Hana Bensalem e Caty Suquillo are the President and Vice-President of Dar el Kalimat Association.
With their great enthusiasm and positive energy, they co-manage this organization, renovating their will to promote integration day by day. Through their contribution and thanks to their help in promoting the ME4Change project, many young migrants applied for or have been enrolled in the training course, especially young girls.
Hana arrived in Milan from Tunisia around 20 years ago. She has degree in physics and used to work as teacher. Caty arrived in Milan from Ecuador 18 years ago and obtained a degree in Economics in Italy.
Dar Casa, a cooperative based in Milan that deals mostly with social housing, founded Dar el Kalimat in 2012. At the beginning, the Association included just nine women and was only providing Arabic language courses for children and adults. Nowadays, Hana and Caty are committed to fostering integration on a wider level.
They focus mostly on a specific target group: women coming from migrant backgrounds, especially those who have children and are unemployed. In fact, there are few occasions for them to discover their host countries and its culture and get to know new people. Due to this, many women are at risk of social exclusion for several reasons, including linguistic barriers.
Hana and Caty aim to give value and enhance their potential role in our society to let them become more self-confident and actively involved.
Nowadays the Association promotes different activities for children, teen-agers and adults.
The Association provides services on some different peripheral areas of the city, not just in one neighborhood.
Listing some of their activities:
– Arabic language courses for children
– After schooling activities for children
– Fitness for women
– Belly-dance courses for women
– Intercultural mediation and facilitation
– Planned group tours around the city of Milan (to the cinema or theatre)
– Intercultural events where women can exchange their beauty care typical products, food and get to know each other.
But they have plenty of new ideas! They dream bigger!
“We would love to have our own space and collect some funds in order to widen those services targeting migrant women”, they said.
Dar El Kalimat is an Association of women for women and its nature is open and inclusive.
Good luck great women!