Community awareness campaigns and outreaches to end SGBV

Gender equality is achieved when women and men, girls and boys, have equal rights, life prospects and opportunities, and the power to shape their own lives and are motivated to contribute to society development. To attain this, the community has to be mobilized and communicated messages about:  Gender equality and equity,   Sexual and reproductive health , prevention and response mechanisms against SGBV.

It is in this context that RICH organizes awareness campaigns in districts to sensitize the population about ending gender-based violence and support to SGBV victim. The preparation of these event is a joint activity in which participate implementing partners (RICH), OXFAM, the local authorities and the religious leaders at district level.

In the first semester of 2018, RICH has organized many small-scale campaign which include outreach in the community  but also big scale Community awareness campaign on IOSC available services and support for SGBV victims: the main campaigns were organized one in western province in Nyabihu and another in Huye district.

The main purpose of these campaigns is to raise communities awareness  on current situation of GBV, existing response to GBV including available services at IOSCs and engage opinions leaders including religious leaders in the community dialogue to prevent GBV and support GBV victims to access attainable services.

The local authority showed zeal in the preparation and implementation of these campaigns as they saw in them an opportunity to reach a great number of people to call them to action against SGBV which still is a big issue in the targeted districts.

Photo: Leaders from the Province, districts and sectors levels, security organs and religious leaders were all involved in the campaign on ending SGBV carried out in Huye district

The religious leaders gave very appreciative participation  in the preparation of the campaigns. As the religious leaders’ opinion is very respected in the community, they carried out mobilization in their parishes and churches on the urge to fight against SGBV and in the same line they called out the attendance of their churches to participate in the awareness campaigns.

Photo: Representatives of religious denominations gave lecturers on ending SGBV

The media was also associated  to sensitize people on the awareness campaigns and to cover the event. Among the media houses used we can site: RBA community radios covering Nyabihu, RUbavu, Musanze, Huye, Kamonyi, and Muhanga and the national television

The mobilization carried out by the above-mentioned parts gave out positive fruits.  The local authorities were very delighted of the record attendance of the campaigns that they requested RICH and the religious leaders under it to support in the preparation of events as actions proved that the advocacy done by the religious leaders have maximum effects on population.

The attendance on Huye and Nyabihu sites of the campaigns was approximated to be 8000 people . Additionally, The community radios and National Television helped spreading the message further than the boundaries of the campaign sites as RBA’s broadcasts cover the whole country.

The campaigns were organised to reach all categories of the population because all people can be victims or perpetrator of SGBV.

Photo: Children, adolescents and adults attended the campaigns

Photo: Choirs’s performances included messages on ending SGBV

Photo: Students from different schools attended the Campaign in Huye district on ending SGBV

Photo: A walk to call out against SGBV

As mentioned above, RICH also organised community outreaches in which staffs from the districts and Isange One stop centers reach out to the population in their neighborhood. in These outreaches, they teach the population on what is SGBV and how to prevent it. This is also an opportunity for them to conduct exchange and long open discussions with the population.

Photo: Outreach in the communitty to sensitize on ending SGBV

Through these campaigns and outreaches , the reached population were informed on current situation of SGBV, existing response to SGBV including available services at IOSCs and the opinions leaders including religious leaders were called to action to engage in the community dialogue to prevent SGBV and support SGBV victims to access attainable services.

The attendance gave positive feedback, As they said they were helped to identify some root causes of the SGBV, identify some practices which they didn’t know are gender based violence but also were informed on methods to tackle them. They also were thrilled to know about the mechanisms such as Isange One Stop Centers which give primary aid to the SGBV victimS without leaving them in the agony.