening of the CrossCulture Tour of the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, AMICA e.V. presents the exhibition Syrian Elsewhere in Freiburg, which is dealing with issues of identity and migration.

May: Due to the war in Libya, meetings with the partner organizations take place in neighboring countries. The teams receive additional support from trauma therapists.

May: In Bosnia and Herzegovina, AMICA e.V. supports the networking and exchange of rural women. Many of them are survivors of the war from 1992 to 1995.

June: In a workshop in Lebanon, women who were subjected to domestic violence publish the "Letters of the Survivors to their Daughters”.

September: A young Libyan architect and human rights activist from Tripoli starts her internship at the AMICA office in Freiburg, Germany. In cooperation with the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University in Villingen-Schwennigen AMICA develops a certificate course for professionals working with refugees.

October: A training workshop in Egypt for the Libyen partner organisations of AMICA is adressing topics such as project and team development, self-care, and individual coaching. Travelling to Tripoli and Benghazi is still too dangerous.

November: With various events AMICA once again participates in the campaign "16 Days Against Violence Against Women" in Freiburg, Germany.

November: In the course of the evaluation interviews with former clients of the women’s shelter in Tuzla take place in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

December: In Russia and Ukraine, experts carry out a fact finding mission. They organize workshops and talk to women affected by the conflict.

2016

January: AMICA publishes a series on women and war. The first issue deals with the situation in Egypt, Libya, Syria and Northern Iraq.

May: In her participatory foto and storytelling project My Picture, My Story, Swiss photographer Christina Brun trains Lebanese and Syrian women
in Lebanon in photography and image processing. AMICA e.V. is supporting the project.

May: Human rights activists from Syria and Lebanon participate in a training session on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 Women, Peace and Security.

June: AMICA e.V. attends an event on the Ukraine conflict and talks to OSCE experts. A fact finding mission shall take place during and establish contact with local women's organizations.

August: The Libyan partner organization in Bengasi is registered as an independent non-governmental organization and opens a new counseling center in a safer district.

September: For the first time, AMICA e.V. is holding trainings on "Women and girls in Conflict" in Germany.

September: AMICA e.V. receives the peace prize "Sievershäuser Ermutigung" for supporting women and girls traumatized by war.

November: AMICA e.V. is awarded the Eine-Welt-Preis Baden-Württemberg for the work in Libya (1st place in the category non-governmental organizations and private engagement abroad).

2015


February: Libya is at war for months. The women's center in Tripoli runs successfully, despite the tensions . The center in Benghazi, however, is closed until further notice. Earlier this year, the building was hit by 23 bullets. Fortunately, no one was hurt. The team is working in shelters.

June: Social workers are counselling Syrean refugee women in Lebanon. 90% of the women have children, most report on experiences with violence. The team refers clients to psychotherapists, forensic pathologists, lawyers and women's shelters.

October: Single parents and war widows in rural areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo as well as returnees from EU countries (mainly Roma women) take part in trainings on economic independence and professionalization.

October: An expert meeting organized by AMICA takes place in Jordan. Legal and trauma specialists from eight Arab countries discuss improved standards for the documentation of war crimes and the protection of witnesses and survivors.

November: In Freiburg, AMICA hosts an international conference on UN Women's policy with regard to the current situation in Egypt, Libya, Syria and Northern Iraq und the patronage of the Prime Minister of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Winfried Kretschmann. Guests come from Egypt, the Netherlands, Libya, Syria and Switzerland.


2014

January: AMICA travels to countries bordering Syria for a fact-finding mission to explore the situation of refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

March: In Libya, the project to empower women and to develop civil society is ongoing. This time, experts on the field are supporting the partners in building their new organizations. The unstable situation in the country makes the work of the partners difficult.

Mai: After heavy rainfalls, a flood is devastating large parts of eastern and southeastern Europe. Five villages in the region of Zvornik are also hit by the water masses. Only a few weeks before, a project which supports rural women and develops their cooperatives was started. Now these women need to generate new sources of income.

June: In London, the world's biggest event against sexual violence in conflict takes place. At the global summit an international protocol is presented to improve documentation and prosecution of war crimes. Representatives of more than 120 governments and over 1000 professionals attend the meeting.

2013

January: AMICA took part in the One-Voice Conference in Libya. Attendees were women and high representatives of political and social groups who spent three days discussing how women’s rights can be anchored in the future constitution of the country.

Spring: Because of the new NGO law in Russia, our partners Chechnya are faced with difficulties. Organizations that receive money from abroad are under strong government surveillance. Our long standing partner organization “Zhenskoe Dostoenstvo” (Women’s Dignity) had to rename itself to “Zhenschenih za Razvitie” (Women for Progress).

April: The team of the Palestinian refugee camp Dheisheh moved into a new space and is now cooperating with the organization Wings of Hope for Trauma. This NGO runs a trauma center in the old town of Bethlehem.

July: AMICA celebrates the 20th anniversary with a summer festival. Many guests are supporters and activists from day one.

December: In Berlin, AMICA and the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation  organize an international conference on the topic "No Spring for Women? Political Transition and Sexual Violence: Examples from the Arab Countries". Many German and international experts take part as well as many organizations and activists from Syria, Egypt and Libya. Representatives from almost all partner-orgaizations of AMICA travel to Berlin to share their knowledge.

2012

February: A meeting including all partners of the project "Fight Violence Against Women" is carried out in Kosovo. They exchange ideas and experiences and establish stronger networks between local organizations.

March/April: Restructuring of AMICA e.V. Fields of work are now Eastern Europe and Caucasus and the MENA-Region. In April, a fact finding mission in Libya takes place, financed by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany. AMICA meets project partners and members of many NGOs.

September: AMICA starts working in Libya with partner-organizations in Tripolis and Benghazi to empower women and to support civil society.

November/December: The campaign “Unite Against Violence – From Peace at Home to Peace in the World” became a great success. Almost all of our partner-organizations took part in the 16 Days Against Violence as part of a worldwide campaign. They hosted publicity events, political campaigns, and performances honoring their local culture.

2011

May: Research in Libya begins after reports are published of systematic rapes occurring during and after the Libyan Civil War. AMICA e.V. investigates existing reports and establishes contact with future project partners, who are working in assisting and caring for affected girls and women.

June: The 3-year project "Fight Violence Against Women" starts and cross-links AMICA partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and occupied Palestine areas.

November: The AMICA conference "In Between Role Expectation and the Realities of Life. Perception of Women in Islam and their Influence on the Development Cooperation" takes place in Freiburg.

December: A pilot project to support traumatized and abused women starts in Libya.

2010

January: Relief work for single mothers starts in Kosovo. Amongst other projects, a nation-wide emergency hotline for girls and women is established.

April: AMICA e.V. approaches the Chechen women's organization "Sintem."

Summer: For the second time, a group of young Kosovans of all ethnic groups vacation together, led by child care workers. Workshops and recreational activities take place.

In the surrounding areas of Grozny, staff members of AMICA e.V. educate girls on health issues. Volunteer groups develop.

October: AMICA e.V. is awarded the 2010 German UNIFEM Prize in Berlin. The award especially recognizes AMICA's efforts to employ peaceful force constituted in the UN Resolution 1325 in former conflict regions.

The AMICA campaign "Stand Up Right" runs commercials in cinemas, starts campaigns on postcards and posters, and builds a new homepage.

2009

January: Peace work starts in numerous Bosnian schools. Workshops concerning human rights, intercultural tolerance and reconciliation are offered.

February: In Banja Luka, “Udruzene Zene,” supported by AMICA e.V., hosts a conference titled "Gender Mainstreaming in the Media: Experiences from the Region and Western Europe."

May: Education focused on health in Chechnya is expanded to the surrounding regions of Grozny. Even during the summer holidays, girls attend events at the women's center.

September: The finds of the study concerning the situation of single mothers are publicly presented in Prizren. Direct relief efforts are developed based on the study.

2008

January: Women's centers in Bosnia offer groups for children  overseen by trained staff.

March: AMICA e.V. invites 24 Palestinian girls from Israel and Palestine to attend an intercultural exchange with students from the Ursula Gymnasium in Freiburg.

In Grozny, Chechnya, the project to increase the awareness of girls and women on their legal rights starts in cooperation with "Women's Dignity."

May: AMICA e.V. arranges training for spokeswomen of women's associations in Bosnia.

September: AMICA e.V. and the NGO "Dora Dorës" in Prizren begin a study on the living conditions of single mothers in Kosovo.

AMICA e.V. celebrates its' 15th anniversary in Freiburg. International guests attend the conference.

October: AMICA e.V. meets with 32 media representatives and candidates and representatives from NGOs in Banja Luka, Bosnia. The central topic is focused on gender-sensible media coverage for the upcoming communal election campaign.

November: The preparations for peace work in Bosnian schools take place. The project is planned to start the following year.

2007

January: Four out of six women's centers in Bosnia, founded by returned women who fled during the war and are supported by AMICA e.V, are registered as non-profit associations.

March: 65 women and children from Dheisheh camp go to Jericho, Palestine for International Women's Day.

May: Psychosocial support expands to numerous refugee asylums and schools in Grozny, Chechnya.

Summer: Processed food products (especially pickled peppers) made by Kosovan women are sold to Kosovan supermarkets, as well as to merchants from Albania and Montenegro.

July: AMICA e.V. offers numerous seminars in the Dheisheh refugee camp on issues such as psychosocial health, violence in families, and education.

September: The women's center in Grozny develops a wider range of workshops and counseling to cover topics such as contraception, physical development during puberty, infectious diseases, and domestic violence.

December: AMICA e.V. organizes training courses for tutors of children groups in Bosnia.

Third winter aid is delivered to over 500 refugees in Chechnya.

2006

January: The EU-funded project, "Ecofriendly Farming and Marketing in Kosovo“ is introduced in cooperation with Caritas Schweiz.

February: AMICA e.V. organizes vocational skills training in Freiburg for eight Kosovan specialists on dealing with disabilities.

August: The two story women’s centre in Dheisheh is completed.

More youth meetings with participants from Kosovo in Ulcinj, Montenegro take place.

September: AMICA e.V. begins cooperation with the women’s committee of "Ibdaa" to offer psychosocial services to women and children in Dheisheh Camp in Palestine.

November: First contact with the women’s organization "Dora Dorës" in Prizren, Kosovo.

December: Second winter aid is delivered to over 500 refugees in Chechnya.

 

2005

January: An additional reconciliation project with women of all ethnicities from Kosovo begins, led by an international peace expert.

February: Libkan Bazaeva, along with six other litigants, win a lawsuit against Russia before the European Court for severe violation of human rights in Chechnya.

March: Beginning of the cooperation with the women’s center "Women’s Dignity“ in Grozny, Chechnya.

July: Photo-project, titled “Our point of view. 12 Women from Srebrenica / Which Side are you from? 12 Men from Bosnia,” is exhibited in Freiburg. http://www.barbara-hartmann.de/unsere-sicht01.htm

August: The first multi-ethnic youth camp with participants from Kosovo takes place in Ulcinj, Montenegro.

November: Four staff members from the partner organization "Udruzene zene" from Bosnia-Herzegovina visit Freiburg to discuss gender mainstreaming.

2004

March: In Kosovo, a riot occurs against the remaining Serbian minority. The Albanian women from Hareja and AMICA make a visit of solidarity to the Serbian women in order for the cooperation between the women to continue.

May: The project for women who returned to Bosnia is expanded to two other villages.

June: AMICA and the women’s committee of the Palestinian organization "Ibdaa" establish a partnership.

July: A reconciliation project is accomplished in six rural communities in the area of Banja Luka, Prijedor, in cooperation with "Udruzene zene."

First meeting with Libkan Bazaeva, the founder of the women’s centre “Women’s Dignity” in Grozny, Chechnya.

November: Beginning of the construction of a two story women’s center in the Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Palestine.

First winter aid for Kosovo and Bosnia is delivered. With funding from the foreign office, AMICA purchases and delivers basic food supplies and wood to socially disadvantaged families.

2003

January: The project for war returnees in Bosnia begins. In four villages, centers for returning women and children refugees are formed after the model of the center in Tuzla.

February: Conference on the 10-year success of AMICA e.V. takes place in Freiburg.

In Macedonia, the sewing project goes into business.

July: The newly built women’s center in Rahovec/Orahocev Kosovo opens its doors on July 12th with a ceremony.

Cooperation begins with the local NGO "Udruzene zene“ in Banja Luka about the awareness of women’s rights in the public.

September: First project trip and contact to the OPT.

2002

January: “AMICA-Help in Bosnia e.V.” is changed to “AMICA e.V.” AMICA decides to expand its activities in the area of fighting against women trafficking, as well as project work relating to Palestine.

April: Opening of the women’s driving school in Rahovac/Orahovec in Kosovo.

May: In Velika Hoca, Kosovo, the partner organization "Jefimija" is registered as a local NGO and recognized as a non-profit organization.

August: AMICA collects school packets for socially disadvantaged children in Macedonia. In Kosovo, a multi-ethnic children’s retreat as well as a multi-ethnic women’s retreat takes place.

September: Coordinators meet in Freiburg im Breisgau. Further steps are taken in developing the cooperation and networking between the partner organizations.

In the project house in Macedonia, a multi-ethnic school with preparatory classes is opened. In Kosovo, two children’s groups for handicapped children are offered. In Tuzla, Bosnia the “Center for Entrepreneurship of Women” is opened, where laundry and other vocational fields are offered.

December: The plant nursery in Tuzla closes after much backlash.

2001

Early in the Year: The ethnic tension between Slavic and Albanian Macedonians escalates. Through AMICA, sanitary products and clothes are distributed to refugees from Macedonia. The partner organization of AMICA, Harja, begins the construction of a center for women and children in the city center of Rahovec/Orahovac, Kosovo.

May: The city district clubs are centralized in Solina and Slavinovici due to the extreme decrease in donations and increasing return of refugees living in Solina.

June: Reconciliation project of Srebrenica-Tuzla begins: 12 Bosnian women who fled from Srebrenica and 12 Serbian women who live in Srebrenica visit a workshop together on Brac Island.

Summer: Despite ethnic tensions in Macedonia, a multi-ethnic holiday camp for children from socially disadvantaged families takes place at the Lake Ohrid.

September: The projects in Macedonia receive a new house; AMICA moves into the “Pioneer House” in the city center of Gostivar.

2000

January: AMICA begins work in Rahovec/Orahovec in Kosovo. Centers open on both the Albanian and Serbian sides. Programs for women and children begin. The first income making measures are initiated, but contact is only possible by satellite telephone. Regular air traffic has still not resumed.

March: Six colleagues from the consultation and education center (previously “project house”) in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina visit AMICA and other women’s organizations in Freiburg.

April: Opening of the project house in Gostivar, Macedonia. During the mornings, refugee women and their children are counseled, and in the afternoons, other offers are available for women of all ethnicities. The first multi-ethnic preschool is opened.

August: Coordinator meeting with colleagues from Bosnia, Macedonia, and Kosovo takes place in Freiburg. At the end of August, AMICA, in cooperation with the “Committee for Rights and Democracy,” organizes a “vacation from the war” for 60 Albanian, Serbian, and Roma Children.

In Tuzla, a reconciliation project develops between schools in the Serbian and in the federal section of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

October: AMICA initializes school programs for women in Kosovo and makes it possible for a large number of women to graduate school.

1999

March: Start of the Kosovo war. The board of directors agrees on an expansion of the association's activities as a result of the war situations in Macedonia and Kosovo. A preparation group travels to Macedonia and meets with local women's organizations.

July: Start of the relief measures in Gostivar, Macedonia. With support of the foreign office, AMICA distributes food supplies and sanitary kits.

September: In Macedonia, 60 children participate in a multi-ethnic vacation. A trip to collect information made by AMICA colleagues to Kosovo still brings no clear decision about a future project.

1998

Early in the Year: School programs are offered for 3,192 refugee children who came back to Bosnia from Western Europe from 1998-1999.

August: 250 children participate in a vacation to the Adriatic Sea.

November: Start of the reconciliation project in Tuzla-Srebrenica. The Serbian leader of the new center in Srebrenica visits women refugees from Srebrenica in the city district group.

November: First judgment of the International Tribunal for Crimes in the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). For the first time, rape is handled as a war crime.

1997

Early in the year: “AMICA-Help for People in War” becomes “AMICA-Help in Bosnia e.V.” The market garden opens, and an evening school for women and men is established, both in Tuzla. Coordination meeting in Freiburg takes place.

May: A Laundromat and preschools are opened

August: 400 kids participate in “Vacation from the War.“

November: ECHO and AMICA hold a forum in Freiburg, titled “Acting, not Forgetting,” with 200 participants, Hans Koschnik, and colleagues of the Foreign Office, Caritas, and from ECHO.

1996

July: The Bosnian partner organization “Prijateljice,“ meaning “Friend” is established. Education programs and workshops start.

Fall: Leadership of the project house goes to Altaira Kravac. With financial help from the Committee for Basic Rights, AMICA organizes a trip for 185 children to the Adriatic Sea. The Club Solina is established.

In 1996, there are 14 transports of food supplies and sanitary products.

1995

April: Coordination meeting with seven organizations takes place. Gabrielle Herbert takes over leadership of the project house, and Almut Dietrich takes over leadership of the office in Freiburg.

May: On May 25th, 72 teenagers were killed in a grenade attack in Tuzla. Many co-workers of the project house lose their friends and relatives. An emergency telephone is established for the family member of the victims.

July: Fall of Srebrenica. Almost 8,000 people are murdered, and many fled to Tuzla. The first city district group in Slavinovici is opened under the name of “Prijatejica,” which means “Friendship.”

November: A group opens in the city distict Simin Han. The clubs offer further support for women who finished the program in the project house.

December: Dayton Peace Accords.

In 1995, 13 transports worth 450,000 German Marks are taken to Tuzla.

1994

May: The association, “Help for People in War“ in St. Märgen merges with the association “AMICA-Help for People in War e.V.“

July: Reiner Rothweiler is appointed to distribute relief goods in Tuzla.

October: The project house is opened on October 31st.

November: Tuzla is heavily bombed. The running of the project house is not able to continue due to the prohibition of meetings, but the women come nonetheless. Further aid is transported.

1993

January: The city of Freiburg designates a closed open-air pool as a location for storing relief goods.

April: “Help for People in War e.V.,” “Women Helping Women in War,” and “Help for Women and Children in War e.V.” work together in Freiburg. Goal is to distribute relief goods in Croatian refugee camps and in Tuzla.

June: AMICA is officially registered under the name “Help for People in War e.V.“

August: Preparation meeting of the relief projects in Tuzla and Ivanic Grad with 15 organizations in Freiburg takes place.

September: Elke Oehme takes over the first full-time position in Freiburg.

October: Start of the psychotherapy, gynecological, and social therapy work in the “Center for Protection and Help of Women (AMICA)” in Tuzla through Dr. Kreitmeyer.

In 1993, approximately 300,000 German marks worth of relief goods are donated.

1992

January: Slovenia and Croatia are admitted to the European Union

April: EU recognizes Bosnia-Herzegovina as a state. Beginning of the armed conflict. In the first month of the war, 1,300 civilians are killed.

June: Human rights violations and massive violence against women (used as a weapon of war) arouse the German public.

August: First contact with Dr. Kreitmeyer, a gynecologist in Tuzla.

Summer: Start of "Help for Bosnia“ in Freiburg. Food supplies brought to Croatian refugee camps and to Tuzla.

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