“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!