Colors of Connection is getting ready for our next
project with teenage girls in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo!
We are dedicated to bringing
the arts to war-affected populations and DR Congo is one such place that has
had a long history of conflict. In
staggering fact, the most recent conflict, focused in the eastern region of the country,
has resulted in over six million deaths, the largest loss of lives since World
War II. Intertwined with the conflict is
sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) that is wielded as a weapon of war. It is estimated that 40% of women and girls in
the eastern region of Congo have been subjected to sexual violence since 1996.
Our focus will be on out-of-school teenage
girls, a subgroup who are rarely reached by social policies. We’ve been inspired by the Girl Effect, which
recognizes the positive impact that girl-centered programming can have on girls
themselves and their communities. Currently there are programs in eastern Congo
focused on serving women but few for teenage girls. Teenage girls are on a dangerous journey in
Congo, and they become adolescents and targets for sexual violence at the same
moment. This is a frightening and
compelling reason for us to do this project.
The project will take place
in Goma, the capital of the north Kivu province in eastern Congo, in
partnership with the International Rescue Committee from November 2015 – April 2016. During the project, out-of-school teenage
girls and community leaders will create public murals that are centered around
girls’ rights, girls protection from SGBV, and support for survivors of
SGBV. We want our 36 participants to
walk out of the program better equipped for their journey through adolescence.
As we get ready for this
project, join us in the conversation about girls’ rights in the DRC using
#PaintLikeAGirl, follow us on Facebook, or read more about the project on our