nowledge is power, and a key component of the Ushindi project is teaching communities about gender equality and the importance of upholding the rights of women and girls.
This spring, with IMA World Health leadership, Ushindi produced four short videos to empower communities in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo with information and discussion on delaying marriage, women’s inheritance, girls’ education and positive masculinity.
Running between three and five minutes each, these videos were shown along with segments of the “Girl Rising” documentary at community screenings at schools and youth clubs in the Karisimbi and Goma health zones, with 574 people—mostly students—attending seven sessions. The Ushindi team worked with school administrators to plan the screenings, and each event included a 30-minute facilitator-led discussion on the film and cultural themes, plus promotion of Ushindi’s “Guide to the Code of Good Practice to Prevent Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Schools.”
“Girl Rising” brings visibility to issues girls face and inspires people to dismantle the barriers that hold them back. The film’s main message—educate girls and you will change the world—is a perfect complement to Ushindi’s platform for women’s empowerment as well as IMA’s broader work. In fact, IMA has also shown “Girl Rising” to tens of thousands of people elsewhere in the DRC through the Access to Primary Health Care Project, funded by the Department for International Development through UK aid.
The Ushindi videos, whose goal is to generate discussion and behavior change, catalyzed such lively discussions among screening attendees that IMA is planning to produce four additional videos later this year through a small grant from Compassion International. The Ushindi team plans to show these videos at future “Girl Rising” screenings, which are ongoing throughout project service areas.
With funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development, IMA World Health oversees the Ushindi project, which provides holistic services to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in eastern DRC and reduces the vulnerability of individuals to future acts of abuse and violence.