Decolonising ourselves to decolonise philanthropy

Cristal Campillay Alarcón and Paula Riedemann Fuentes

On situated knowledge, locus of enunciation, and other migrations – the story of Spain’s Calala Fondo de Mujeres

We are a group of diverse women who understand ourselves as a mixed foundation. We are natives and migrants who have committed to working in a different way – one that honours the path of all the women we accompany so that they can have the power to decide the life they want to live. We are committed to learning to work at ease, or to work tasty, as we like to say. To do what we do in the best way while enjoying the process. Having a job that allows us to lead a life worth living and is worth the joy. And to feel that our working place, where we spend the most of our hours, is a safe space.

The Calala Women’s Fund

Although Calala Women’s Fund has a history linked to Central America, working with women from colonized peoples, our decolonial process itself began in-depth in 2019. Firstly, at the initiative of some migrant teammates and then, as a collective commitment to improve our work with the groups we support, since we realized how crucial it was to ensure that colonial violence was not reproduced in our practices, both internally and externally. In 2019, Calala Women’s Fund decided to carry out a study about the migrant women’s movement in Spain, with our grantees and others, to learn how we could better support it. Even though we were committed to conducting the study with a collaborative, feminist and antiracist approach (we used the Movement Capacity Assessment Tool, developed by Global Fund for Women, and we consciously chose a researcher who was herself a migrant woman, feminist and an antiracist activist), our grantees rapidly showed us that we still had a lot to learn.

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