What is "Au Cœur des Grottes"1 ?
It is a place of welcome, accompaniment and hosting for women in precarious situations, whether they are alone or with child/children.
Thirty women and from fifteen to twenty-five children are residing daily at the shelter: women in difficult situations searching for security, mothers and children in need of protection, unsettled young girls faced with the unexpected difficulties of their opening lives, exploited or sexually abused foreign girls isolated by their ignorance of our country's language and customs, Swiss women returning from abroad, young students, victims of domestic violence, of human trade and slavery, of forced marriage or facing the risk of a crime of honor, pregnant women without any support... Violence, exploitation, victimization, trade of human beings, despair, contempt, loss of bearings...
A competent and polyvalent team:
to welcome, to take care and to accompany; its aim is mainly to stimulate the emergence of realistic and feasible insertion projects, in collaboration with the numerous welfare and medical services of the City of Geneva. The residents have to face various difficulties and have needs of all sorts. Our assistance, fitted to each case, is flexible, encouraging and understanding. We offer a stimulating way of life, reinsertion oriented, favorable to the individual's self-updating as well as that of her skills and abilities.
Participation and life-sharing
The everyday common life and the festive moments, food preparation, house-cleaning, joys and difficulties, discussions, laughter, those who arrive and those who leave, search for a job or a flat, appointments with a medical doctor, a social worker or a lawyer ...
Our life is very simple, it is made of respect for others and self-esteem, hope and confidence about the future. One day, when they have regained energy, strength, support and the necessary connections to lead their own life, we are as delighted as they are about their fresh start.
The women who stay at the shelter “Au Coeur des Grottes” are encouraged to re-discover an autonomous way of life (when it comes to emotion, finance, profession, friendship, health). The duration of their stay is fixed in accordance with the circumstances and the specific needs of each of them, with a view to their reinsertion within the shortest possible time. Thus their stay may vary from one night to several years. The shelter "Au Coeur des Grottes" welcomes women in difficult situations, regardless of their legal or social status. Prices are therefore adapted to the residents' financial possibilities and, consequently, the stay may sometimes be totally free.