Please join our Thunderclap at:
Pledge zero tolerance to violence and rape of women & girls!
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV AIDS (UNAIDS) in partnership with Camp I Am will bring the photo exhibition Not me, not mine: Women, girls and HIV to Orange Farm, the largest informal settlement in South Africa. The photographs and accompanying narratives highlight women and girls’ exceptional vulnerability to HIV, and paint a vivid picture of the underlying factors, including violence, that expose them to HIV infection.
The exhibition will be held on Tuesday, 24 September, from 10:00 a.m. at Tshepana Primary School, Ext 7 in Orange Farm. It was launched last year at Constitution Hill, and has also been shown at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg, and Alliance Francias in Windhoek, Namibia.
The collaboration is part of the Camp I Am school holiday program 2013 theme, Active Citizenship, which includes, among other things, speaking out against gender based violence, a critical issue in South Africa— which has the highest proportion of reported rape cases in the world.
Since the beginning of the year, young people attending Camp I Am have held community dialogues on GBV in Orange Farm. The first dialogue in April came on the heels of the Department of Basic Education and LeadSA launch of the Stop Rape Campaign, a major initiative to raise rape awareness and educate the 10.2 million students in South African schools. At the follow up dialogue in July, the youth mentalized in the roles of the South African Police Service, the Department of Basic Education, local government, parents, and school governing bodies and mapped out actions they would take to combat violence and rape.
Getting involved in what happens in our communities, tackling problems or bringing about change or resisting unwanted change is what being an active citizen is about. We cannot sit by idly and not raise our voices and act to stop violence and rape. For rape survivors, it’s a double blow! Sexual violence greatly increases the risk of HIV infection in women and girls, and limits their ability to engage in HIV preventive habits. What’s more, the stigma of being HIV positive and being a victim of violence further diminishes the self-esteem and quality of life of women and girls.
Everyone can play a role in combating violence and rape. Men can commit to not perpetrating violence against women and girls; women and girls should have the right to a safe environment free from violence, and have access to support if they are affected; and society can say no to violence and rape by enforcing laws that protect women and girls.
Camp I Am is about responsible citizen action. It was created for young people who have little or no activity during school holidays, which leaves them at high risk of abuse and sexual experimentation. The program keeps youth engaged, having fun and learning during the school holidays; and for the past three years more than 3000 youth have attended in Orange Farm.
The UNAIDS and Camp I Am collaboration on the photo exhibition is to share stories, information, and possibly to give hope.
From now until Heritage Day, 24th September 2013, please join UNAIDS and Camp I Am in a thunderclap to pledge zero tolerance to violence and rape of women and girls, and to speak out and report it.
Also join us at Tshepana Primary School in Orange Farm for the UNAIDS Exhibition Not me, not mine: Women, girls and HIV.
GPS coordinates: S26⁰ 29.042’ E027⁰ 50.888’
For more information about Camp I Am, please visit: www.campiam.co.za
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