Entre Mujeres is a Spanish association, which welcomes women from very precarious districts in south-east Madrid. What is its role? Offering them social support programmes, integration assistance and training workshops (Spanish, IT, lampshade manufacturing, etc.) in order to enable these women to get training and gain long-term independence.
The AccorHotels teams in Spain and Portugal have been supporting this project since 2016, which combines training and skilled trade work. Alexandre Chabrot, Brand Programmer Marketing, was one of the first people to take part: "These women show integrity, kindness, solidarity and respect. Entre Mujeres is a successful human adventure which revolves around women for women. Its values and lines of action reflect Solidarity AccorHotels' reason for being and we wish to contribute so that more and more women can find their place in society every day".
AccorHotels and Entre Mujeres: long-term links
Multiple links which have been developed over time between AccorHotels and the association. Solidarity AccorHotels, the Group's endowment fund, provided financial backing to the project in order to enable Entre Mujeres to successfully provide training to around ten women taking part in the programme. In parallel to this financial backing, AccorHotels teams worked locally hand in hand with the association in order to optimise the marketing of the lampshades manufactured: technical advice, orders, fitting the lampshades in hotels in the Group... beautiful projects took shape: Ibis Malaga Centro, Ibis Barcelona 22 @ or Ibis Alfragide in Portugal fitted the lamps and other products (pouffes, folding screens, cushions, etc.) made by the association from organic and recycled materials.
SoulEM, the social enterprise created in 2010 by the founder of the association, María Luisa Fresno, provides professional support to Entre Mujeres with product marketing. This activity helps ensure the long-term survival of the association and hire some participants at the end of their training course.
Rebeca Ávila, Communications Director for AccorHotels Spain & Portugal, was behind this partnership with Alexandre Chabrot: "For us, Entre Mujeres is far more than just a partnership: it's a social commitment and provides considerable support to a marginalised area of Madrid", she stated.
Life story, or how Sandra moved into skilled trade work
Since its creation in 1999, Entre Mujeres has actively contributed to changing the lives of more than 100 women. This year, around 40 women should benefit from support provided by Entre Mujeres. In 2018, it is planned to open new workshops (mainly specializing in sewing) in order to make products such as uniforms and cushions, which can be sold to hotels and other potential customers.
Sandra, age 42, comes from Tumaco, a small Columbian island where insecurity reigns. Two of her four brothers disappeared in obscure circumstances linked to the guerilla war which plagues this island. Sandra decided to move to live in Spain to earn money to send to her two brothers who stayed in Columbia to help pay their studies in Bogota, far from the danger of Tumaco.
On arriving in Madrid, she was immediately welcomed by Entre Mujeres and started to work at the same time as training in skilled trade work up until going professional. Her life has now considerably changed. She is married with four children and runs SoulEM's production workshop... and her two brothers are pursuing their studies!
Rebeca Avila resumes this story very well - it's a project "which not only lights up spaces but also lives".