Kikopo Pa Mon 2013
Kikopo Pa Mon or Creating a Voice for Women, has become a vital, and meaningful annual event where the entire community/region participates over two days. It receives national media attention and highlights the challenges citizens of the northern region face as they recover and rebuild their lives. This event promotes and elevates the voices of women and families, shifting the conversation, changing the dynamic and creating a new way forward.
Funds received from GlobalGiving donors will be used to ensure we are able to host the community dinner, feeding over 150 people, providing a panel discussion promoting unity and dialogue. During the evening we will recognize the courage and effort of two women who have worked tirelessly in their community, awarding them the Women 4 Peace awards. The following day, after months of preparation, women will present dramas, songs and dances to the community around the chosen theme; hundreds of community members, elected and tribal officials will attend, providing women a unique opportunity to make their voices heard.
This years event will focus on women's health, highlighting our new initiative focused on menstrual health, The Healthy Periods Initiative. Here is a brief description of our new endeavor:
To address the issue of menstrual health, and the challenges women face with regards to access, hygiene and stigma, Women’s Global Empowerment Fund (WGEF) is launching the Healthy Periods Initiative – improving health, creating livelihoods.
The goal of this initiative is to provide information, access and opportunities with regards to menstrual health. In addition, WGEF is offering social enterprise opportunities, creating a viable business producing the sanitary pad product. Thru the purchase of a manufacturing unit WGEF will drive economic and socio-cultural changes thru enterprise and education. The first step in this relevant, exciting endeavor will be to launch a pilot project; including workshops, business planning, production, education and assessment. We envision the pilot project to last 6 months.
Statement of Need: Just imagine attending school without toilets or drinking water. Imagine attending a school with a single latrine for all the students, or that the latrine is smelly, with no toilet paper and the door no longer closes. Just imagine attending one of these schools when you have your period.
What is known as ‘Taboo’ in many parts of the world, menstrual health issues affect 26% of the total population each month for 4.5 days (52% of female population is of reproductive age, menstruating each month). In lower income countries (Global South) and areas where there is a lack to basic human services, sanitation, water, menstruation is significantly more challenging to manage hygienically and with dignity.
Because of inequality, gender taboos, and socio-cultural factors, menstrual health can be overlooked. Several surveys* have shown that girls feel embarrassed or ashamed during and because of menses. And often times, during menstruation women and girls are kept from cooking, sleeping in the house, community participation, and are not able to attend school.
Due to the lack of access and affordability of sanitary products, women and girls often use: cloth, leaves, mattress stuffing, and other ineffective and unsafe materials. These materials are unhygienic, uncomfortable, ineffective and unacceptable. Period.
This years Kikopo Pa Mon festival will focus on women's health, equality and justice. On October 3rd and 4th, 2014, WGEF will host our 7th annual event. The festival provides a stigma-free environment in which to talk about sensitive subject matters; promoted unity and team building; and offered women the opportunity to be creative and innovative and highlights the power of theatre.
By encouraging the idea of traditional music, dance, and drama in the local language, the culture of the area would be preserved, and the relevance of these issues to the community would be elevated. Due to the positive response and overwhelming success of the event, Women’s Global hosts Kikopo Pa Mon annually.
Kikopo Pa Mon enables women to challenge their communities to do better, to advocate for social justice and equality, elevating women's voices. Poverty is not just about not having means, it is about having choices and a say in your life.
We hope are inspired and continue to support this important and transformative project! Thank you!
Kikopo Pa Mon 2013
elevating women's voices - 2012 festival