Oct 3, 2007

A Look At Zeedah Meierhofer Mangeli - Speaker at the 1st Black European Women's Congress in Vienna

Zeedah Meierhofer Mangeli is the Director of the Meeting Place and Resource Center for Black Women in Zurich Switzerland. Her address to the congress on the opening day was inspiring, funny and uplifting.

While she has crated a place for Black Women in Zurich, she also works to improve the perception of Black Women in Switzerland. In the true African style of community, she organizes a African-Lunch buffet that is open to the public every last Friday of the month to promote integration. The center is open for women each Friday and here is what they do:

Our Center caters for Black Women from all the 5 Continents, living in Switzerland. We offer counseling, translation; act as “buffers” and intercultural mediation for Black women and their families in crisis situations. We work with the courts, the social services and with psychiatric institutions. We are an information post for individuals, schools, and other educational institutions. We offer services which assist the women in their integration process. We are well linked with other migrant and non migrant women’s NGOs in Switzerland. We are linked with other Black Women’s groups in the Diaspora, working and linking with them for internship, training and information exchange.

A safe space: We offer Black Women encouragement, active support mechanisms, and also a safe place where they can meet, be on their own and articulate their own priorities. Black women can support each other and develop their own voice, thus empowering themselves to combat social injustices and marginalisation. Many Black and Migrant women are socially isolated; the Center offers possibilities for contact with other Black women and other support groups or persons, which serves to support the process of integration.

Advocacy: We provide a forum for dialogue with policy makers and promote public awareness and consciousness on issues concerning Black and migrant women and their families. We do this through advocacy, by organizing regular workshops, and by participating or facilitating information exchange platforms.

Mobilising, Empowering, sensitising: One of our priorities is to encourage Voice and Visibility of Black Migrant women living in Switzerland.

There is a permanent gallery on display at the Center; The Photographic and Educational Exhibition to Promote Positive Images of Black Women.

Language Translations in 27 African and European languages, Counseling, Mediation Work, Platform for Intercultural Dialogue, Newsletter, and Youth Forum Facilitation.

For more information find it here.

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