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.
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
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
The Importance of Girls’ Education
Women are Not Slaves
All is Not Lost: Fistula in Liberia
“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…many people in the community are able to contact us for whatever services we are giving…”
- Wani Robert, ARC Behavior Change Communication Officer
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