THE CENTER FOR WOMEN WAR VICTIMS
Radnicki dol 20
tel/fax:+ 385 1 4823 258
Where does the Center for Women War Victims work?
In Croatia - Zagreb, Petrinja, Pakrac, Knin and other locations. In Bosnia and Serbia we offer support, capacity building and training's for women's groups.
In December 1992, as a local non-governmental, feminist organisation that works with women regardless of their nationality, age, status, and sexual orientation.
What are our aims?
CWWV began in response to the many needs of women refugees and displaced in Zagreb escaping from the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. Our aims were through individual and group work to educate and empower women; to improve their physical and psychological well being; to help women deal with trauma and difficulty. We work also in advocating and promoting rights for refugee and displaced women, participating in a new civil society by working together with the community of non-governmental organisations, counteracting the militarisation in our society and the nationalistic governmental policy of ethnic cleansing, assisting in the process of reintegration and reconciliation by working within and group setting to counter prejudice and intolerance.
Our work with women refugees and displaced
We try to offer support and help in a very practical way so that woman can cope with the circumstances produced by war and post-war society. Women arrived in Zagreb traumatised by the destruction of their homes, the violation of their physical safety often through rape and torture, the loss of friends and family, and the collapse of the physical and social infrastructure in which they had been living. The services we offered initially reached the women through the medium of psychosocial support groups.
We also initiated income-generating projects to help women find means to survive. We facilitated these projects with weaving and sewing classes to improve the women's skills.
Support was given through women's meetings and through many other means: we run the Rosa House to accommodate women. There women refugees live and receive counselling whilst making practical steps for their future such as through straightening out legal documents. We offer women individual counselling with our staff psychologists.
Throughout the war we have remained a strong voice in our community lobbying for women's and refugee's rights. We maintain relationships with other related organisations so that we may together present a strong front against the otherwise oppressive and nationalistic socio-political climate.
A total of 4500 women have been members of such self-help groups or recipients of individual counselling during out four years of work. We have distributed over 87 tons of humanitarian aid such as sanitary towels, food, hygienic items, and provided financial assistance to many women.
1. A center in Zagreb where women can receive information and support, where we host our psychosocial support groups, individual counselling and which functions as our office.
2. Rosa House hosting women refugees and children (max 28) in transition in Zagreb.
3. Advocacy work on behalf of women's groups and women's issues - including international and local media work, and lobbying. We work with developing organisations, travelling to meet them and to provide training, support and guidance. NGOs are new phenomenon here-women may not know how to envision their organisational structure or where to apply for support and aid.
4. Participation in training's, conferences and seminars so we may continue to strengthen our skills and be a viable link in the aid outreach network. This networking includes forming relationships with women from other entities of former Yugoslavia so that we may personally counter the divisions that war has made.
Center for Direct Protection of Human Rights