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Through Our Eyes: Addressing Gender-based Violence through Community Media
Information about the project and footage from the first Through Our Eyes training workshop (8 minutes).

Through Our Eyes is a participatory communication initiative addressing the critical issues of gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, and harmful traditional practices within conflict-affected communities.

The initiative is led by the American Refugee Committee, in partnership with Communication for Change (C4C), and is supported through USAID funding. 

Through Our Eyes dynamically engages community members in dialogue about sensitive issues, and expands awareness and use of GBV response and prevention programs, including legal aid, counseling, and medical services for survivors.  Teams of community peers are formed and trained to produce videos (dramas and documentaries) in local language featuring actors from within the local community.

Watch footage from the first Through Our Eyes Training Workshop.

 

Since 2005, over 100 videos have been produced by local video teams. These videos are screened in community “playback sessions,” where lively discussions about the issues featured in the film take place, information about locally available services is provided, and participants are asked to generate ideas for actions that they can take to promote social change within their locales.   

Project sites and beneficiaries:

  • Liberia: returnees, formerly displaced persons, community members
  • Rwanda: Congolese refugees 
  • Southern Sudan: returnees, formerly displaced persons, community members
  • Uganda: formerly internally displaced persons living in the North
  • Thailand: Karen and Burmese refugees from the conflict in Myanmar


In each site, ARC partners with community-based organizations/women’s associations, enabling them to strengthen both internal capacity and outreach capability through sustainable participatory communication approaches.

Videos Produced Include:

  • Rape is Not a Family Matter
  • The Consequences of Forced Marriage
  • Stop Wife-Beating!
  • The Importance of Girls’ Education 
  • Women are Not Slaves
  • Widow Inheritance
  • All is Not Lost: Fistula in Liberia


Testimonials:

Usually in our setting, in the Liberian setting, Liberian women don’t really speak in public, especially when the men are around. Whenever they gather, they don’t speak openly.  But if you take the video to the community and do a playback, the women see themselves sometimes in the picture and they don’t care who is around. They will speak their mind…and you will see their emotion.  And one thing I really love about that is that it empowers our sisters, our mothers, to speak for themselves, to express their feeling about the level of violence against them, and the way out….The video can mobilize the community for itself.” 

-Albert Pyne, Liberian Video Trainer, March 2009

My participation has had an effect on me personally majorly because the community considers me nowadays as a role model…m
any people in the community are able to contact us for whatever services we are giving…

- Wani Robert, ARC Behavior Change Communication Officer

 Related Reading

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Daniel Wordsworth - American Refugee Committee President - talks about the situation in Somalia and how all of us can make a difference and help save lives.
Returning to Somalia
Nimco Ahmed shares her recent trip back Mogadishu her first time back to Somalia in 24 years
South Sudan
Rebuilding Health Care in South Sudan
Deb Ingersoll runs ARC’s Cash for Work Program in Haiti. She’s interviewed at ARC Headquarters.
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Simona Palenga, ARC Field Coordinator in Haiti, is interviewed at ARC HQ.
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Senior Director of Program Quality Monte Achenbach, is interviewed from the field in Haiti.
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ARC volunteer Dr. John Bordwell talks about the health situation of Congolese refugees in Rwanda.
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Somalia: Photos
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South Sudan: Photos
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