MädchenbüroMilena e.V. originated from Mädchenbüro Frankfurt-Bockenheim, an intercultural institution for girls that is promoting equal opportunities for girls from an immigrant background and was established in 1996.
In October 2014, former participants and initiators of Mädchenbüro founded the detached organization in order to focus and bundle their successful integration activities to a one-stop institution. With the establishement of Café Milena, the organization now holds their own premises for women with a migration experience and their children. Since 2018, a new group for young girls has also come into being.
MädchenbüroMilena’s aim is to create an entirely innovative integration model that can adapt flexibly to social changes. On a medium-term, it shall be expanded to a so-called “Fusionshaus”. Its overall focus is to provide a protected space for women. With support of KfW Stiftung, the social and economic integration of girls and women will be further developed, according to their individual needs.
Visit of the Federal President
As part of his visit to Frankfurt on February 7, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Büdenbender visited MädchenbüroMilena to find out more about the work of the integration facility for women by women.
The conversation with the very open and interested Federal President focused on the personal experiences of the 14 participants as well as problems with the integration of girls and women with experiences in migration and refugee. Structural problems for an institution such as MädchenbüroMilena e.V. were also discussed. In addition to the two heads Oksana Frei and Manesoorn Koldehofe, four participants of the courses for refugee women and the girls' group as well as two representatives of the numerous volunteers, without whom the work of MädchenbüroMilena would not be possible, took part. In addition, Dr. Ingrid Hengster (KfW Stiftung) and Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff (Linsenhoff Stiftung) as representatives of the two foundations which are the main sponsors of this institution, were also part of the discussion.
Finding larger rooms is currently the most urgent necessity for the team. Every day 70 women and girls come to the facility and there are even waiting lists of more interested person.
The association for the education and care of girls and women with a migration background, which has been supported by the KfW Stiftung since 2015, was one of the outstanding projects that the Federal President visited in Frankfurt in order to get an idea of living together in an international city with many immigrants on site and in direct exchange with those affected.
A place for welcoming refugee women and girls
In 2015, MädchenbüroMilena e.V. in partnership with KfW Stiftung and Linsenhoff Stiftung opened the café Milena, a safe haven for refugee women and girls.
Many of them come from patriarchal communities or have lived through traumatic experiences. Here, women of all ages have the opportunity to come together away from refugee reception centres, to meet local residents and to become familiar with German values and the German way of life. They are offered courses in German language as well as for alphabetization, while the children are taken care of by a babysitter. Since 2017, KfW Stiftung is supporting an initiative for women to start working as day care nannies.
A new institution for girls
Establishment of a new group for girls
Since January 2018, up to 30 girls of 14 years and up are being supported in their school education and career choice (help with homework, private tuition, school holiday care, exam preparation).
A network for placements in internships and vocational training, funded through KfW Stiftung, has successfully been initiated and is now established and concentrated in one location.
Being connected with the female refugees of café Milena and also with the individual volunteers, new tandems are emerging as well as further opportunities to learn from and with women – migrants or Germans and of all ages.
01. Image: Source / Author: MädchenbüroMilena e.V
02. Image: Source / Author: MädchenbüroMilena e.V
03. Image: Source: epd-bild, Author / Photographer: HeikexLyding
04. Image: Source: MädchenbüroMilena e.V., Author / Photographer: Brit Horschke
05. Image: Source: epd-bild, Author / Photographer: HeikexLyding
06. Image: Source / Author: MädchenbüroMilena e.V
07. Image: Source: MädchenbüroMilena e.V., Author / Photographer: Brit Horschke
08. Image: Source / Author: MädchenbüroMilena e.V
09. Image: Source: MädchenbüroMilena e.V., Author / Photographer: Brit Horschke