Board and team
Hèlia is made up of a team of professionals and volunteers with their own accumulated experience who enrich the group’s diversity from various disciplines and specialties. With the strength of plurality, our alliance is committed to values common to feminist activism and social movements. Our horizontal collaborative model encourages all voices to have a place and makes collective values the foundation of our activity.
Elected in the Ordinary Assembly on 31 March 2017.
The women on the Board do not receive any financial compensation or allowances for participating in it or for attending the association’s assemblies and meetings.
President: Montserrat Benedicto López
Secretary: Lorena González López
Treasurer: Laia Matas Vilà
Montserrat Vilà Planas
With a degree in Business Administration and Management (UOC), Montserrat is the founder of Hèlia (2008) and the current director of the association. Tirelessly dedicated to social, neighbourhood activism and local and international political advocacy, she has been fighting for women’s rights as a member of the Sagrada Família Neighbours’ Association since the Fourth Beijing Conference. In 2002, she promoted and chaired the Unitary Platform against Gender Violence, which brings together more than 120 organisations in the fight for women’s rights. It promotes the value of freedom, dedicated to transforming the patriarchal society into a fairer and more supportive one, where the domination of men over women is eradicated.
Sílvia Moreira da Silva
Head of the Psychosocial Attention Department
Sílvia has a degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in Gender Studies. She has pursued her professional career working on different expressions of gender-based violence from a feminist and intersectional perspective. She has worked in areas of empowerment and awareness both individually and in groups. At Hèlia, she currently works as a women’s psychologist and as an advocate for the eradication of sexist violence against women.
Liliana Aragón Castro
Head of the Social Action Department
Liliana is a PhD candidate in Gender Studies: Cultures, Societies and Politics and a Master’s degree in Gender Studies, whose line of research focuses on gender and memory from a decolonial feminist epistemology. She is a consultant and specialist with international experience in conceptualising and evaluating projects from a perspective of feminism, human rights and interculturality. She currently coordinates the Veïnes per Veïnes (‘Women Neighbours for Women Neighbours”) project in Barcelona and promotes its use across Catalonia. She is committed to the feminist and anti-racist struggle through education and activism.
Isabel M Chueco Ruiz
Responsable de l'Àrea d'Atenció Psicosocial
Llicenciada en Psicologia; formada en teràpia Gestalt, violències masclistes i traumateràpia. All llarg de la seva trajectòria laboral, i des d’una mirada feminista i interseccional, ha treballat acompanyant a dones al seu procés d’apoderament des d’una intervenció individual i grupal. Té experiència terapèutica amb infants i adolescents en situació de violències masclistes. Actualment treballa a Hèlia com a psicòloga de dones i realitzant tasques de sensibilització, prevenció i recuperació de les violències viscudes.
Our collaborators are essential for developing the association’s projects and for achieving a comprehensive approach to women’s empowerment processes. Each collaboration is based on the woman’s experience and specialty, on our shared values and on the premise that the sum of diverse knowledge is greater than its parts.
Yoga Workshop for Women and Teens and IBT Workshop
Elina studied and practiced Reiki in Japan, Kripalu Yoga in the United States and Hatha Yoga in India, as well as different types of massage and oriental dance in the United Arab Emirates and Germany. She completed a postgraduate degree in sexist violence against women and became specialised in Integrative Body Therapy (IBT). She runs a Kripalu Yoga Workshop for Women and Teens and an Integrative Body Therapy (IBT) workshop for female survivors of violence. She has also volunteered for the Veïnes per Veïnes project since 2014.
Feminist Self-Defence Workshop
With a degree in Gender Studies, Karin is a feminist activist with a long background in feminist and NGO activism who has taught feminist self-defence since 2001. She is a 3rd Dan in Ki Aikido and is trained to teach Aikido, Tai Chi and self-defence, in addition to having professional training in body therapies from traditional Chinese medicine, polarity therapy and the Grinberg Method. She has published two books and runs the feminist self-defence workshop for women at Hèlia. You can find out more at www.autodefensa.net.
Món Casas Estradé
Món studied Photography at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona (UB) and Escola Grisart and she holds a Master’s degree in Design and Communication from Elisava, Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) and a Master’s degree in History from the UB. These studies have converged in teaching and supervising undergraduate, postgraduate and Master’s programmes at Elisava, UPF and at the School of Photography at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). She collaborates with Hèlia on the Mirades de dona photography workshop together with Eugènia. Both women arethe co-founders of CLICme.
Eugènia Ortiz Antoranz
Eugènia studied Contemporary Image Procedures at the Massana School of Arts and Crafts. She has also studied at the AKI Academy of Art & Design in the Netherlands at the Institute of Photographic Studies of Catalonia and has a postgraduate degree in Visual and Therapeutic Image Pedagogy from the UAB. Photography has become her universal language and the tool she uses to work with people. She collaborates with Hèlia on the Mirades de dona (“Women’s Perspectives”) photography workshop together with Món. Both women arethe co-founders of CLICme..
Volunteers are a key part of our team. Plural and diverse, each of the women who make it up enriches the group with their knowledge and experiences, giving it an added value of community wealth. The synergies that are being created and the strength of the group make volunteering one of the essential drivers of the association for people to get involved in the fight for women’s right to live free of sexist violence against women.