Empowering girls and their communities through art
In Collaboration with M’Shujarts! A Girls Arts Collective
To protect of the safety of our collaborating team in Goma and our Colors of Connection staff, certain activities are on hold until it will be safe to resume. All trips to Goma have been postponed which means that the collaborative program design activities scheduled for March and April are currently on hold.
Despite the challenges of organizing during COVID-19 and the need to put certain activities on hold, we are planning for, and looking beyond to better days ahead when it will be safe to resume programming activities, and are doing all we can to prepare. We know that marginalized girls, who are already vulnerable, will be especially impacted by the crisis, and are committed to continuing to do everything we can to support them.
Beginning June 2020
Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo
55 girls and young women
Empowering Girls Through Art to Achieve Gender Equality and Freedom from Violence
This program is located in Goma, the capital of the North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo. The Congo has been affected by war for decades, deepening existing gender inequalities and normalizing and exacerbating sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in everyday life. As a result, girls are some of the most excluded from societal benefits and protections and an overwhelming majority of girls have experienced SGBV.
Investing in them is a key to unlocking their potential and supporting the broader development of their communities.
We are providing support and training for staff members on the ground in Goma so that they can create a safe, expressive and empowered space for adolescent girls to develop core life and art skill sets, and amplify their voices through public murals and posters.
In this program girls will have the opportunity to make progress with their communities to achieve gender equality and freedom from violence.
Investing in partnerships for sustainable impact
We are partnering in this program design with the Population Council, a leader in the field of developing, strengthening and measuring programs for adolescent girls.
This program is being designed and implemented in collaboration with M’shujarts: A Girls Arts Collective (GAC). GAC was born out of our previous two projects with girls in Goma, with the intention of continuing to provide space for the young women to support each other and be involved with art activities.
About the name: M’shujarts! The ‘M” stands for ‘mwanamke’ (women), ‘mwanume’ (men), and also ‘movement’ – indicating that this is a movement for women, but that men are also included and encouraged to engage. ‘Shuj’arts’ is a combination of ‘shujaa’ meaning ‘leader’ (as the girls now often call themselves and/or their group) and the ‘arts’.
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