Dance Ceremonies as Part of GBV Community Outreach
Almost one year ago, you helped us respond to a massive humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa. We’ve been able to reach thousands of families displaced, and today our training and education programs are creating lasting positive change within these devastated communities.
Ethiopia’s Dolo Ado camps are home to more than 150,000 refugees, the vast majority Somalis who’ve fled across the border to Ethiopia. A deeply conservative society, gender-based violence (GBV) is pervasive in Somalia and women are often relegated second-class status.
Since 2009, International Medical Corps’s GBV awareness and prevention programs in the Dolo Ado camps provide key services to survivors, including psychosocial support and referral services. We also work to change attitudes towards gender-roles and GBV within the community: our teams holds community events like tea talks, dance ceremonies, and skits to educate and mobilize community members.
Sadiya was just one of the women who’ve benefited from our work. After losing three of her children to the drought in Somalia, she fled with her remaining children to Dolo Ado while her husband stayed to look after their property.
Although life in the camps is challenging, Sadiya now has the opportunity to be exposed to new ideas on how to improve her and her family’s lives at International Medical Corps’ tea-talk sessions.
Says Sadiya: “I like attending the tea-talk sessions. I can be here with my friends. I feel safe here. I have a young daughter and thanks to what I have learned here, I won’t make her marry early. And I won’t subject her to female genital cutting.”
When asked if her husband would object to her new views, Sadiya replies, “I will educate him, and I think he will listen. If not, I will bring him to a tea-talk session.”
Sadiya is just one of thousands of refugees in East Africa whose lives we’ve changed with your help. On behalf of all of us at International Medical Corps, thank you!