Ending Rape in Liberia Through Music

by PCI-Media Impact
Children after a visit to Grand Bassa County.
Children after a visit to Grand Bassa County.

PCI Media Impact is excited to share more updates about the progress we have made in Liberia thanks to your wonderful support!

So far in 2014, we brought our efforts in Liberia to the next level to end violence against women and children. PCI Media Impact is proud to be partnering with UNICEF Liberia, the Liberian Ministry of Gender and Development, and the African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) to help continue our social movement in combating sexual violence in Liberia.

In June 2014, we launched our new program, Let’s Speak Out, attended by governmental officials, artists, media stakeholders, and community members.

We hit the road to counties in Grand Bassa and Bong to reach our target audience with key messages implementing three day county tours. Each tour consisted of two school visits, radio interviews, street promotion, and music concerts. Takun J, alongside Liberian musicians Nasseman, Peaches, and comedian Laugh@Laugh, used songs and comedy to teach communities how to prevent and report sexual violence.

During our first two tours, we reached over 600 students, parents, and school administrators and nearly a thousand people who attended our music concerts. The program was promoted at local radio stations and our artists communicated the cause of Let’s Speak Out during interviews with media stakeholders.

The next set of county tours will begin in September with visits to Grand Gedeh, Nimba, and Lofa!

We hope you stay tuned and continue to support us! For more information and updates, like our Facebook page and visit our website!

Takun J performing in Bong County.
Takun J performing in Bong County.
Audience of over 300 at the Dorithy Cooper School.
Audience of over 300 at the Dorithy Cooper School.
HipCo Artist Takun J
HipCo Artist Takun J

First of all, PCI Media Impact wishes all of our friends a happy and healthy 2014! Thank you for your trust in 2013, we came a long way and we are excited to move into the next year with your support.

We are proud to report that our last year ended as impactful as the new year started.

In December 2013, our partner on ending sexual violence in Liberia, Takun J, performed his sociocritical songs at the HipCo Festival in Monrovia, Liberia. The festival attracted over 20,000 Liberians and national celebrities. HipCo is especially popular among young people who can relate to its catchy beats and African rythms. We invite you to experience HipCo yourself and share with you Takun J's Song for Hawa.

In January 2014, Takun J's manager Nora Rahimian spoke at the International Society of Performing Arts Congress in New York about the power of music to create change within a troubled society. In her presentation she explained to the audience how Takun J and PCI Media Impact use songs to prevent sexual violence against women, and why this work is so crucial for all Liberians.

This year will be an important year for Mobilize4Africa.We will deepen our program in Liberia and plan to produce more songs and music videos with Liberian artists. We hope you stay tuned and support us as much as in 2013.

“The people, they listen to us.  And we, as musicians, we have a responsibility to talk about these things, the corruption, rape, poverty… all the things that are wrong in our country.  So we knew we had to come together to strengthen our voice and make ourselves heard, to better impact our society,” Takun J 

HipCo Artist Takun J
HipCo Artist Takun J

THANK YOU all for your wonderful support in the last months to keep our social movement in Liberia going!

As our friends, you already know that Takun J., Liberia’s Anti-Rape Ambassador, expresses his passion to end sexual violence against women through his songs. He lends his voice to break the silence and to question social attitudes that allow gender-motivated attacks to continue. Takun J. is convinced that his role as a musician is to affect change throughout his country, such as through his successful music video "Song for Hawa".

We are excited to share with you the latest news that we are entering the next phase in ending sexual violence in Liberia. Takun J. and other local artists will collaboratively take their music to its full potential to create social change. With your important contributions we will organize impactful concerts in Monrovia and across the country to reach a large audience with key social messages to protect the most vulnerable against sexual violence in the society: women and children. 

PCI Media Impact is also continuosly working on national partnerships with crucial stakeholders in Liberia in order to scale up our community mobilization activities. We want to infiltrate as many lives as possible with our socially conscious messages and plan to undertake schools visits and organize and host town hall meetings across Liberia. Our approach is strengthened through the support of the outstanding Grammy Award-winning artists Steve Jordan and Angelique Kidjo. These partnerships and our collective efforts will enable us to engage audiences in much needed conversations about gender equality and shift the social norms that underlie violence against women and children.

Stay tuned for more to come soon!

“As a musician, I have to use my voice to carry the message. And as a man, I have to stand up for the women and the children. Rape needs to end so our country can move forward.” - Takun J.


The girls taking pictures of Takun J
The girls taking pictures of Takun J's performance

We have the pleasure of reaching out to you with some wonderful news and updates on our work in Liberia!  

As you know, in January and May of this year, the women at the THINK home for survivors of sexual violence, engaged in a participatory photography project, led by PCI Media Impact, telling their stories through photographs in response to the question, “What does it mean to be a woman in Liberia?” Their candid stories were published on the Backspaces website and in beautifully designed Photobooks. The act of telling their stories serves as a form of therapy and the photos galvanize discussion in the country and abroad.

We have also been working closely with one of Liberia’s most renowned Hip-Co artists, Takun J, with whom we have produced two songs and this music video, as part of an integrated transmedia campaign to tackle gender-based violence in the country.  

As a result of this video and Takun J’s activism, Liberia’s Ministry of Gender and Development this year officially named Takun J as the country’s Anti-Rape Ambassador.

Takun J’s “Song for Hawa” was based on the true stories of girls at the THINK home.  In May, our team launched his brand new anti-rape EP and hosted an anti-rape event in Monrovia, attended by the Liberian Minister of Gender and Development.  This highly successful event engaged local partners, representatives from NGOs, community members and activists in a collective effort to reconsider shifting social norms about rape and reporting. 

Several students from the THINK home shared emotional words about the impact that Takun J and PCI Media Impact’s Photovoice project has had on their lives:

“Photovoice helped us in many ways.  It is a project that helps those who are not heard to be heard.” –THINK student

“As a Liberian I have a responsibility to do something important with this experience.  Not everyone gets this chance.” –THINK student

We are now seeking continued funding to partner with UNICEF and design an even more comprehensive social change strategy, which will leverage the existing Photovoice project as well as mobile technology and marketing, Anti-Rape music, a second video, a comic book, and school/community visits to build an even stronger campaign that reaches across Liberia with a range of local and international partners. 

It’s time for the culture of violence to change, and for a new social narrative to begin, one that celebrates and empowers girls and women.

Thank you for your support in this endeavor and for your commitment to improving the lives of young women in Liberia!

Takun J performing "Song for Hawa"
Takun J performing "Song for Hawa"
The "Song for Hawa" EP
The "Song for Hawa" EP

“I took this picture to show that if you are raped by a man you should be able to go to the police station, but many girls don’t because they are afraid that the man will do even worse things.”

 Quotes like this one, from Gertrude, accompany powerful photographs taken by the 25 girls at the THINK home and are a vivid depiction of the reality of rampant sexual violence in post-civil war Liberia. Thanks to your contribution, each girl living at the THINK home in Monrovia engaged in the life-changing process of telling her personal photostory in response to the question, “What does it mean to be a woman in Liberia in the past, present, or future?” and we are proud to share each and every story on this beautiful Backspaces site: http://backspac.es/tag/photovoiceliberia

We are also excited to report that the girls have been actively engaging in student-led “homework” assignments over the past two months.  They are working in small groups to continue practicing their technical photography skills, as well as taking pictures that give voice to their struggles, which include stories of abuse by men and family members, abandonment, and teenage pregnancy.  One student took a picture of her history notebook and said:

“I took this photo to remember the past. In the past, my father refused to allow me to go to school at all. He left my mother and I lived with my aunt who also had no money to send me to school. This is part of my history. And now I’m in school, finally learning the history of my country.”

PCI-Media Impact is grateful for your support in helping to complete this successful first stage of the Photovoice project, which empowers girl victims of sexual violence to tell their stories and inspire change.  And it doesn’t stop there!  We are thrilled to announce that we will return for the second phase of the project in May.  In the second phase we will deepen the girls’ expertise with photography for storytelling, continue to create space for healing dialogue around the issue of rape, and train teachers and counselors to facilitate photography projects in the future.  

We will also hold an event with Takun J, a famous Liberian rapper to showcase two anti-rape songs co-produced by PCI-Media Impact as well as to draw widespread attention to the candid photo stories.  Your contribution has made possible the documentation and the resulting awareness of the widespread issue of sexual violence in Liberia.  Your involvement in this project has already changed the lives of 25 girls, and will have ripple effects well into the future.

Thank you for your support.  Please consider further contributing to the next phase of the project in May!



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Organization Information

PCI-Media Impact

Location: New York - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.mediaimpact.org
Project Leader:
Sean Southey
Executive Director
New York, New York United States

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