AMIC originated with a group of women who, in 1999, took the initiative to come together as intercultural mediators to engage with their respective migrant communities in Geneva. In 2003, they supported the Geneva campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM) by providing education, and information on health and social integration, to migrants.
To further enhance their abilities, they undertook specialized mediation training. This training enabled them to maximise their impact on the integration of migrants, something which has yielded very positive results for migrants and been recognised in evaluations by the public institutions that monitor AMIC’s work.
Through this work, AMIC has identified and highlighted the crucial role that women mediators can play in the integration of, and dissemination of information to, migrant communities in Geneva. With increased recognition, they have continued to be approached by both individual migrants and public institutions based in Geneva.
Today, AMIC’s work is focussed on the integration of members of the Ethiopian and Eritrean community. This is in response to the influx of asylum seekers and refugees from East Africa in 2007. This influx has created a demand for women mediators of Eritrean descent to facilitate communication and provide support in a variety of areas including: healthcare, social issues, schooling and education, and through the steps of the administrative process relating to legal status in Switzerland.
Through its history and background, AMIC’s mediators have gained a great deal of highly specialised knowledge and experience. This experience, paired with the fact that many of the mediators were migrants themselves, makes them relatable and uniquely well-suited to the task of supporting integration.