Achieving a Better Life has temporarily put on hold its domestic violence theater program, as its director, Charlotte Nyiraneza, has been asked to take on increasing responsibility and leadership roles for her other fulltime job. As is often the case with Global Grassroots' change agents, our venture founders demonstrate substantial leadership capacity and are often promoted within other organizations, run for office or apply our skills to solve other problems in their community. At this time, this program will be discontinued until the organization has the opportunity to dedicate more time to its operations. We extend our deepest gratitude for your support of Achieving a Better Life and its extraordinary work.
Achieving a Better Life was one of the first ventures trained by Global Grassroots through our Academy for Conscious Change in 2008. Their program uses community theater to raise awareness about domestic violence. They have made remarkable impact in the four years they have been operating. Since 2009, this team has performed roughly every month in five communities within Kigali on the topics of domestic violence, violence against domestic workers, adultery and bearing children out of wedlock. Their performances have been attended by ever growing crowds - over 1,200 at each of the first three performances of 2013. The reaction of the audience during the hosted discussions afterwards is very positive. Many women have reported that following the performance, they have gone to seek help for domestic violence and have talked to their husbands about how to improve their relationships. Many men also attend the performances, and have stated that they have started to think more seriously about how they treat their wives. Since beginning the performances, domestic violence rates in these communities has been reduced by 60%. The team has also produced two full-length films on the topic of domestic violence and marital relations.
The group was awarded a tender by the American NGO, Intrahealth, to perform a theatre on domestic violence for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, an event attended by the director of USAID, the US Ambassador, and the Minister of Gender. In February 2009, they performed the very first V-Day Vagina Monologues in Rwanda, adapted to a Rwandan context with monologues of Rwandan women, tackling tough and taboo topics not often discussed publicly. On International Women's Day in March 2009, the team was invited by the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion to perform one of their plays, which was broadcast nationwide three times, reaching at least 25,000 people. Project leader Charlotte Nyiraneza won the World Pulse Second Annual Bold Ideas Contest in January and was even nominated for a CNN Hero Award. When possible, Achieving a Better Life continues to perform new plays and hopes to make another film about the oppression of Rwandan women.
Without your support, this impact would not have been possible. When Achieving a Better Life is able to resume their program activities, they will return to GlobalGiving. To help other amazing women survivors of war like Charlotte advance social change, please consider supporting Global Grassroots' Academy for Conscious Change program by clicking here: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/conscious-social-change/