Today, November 25th, marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the start of the Orange the World campaign and its 16 Days of Activism, which will run until Human Rights Day on December 10th.
In the spirit of this year's theme, "Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect," and in the spirit of the related UNiTE to End Violence Against Women campaign, we will be going on a virtual tour across six continents and looking at the incredible work being done to prevent violence of all types.
We hope you'll join us.
To kick off our virtual tour, we're visiting Rwanda, Kenya, and Chile, the locations of the three ESD Global Pitch Competition finalists, to learn about their efforts to prevent violence.
All three finalists have been invited to speak at VPEC 2021 in Prague. Here's a preview of their powerful messages.
Benimpuhwe Organization, Rwanda
Benimpuhwe is an organization dedicated to working with with teen mothers and providing them with education that will allow them to lead safer lives.
“We have to act now before it is too late. With awareness campaigns, economic empowerment, and Empowerment Self Defense, we can give a brighter future to these young girls.
VPEC 2021 will be a platform to highlight Rwanda's long strides made in advancing gender equality and Benimpuhwe's contribution towards women empowerment and violence prevention.
"VPEC 2021 will be a platform to highlight Rwanda's long strides made in advancing gender equality and Benimpuhwe's contribution towards women empowerment and violence prevention."
~ Jason Bakundukize, Program Coordinator, Benimpuhwe Organization
The Dan Shieshie Foundation, Kenya
Dan Matakaya, a survivor of domestic violence, is working hard to provide violence prevention and treatment services for the men in his community:
“During my treatment, I found out that many men in our society suffer from domestic violence but opt to suffer in silence… I resolved to register a non-profit called The Dan Shieshie Foundation to create a safe space for men of all ages to voice their grievances in order to get help.
We yearn to break deeply the embedded societal perceptions that stigmatise men, and VPEC 2021 will be a great opportunity to share our message and be heard.
We yearn to break deeply the embedded societal perceptions that stigmatise men, and VPEC 2021 will be a great opportunity to share our message and be heard."
~ Dan Matakaya
Autodefensa Mujer, Chile
After watching her mother experience domestic violence, Maria (Pacha) Paz Leal realized that one of the first steps in preventing violence is learning to recognize it.
That recognition will be part of the education provided by the new healing and prevention center she’s creating with her colleague, Ayelen Peres, where they will use their backgrounds in education, philosophy, and Empowerment Self Defense to empower women and vulnerable groups.
Their message for the attendees of VPEC 2021:
Prevention, education, and the interdisciplinary perspective have to be at grasp for those who require it.
"Prevention, education, and the interdisciplinary perspective have to be at grasp for those who require it.”
~ Maria (Pacha) Paz Leal and Ayelen Peres
To learn more about the finalists and their exciting plans, please watch the footage of the judging session / competition finale.
We look forward to welcoming them and learning more about their work when we see them in Prague!