V Day 2017: Rise, Dance, Disrupt for Solidarity

EAGLS girls and their mentors rise against exploitation of women and girls.

One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history. The campaign is a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women across the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. 

Every February, we rise – in hundreds of countries across the world – to show our local communities and the world what one billion looks like and shine a light on gender based violence.

This year, One Billion Rising is giving sharper focus and visibility to the exploitation of women, and to harnessing even stronger global solidarity to demand an end to violence in all forms. Exploitation is undermining a person's self-determination for personal, sexual or financial gain. Women and girls around the world remain targets of abuse such as rape, battery, trafficking, enforced labor and migration, and modern slavery.

With generous support from the Paperseed Foundation, CAI provides small grants to partner organizations to support the design and enactment of creative community actions to advance girls' human rights.

In Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda, EAGLS girls used their voices, bodies and their collective will to disrupt these patterns and take V Day 2017 by storm. They've brought the skills, creative techniques and confidence gained from the Summit back to their communities and schools, teaching the dance "Break the Chain" and preparing forums, marches and performances to take part in this day of action. 

A snapshot of some of our partner's V Day 2017 creative actions:

KOMERA/Rwanda In Rwanda, though efforts are emerging with regional law enforcement to counteract violence against girls and women, there are still widespread reports of gender based violence. EAGLS participants and mentors of KOMERA coordinated and staged two full days of large scale community actions held at Rwinkavu stadium - district leaders, police members, church congregations, neighboring villages and local primary and secondary schools were all in attendance - nearly five thousand people in all! The girls applied what they learned at EAGLS to raise awareness about the reality and impacts of gender based violence. They developed and performed powerful theater skits, songs, inspiring poetry and performed "Break the Chain."

Fortress of Hope/Kenya In Kenya, Fortress of Hope hosted a community discussion about how to prevent and take action around gender-based violence with 40 girls, targeting married adolescent mothers. Mentor Wilter Sarah created a safe platform for participants to reflect upon abusive relationships, share their stories with each other and understand how they can speak out and escape abuse. A domestic violence survivor shared her experience of healing, advocacy and empowerment and served as a role model for the girls to build their courage and know that they are not alone.

Malkia Foundation/Kenya

The Malkia Foundation hosted an event at Kisangula High School staged by 240 girls to demand reproductive health rights of adolescent girls and to ensure that all girls have access to sanitary supplies. 172 local school administrators, parents and teachers attended and committed to address health rights and issue of gender-based violence. 

SEGA Girls' School/Tanzania

Mentor Pauline Rusisye led an event 300 girls strong to sensitize their community about girls' rights to education. Participants performed "Words on Fire": poems inspired by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, Forum Theater, The Girls Declaration and the "Break the Chain" dance.

Loima Girls Secondary/Kenya

Three mentors started an Urumuri Dada Club with 55 members. The Club staged creative actions using theater, dance and music to encourage parents to send their daughters to school.

Collective artistic action has the power to incite and mobilize, to arouse, awaken and inspire people to come together in one unified purpose as both a local and global community.

It's the "power" that drives "the people," carrying with it hope and will strong enough to transform our world. Your support will help us continue to bring direct action to the communities we serve in 2017.