Calling all Film-makers !

Calling all creative film-makers who care about migrant women’s rights and want to support the only refuge for Latin American Women and children in the UK and Europe Fleeing violence.

This year LAWA is reaching a milestone anniversary of 30 years of saving and transforming lives.

To celebrate this great anniversary and the achievements over the years, we are hosting a glamour’s Gala on the 6th of October, at which we would love to show a short video introducing LAWA.

And this is where you come in: we are seeking film makers that would like to create this short 1-2min institutional video presenting LAWA and what we do.

Your creativity and pro-bono support can make a huge difference in helping us showing the world what makes LAWA so special, how we empower women to empower themselves and why we need the public’s support to continue to tackle gender violence and create brighter futures for migrant families.

 

If you are interested in getting involved , please contact: salma@lawadv.org.uk

02072750321

Join us at our Gala to Celebrate our 30th Anniversary!

Latin American Women’s Aid will stage a Gala celebration of 30 years of continuous support to women and children who have experienced violence

On the 6th of October Latin American Women’s Aid (LAWA) celebrates 30 years saving lives and empowering women with a glamorous Gala in Central London.

Since the day of LAWA’s foundation in 1987, through 2 brave Latin American political refugees, till this day LAWA continues to provide the only refuge for the Latin American women and children in the UK and Europe. Through this LAWA’s offers a life line to vulnerable women and a nationally vital service to one of the most marginalised and fastest growing migrant communities in the country, with an estimated population of around 250,000 people.

Over the last 30 years, LAWA has worked tirelessly to save and transform the lives of thousands of Latin American, black and minority ethnic women and their children. Supporting migrant families fleeing violence means, not only tackling difficult issues such domestic violence, child abuse and sex trafficking, but also offering them holistic assistance. This includes practical and emotional support, guiding women through unfamiliar systems, helping them attain justice, offering counselling, interpreting for them, understanding each woman’s individual situation and bringing down barriers for them to access support. Most of all it means working together to help women empower themselves to achieve self-determination, full participation in society and create brighter futures for their families.

On the 6th of October, we invite you to join the celebration of this land marking anniversary and all those that have contributed to our achievements such as our funders, partners, service users and supporters. LAWA’s Gala programme will include a 3 course dinner, Latin American performances and dance. It will take place at 1901 Ballroom, Andaz Hotel, 40 Liverpool Street, London, UK, EC2M 7QN.

Please help us to spread the word about this amazing event which we hope will be the catalyst for another 30 successful years making a lasting difference to vulnerable families.

You can find more information and purchase tickets here on our website at: http://lawadv.org.uk/gala2017

We hope to see you there!

This event is supported by the Big lottery fund.

 

A big thank you to our amazing Crowd funding supporters!

We would like to send out a massive thanks to the ladies of the Leech Family who started a private crowd funder to support us and managed to raise us a whopping  £506!

Cathy, Jo and Helen you are AMAZING !

Thanks to your fantastic initiative and generosity we will be able to support 5 more families in our Refuge.Thanks a million for helping us make a difference in the lives of migrant women and children fleeing violence!  We need more people like you 🙂

Processed with MOLDIV

Your support will go a long way today!

Since the beginning of 2017 we are partners with GlobalGiving, a crowdfunding platform. And today, GlobalGiving is offering us a unique opportunity: all donations to our crowdfunding project will be 50% matched. TODAY ONLY!

What does this mean? Your generosity will allow us to do so much more for survivors of violence and sex trafficking. Every penny goes towards saving and transforming the lives of the women that live in our refuge, which is the only of its kind in the UK and Europe.

Today you can help create a brighter future for these women and their children.

THANK YOU for your fantastic support once again. Please share this email with your friends and family, and let’s make the most of bonus day!

Donate here ==> https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/create-safe-spaces-for-survivors/

Watch a testimonial from an empowered survivor ==> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvqv92t_kbg&t=38s

Follow us:
Facebook ==> https://www.facebook.com/LatinAmericanWomensAid/
Twitter ==> https://twitter.com/lawalondon

 

We can win £150

And there is a very simple way you can help us win!

Between June 19 and 24, Lawa will be participating in the #ILoveSmallCharities competition on Facebook. If we win, we will get £150 (which will, of course, be used to support the women and children living in our refuge)! You can help by posting on the competition page (just click here: https://www.facebook.com/smallcharityweek) the following sentence: “I love Lawa because (you can use one of the reasons below or come up with your own!”). You have to use the #ILoveSmallCharities tag and include our name Latin American Women’s Aid.

Here are a few suggestions (please don’t forget to add the hashtag #IloveSmallCharities and also to tag our Facebook page, which is this one: https://www.facebook.com/LatinAmericanWomensAid

I love Lawa because:

Understanding the crisis of the domestic violence services in the UK

You probably heard or read somewhere about the cuts of public funding for domestic violence services (refuges or shelters) in the UK. But how exactly is that happening? The government might say they are helping the victims of abuse, so what is really going on?

Well, this video – produced by the amazing Sister Uncut – will help you understand this crisis, that especially affects small charities that provide specialised services, like us.

That’s why we are finding new ways to fundraise, such as creating crowdfunding projects. Together, we are stronger!

Migrant feminisms. Conversations (in)between Latin America & UK

On May 18th our colleague Jael Garcia participated in the panel Migrant feminisms: Conversations (in)between Latin American & UK.

Jael shared her journey, from Mexico to the UK, inspiring us all. You can read her story below:

“My name is Jael de la Luz García, a woman who migrated from a poor neighborhood in the state of Mexico to Mexico City to educate herself and get out of poverty. From Mexico City I then migrated to London with my children to accompany my husband when he decided to return to his homeland to care for his mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s. I think I have been a feminist since I was a child when I was fighting to be treated as a person, questioning domestic violence, God and the Bible.

Coming to the UK had not been part of my life plans. I was happy doing community work and grassroots feminist education to foster interreligious dialogue and peacebuilding. I was happy in the academic, cultural and social movements that I was involved in. My country was caught up in the drug war and many women experience the consequences of that pointless war. I was happy with my family in middle-class neighborhood Coyoacan, in the south of Mexico City.

Like many women, I left Mexico without speaking English, without knowing the culture, much less the immigration system. I was here six months on a tourist visa and then I had to return to my country to process a spouse visa. While in Mexico, the British government twice denied me a visa saying that my husband earned less than the annual minimum and so could not “keep me”. Desolation, pain and depression seized my life. Every day it hurt to know that what we were going through as a family, was state violence; the British government was forcing us to live forced separation. At that time I questioned this country a lot and all the false ideas about its respect for human rights. I already knew that at a global level there is a humanitarian crisis and that migrants are not respected, especially when we do not come from a privileged class. That is why I wanted to talk to the UK ambassador in Mexico and explain that my case should not be measured in financial terms but based on human rights for being the wife of a Brit and mother of two children with UK nationality. But that did not matter. Faced with his refusal to talk to me, I had to go on a hunger strike and sleep outside the embassy for a week, until he deigned to speak to me.

That time on the streets helped me to think about and meditate on the great force that women have to stop or move the world. I also thought about allies and sisterhood. For some, being there was humiliating. They could not stand that an “educated and feminist woman” was causing such drama. Others told me I looked too indigenous to be given a visa. Others still wrote in newspapers where they have columns, yet others signed the petition on Change.com and sent tweets to the ambassador. My younger brother, my non-feminist friends and my gay and lesbian friends sheltered me each night with their presence and silence …

With this direct action I was bringing the world to a halt, generating public opinion, support and solidarity at the international level. With that direct action I affirmed my feminist commitment of “who does not move does not feel the chains” “I am changing the things that I can not accept”. So that week a campaign was set up, thanks to friends who knew about my career and my family life. I saw how my friends and Latin American friends who do not know me personally, were supportive. My husband also moved at the same time, sending new documentation. After a month, I got my visa and here I am almost a year and a half later.

When I returned, I told myself: if I went through this hell that left me with serious problems in my mental health and in my English learning process. How many migrant women, Latin American women who represent themselves as I am, are going through similar situations and are silent for fear of being criticized? How many migrant women with academic training and a successful career, because they do not know how to speak English, feel disempowered, lonely and hopeless like me in this country? How many women come to this country looking forward to being integrated to the educating culture, but seeing the high rates of tuition in London universities, find it impossible to participate? Faced with these questions, I look for ways to continue my life here.

As a book lover, editor and social writer (I am a historian), I happened to meet the members of the Feminist Library in February 2015. My intention was to start reading books on feminism in English and to learn more about British feminisms and their links to our Feminisms and write about it on my blog. The welcome they gave me was warm and reciprocal. There I learned of Second Wave feminist campaigns on issues of abortion rights, peace campaigns, independent publishers, and how, over 30 years, a collection of newsletters, fanzines, books and many valuable materials have been accessible at no cost. It was at the Feminist Library where I regained self-confidence to seek volunteerism within my Latin American community. I wanted to talk in Spanish, work in my language and my personal story will resonate with other women with similar experiences to mine.

One day I searched the web and found that LAWA was looking for volunteer and in April 2015 I applied and joined. When I arrived at LAWA, there was an internal reflection process on the role of targeted organizations and working for women of color. For many years, LAWA has been known for its intervention on the issue of domestic violence among women in our community and for the Refuge we have, being the only one in Europe and the United Kingdom for women of our community and BME. Now, we have begun to work in a processual way: since women have elements of how to make a living in this country with counseling in all services, English classes, therapeutic service to a feminist training space with Women Weaving Change. Given the process we are experiencing, I realized that assuming a general discourse of feminism, makes invisible the overlap of identities and political commitments.

At LAWA, I started with my colleagues to think about the importance of having a discourse of Latin American, black and diaspora roots, with categories thought from our practices and words of us in opening with women of other legacies and trajectories in United Kingdom. We are intersectional feminists and we know that it is difficult times for women migrants of color for conservative policies and economic precariousness, but it is also a moment of creativity and take challenges. In the search for encounter and share knowledge came the Change Maker Programme that I coordinate. The idea is that among women we can train from a grassroots feminist methodology. In each workshop or activity we give way to the playful, resilient and build sisterhood, between generations where our differences of class, skin color or educational level are not barriers to recognition as equals. We want to take a step in the transformation of our community and change the views and opinions that British society may have of Latin American women. It is quite a challenge, because we are just starting out, but we have hope that change is underway.

And among these feminist pieces of knowledge and practices in the United Kingdom from my Mexican-Latin American identity, other spaces and projects are also being added in dialogue with Queer, decolonial and combative in Maricumbia, London Latinxs, campaigns against gentrification, and opening other spaces as the Latin American Feminist Collective and the magazine Feminopraxis, of which I do not leave my commitment to my land of my birth.”

Our new crowdfunding campaign!

We are very happy to announce that this week we launched a new crowdfunding campaign! After the success of our very first one, which gave us an official spot as partners of the Global Giving platform, we are now asking for your support once again.

“Create safe spaces and a brighter future for survivors” aims to create more safe spaces and allow more families to flee and have a fresh start. Our shelter is more than a roof, it’s a place of healing, hope and new beginnings. We offer personalised support for each family’s needs: counselling, specialised children services, emergency packs for destitute families, self-development and educational workshops to boost confidence to begin the journey towards a better life. With your support women and children can go from surviving to thriving!

Donations start from £8 and every donation we recieve this week will be match funded 50%!

So Please join us today and share with your friends and family!

Thank you! Gracias! Obrigada !