New Media to End Gender based Violence (GBV) in Burundi and DRC

Fahamu contributed to the efforts of an on going campaign coordinated by Si Jeunesse Savait (SJS) which has been running an interactive answering system and a dedicated server so that women from across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and women engaged in the defense of human rights can send, store and access confidential information safely.

A series of discussions and meetings were held with leaders and representatives of women’s organisations in the towns of Goma and Bukavu, in Eastern DRC to tell them about the campaign of SJS and engage their contribution to the Freedomfone campaign. SJS representatives highlighted the main message of the campaign: ‘Pima Simu’ (which means ‘make a call’ in Kiswahili) to expose and denounce violence against women and girls. Freedomfone has dedicated numbers that people can call or text for free to report any violations of women’s and girls’ rights. Street caravans distributed advocacy materials in the towns of Bukavu and Goma to spread the message far and wide.

Regional learning forum on violence against women and girls

In partnership with the Promotion et Appui aux Initiatives Féminines (PAIF), Fahamu conducted a two day regional learning forum on violence against women and girls in Goma, DRC. The forum, that took place between 16 and 17 February 2011, discussed a number of issues ranging from access to justice for victims of gender based violence (GBV), to tackling impunity of GBV perpetrators and involving traditional and opinion leaders in the fight against GBV, among others.

National learning forum on violence against women and girls

Fahamu partnered with the Association pour la Promotion de la Fille Burundaise (APFB) to conduct a two day national learning forum on violence against women and girls in Burundi. Taking place in January 2011, the national learning forum brought together more than 90 women’s rights activists from 17 provinces of Burundi including government officials, various representatives of the civil society, religious and traditional leaders among others to discuss GBV and strategise concerted and effective ways of combatting GBV in the country.

Campaign on GBV using ICTs

After the national learning forum, APFB proceeded with a three month campaign to fight against GBV using traditional and new media. The campaign ran between January and March 2011 and included:

  • Production and broadcasting of a seven episode sketch on GBV;
  • Production of advocacy materials including T-shirts, banners and posters;
  • A SMS campaign with similar messages ( messages urging men to stop abusing women, on education, economic rights, inheritance and women in leadership) as those of the advocacy materials that reached more than 10,000 people.