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Our Break Isolation Group was formed in 2019. Here is an update three years on.

Break Isolation Group is a group of refugee and asylum seeking women-only. BIG is part of the International Women* Space and aims to encourage women* in their various capacities to create and implement projects, workshops and activities for the empowerment of women. BIG regularly visits Lagers (forced housing for refugees) to learn more about the situation of women living in Lagers and to present the Group and its activities. This project is funded by Filia – Die Frauenstiftung.

BIG proposes that interested women join the group and together build platforms to speak out in our own voices, express ourselves freely, for us and about us and denounce others speaking about us and on our behalf without us. So far we’ve made a series of Podcasts called “Lager Reports” exposing the hardships that refugee women faced during the corona pandemic. And at the moment, we are developing a series of workshops and initiatives as a way to make clear that we condemn any form of oppression, violence, discrimination or intimidation as we fight and defend our rights amidst rigid and oppressive asylum structures, processes and systems.

In 2022, with funding from the Alliance for Gender Equality in Europe (AGEE), BIG also initiated several projects with concepts being developed by individual women in the group. These projects include home-made natural hair oil, social dancing, make-up tutorials, bakery and pastry making, food production through vegetable gardens, celebrating multicultural diversity and adopting a culture of community structural support by feeding street families, the homeless with a hot meal at least once a month. In a collective participation in these projects and self-organization, women commit to building a movement from the grassroots, embracing self-care as well as cultivating leadership and skill development.