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!
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