It’s few minutes after midnight and yet another 25th has passed. This time 25th of October.
We have for the first time joined Say No – Unite to end violence against women and the Orange day in August. To raise awareness about the issue, we have done a photo session to create some profile pictures for this day to be used in the future.
One month later, I happened to be in Arusha, in Tanzania and I met around 10 organisations from the East Africa region that work on curbing alcohol use. We took pictures together to demonstrate where we stand and what we believe in: “Together we end violence against women. Together we stop excusing alcohol violence.”
We all know that alcohol and violence are closely related. This information is not new, hardly anyone doubts it and it’s not a taboo. We all know. At the same time, there’s done too little about the issue. Having on mind that even a small child can tell that use of alcohol predicts violence, too few of those working in the field recognize the importance of an active approach to alcohol use when wanting to enhance exercising of human rights; combat violence or enable kids to go to school and get education.
I am writing this blog after midnight because I wanted to see what the day would bring and as promised in my first blog about the Orange day to share ideas for actions. Let me describe what WOCHIVI from Arusha, Tanzania has done on 25th :
WOCHIVI (Womena and children vision) gathered 26 women who have enthusiastically welcomed the idea to arrange something for the 25th of October and planned big. They broadcasted in a local radio – covering 6 regions – stories about women and their experience with gender based violence. Besides that, they joined an already existing sport event held on the same day and spread the information. They handed out oranges and water and talked about the problem. Many people have reflected on this for the first time in their life. Many were surprised. Besides the radio broadcast that started already on 17th of October, three TV channels and 8 Newspapers (e.g. The Guardian) covered the event.
Impressive, isn’t it?
Soon you will also see the summary of it in a video. Do you know what else is impressive? The organization did not get any funding for this event which has cost them around 1300 USD. So the organizers – all 26 women full of energy determined to change this world for the better, contributed with their own finances to make this event happen. And they will go on the next month as well as this is just the beginning.
I know that to arrange an event is time taking and not all of you who would like to contribute have the time or possibility to arrange a public event so I can just share two of the very simple ideas for action:
- Make this day alcohol free. It’s the least you can do to express solidarity with all those who have suffered due to alcohol related violence. It’s costless and the contribution is priceless.
- As many have already done, take a picture with/in something orange, share it online and initiate curiosity and discussions. Remember the connection between alcohol use and gender based violence. Here is a video summarizing facts about it: Alcohol and violence
The action after we got dressed in orange is what is really needed. So what will you do? Let us know and inspire others! I will be happy to share!