February 23 2015

International Women’s Day 2015 – ‘Make It Happen!’

Make it Happen

At The Temple Of Peace, Cardiff, Wednesday 4th March. 9.30-1.00pm

A Valley and Vale Community Arts – Wales Africa Community Links Project

This celebratory event marks International Women’s Day 2015 by bringing together inspiring people from Kenya, Ethiopia, Bridgend and Bristol who are working to improve the rights of women in their communities. In accordance with the theme ‘Make It Happen’, this event will showcase examples of creative activism that empower women and strive for greater equality.

The speakers will discuss a range of issues affecting women in the UK and Africa including FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), early marriage and sexual consent. There will be a particular focus on the methods and approaches they have used to make a difference, such as alternative rights of passage, campaigning, film for social change and theatre in education. Participants will have the opportunity to connect with one another, share experiences, reflect on practice and plan for ongoing action.

This dynamic event will include dance and theatre performances, a film screening and an aromatic Ethiopian coffee ceremony. By linking members of diverse communities this event will champion women’s voices, inspire change and encourage solidarity.

Please come along to our International Women’s Day 2015 – ‘Make It Happen!’ Event. All welcome. By participating, networking and making connections, we will make possibilities for positive change together, to ‘Make it Happen!’

Information about some of the contributors:

Hellen Nkuraiya

Hellen Nkuraiya is a Maasai woman living in Narok, Kenya. Hellen ran away from an arranged marriage and never had a chance to complete high school. Her personal experiences has led her to a life of taking stands – against child marriage, female genital mutilation; fighting for education for girls, rights for widows and the end to the subservience of women. Now Hellen runs Enkiteng Lepa School, and Tepesua Nursery School, established in 2004, to provide a safe haven for girls escaping harmful cultural practices, including FGM (female genital mutilation). She also supports 15 Maasai widows and is working with them to develop income generation and livelihood projects.

Integrate Bristol

Integrate Bristol is a charity formed to help with the integration of young people and children who have arrived in the UK from other countries and cultures. As well as supporting young people with their learning, Integrate runs projects that helps develop their skills so that they can participate in society and feel a part of the community they have joined. These projects involve film making, drama, and a range of media related and creative activities that encourage the sharing of culture and learning of new skills. Integrate aims to give young people a voice, a platform for expressing their views and ideas. Community cohesion is also very important – as is the economic and social wellbeing of community members. To this end, Integrate encourages cross cultural activities, regardless of age and background. Integrate promotes gender equality and campaigns against all forms of Violence and Abuse Against Women and Girls, (VAAWG), which includes working to eradicate the practice of FGM in the UK. Integrate aims to raise awareness and education around these issues through our creative projects.

Adanech Admassu, Director of Hafa Gem TV

Gem TV are a group of young, independent, Ethiopian filmmakers, who were recruited as a group of young people from vulnerable families. Today there are one of the few professional video production companies working in Ethiopia. As a group of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, Gem TV filmmakers have the ability to provide a means by which other dispossessed communities can make their voices heard. GemTV has developed a unique style by which communities themselves are involved in writing their story and acting in the films. These films clearly resonate with communities and are shown as “videos on wheels” all over the country, where they inform, educate and inspire discussion. GemTV makes films on a range of social issues: HIV/AIDS, early marriage, education, human rights and the role of women. Gem TV regularly works with many of the international NGOs based in Ethiopia, including UNICEF, the United Nations Development Project, the Austrian development Cooperation, Christian Aid and Womankind, amongst others. Gem TV’s films have appeared at international film festivals and on ETV, Ethiopia’s national television service.

Event participants will be encouraged to share their own experiences and ask questions. We hope that the informal coffee ceremony can be friendly space for discussion, interaction and knowledge sharing.