In commemoration of the International Day of the African Child, a global social media campaign has launched across Africa to advocate for a world free of Gender Based Violence (GBV) for the next generation of young people and children.
Not Our Story, Change It! is an eight-country led campaign that aims to raise awareness on the need to create a world free of GBV for the next generation of children. The initiative was conceptualised through a multi-stakeholder initiative across several institutions and countries that have come together with the aim to contribute towards increasing discussions and action around creating a world safer for children by working towards eliminating GBV.
The launch on the Day of the African Child with the theme “Children’s Rights First” is an appropriate time to join the fight to safeguard the future of children around the world and forefront the topic of the effect of GBV on children.
The campaign kicked off at the Tunis Forum For Gender Equality in Tunisia in April 2019 and today the eight member countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Somaliland, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia and Sweden – will launch the campaign on social media simultaneously across the continent with a pledge to fight for children’s rights under the campaign’s “Ambassador Programme”. The campaign managers are collaborating with social change influencers across the eight countries and the globe to engage the world in the discussion and stimulate
action and change.
”The Not Our Story. Change it! campaign is unique in the sense that is putting the children´s rights in the forefront of the discussion on gender-based violence and that it provides an inspiring vision to work for – a world free from gender-based violence. Everyone need to play their part for this to happen. Our wonderful team from Africa and Sweden is dedicated to work for such a transformation through this campaign and through our organisations
who are affilitated to this partnership”, says Ingvar Ronnback on half of the initiating team.
The genesis of the project was conceived through Yvonne Anyango from Kenya and Ingvar Ronnback from Sweden whom have worked together since 2007 in a number of projects funded by Swedish governmental agencies and other partners. Yvonne Anyango is the director of CASDA – Cooperation Arena for Sustainable development in Africa. Ingvar Rönnbäck is the founder of the company ADEP – Another Development Perspective Ltd and the non-profit think tank Another Development Foundation.
I am delighted to be part of this exciting Campaign. It speaks to my life aspiration of having a generation where all children both girls and boys are free from all forms of violence and enjoy their child hood and rights. As we continue to encourage a positive response to ending Gender Based Violence I would like to challenge humanity from all walks of life to rise up and be a part of this”, said co-initiator Yvonnge Anyango from Kenya.
The unique approach to create a collective of partners with diverse background for one social change cause will allow the campaign to have an organic far reach and impact.
Secondary messaging has also been created to further define and target the reach. Depending on what applies, the “Change It” tagline could be modified to contextualise the message that include: Change our laws, Change our mindset, Change a life, Change our choices, Change our action.
“We can’t ignore it anymore, gender based violence against children has become a major problem due to negative cultural beliefs and practices, existing gender norms, and economic, social, and gender inequalities. It was important for me to lend my voice to the Not My Story campaign because as a mother and woman of influence I feel its my duty to advocate and ensure that our children feel safe and live in a GBV free world”, said Lulu Wood, who is one of the Zambia Campaign Ambassadors.
The ambassadors have been selected across the eight countries and will collaborate to promote the campaign.
“The campaign is designed in a simple but impactful way to allow organisations and individuals with common goals to easily adapt and adopt the campaign. Toolkits for media and action information will be available on the website for people to use should they choose to be a part of this great cause”, said Samba Yonga media strategist and Zambia country partner representative for the campaign.
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