Last week I traveled to Bukavu in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo where the third annual World March of Women is taking place now through Monday, October 18th. I had hoped to be able to share video from the march and a training I’m conducting here but Internet access and electricity has been sporadic, thus making video uploads impossible. In the meantime, I’ll share updates via text and, whenever possible, images from the exciting events here. If any of you have ideas for a work around for this issue- please let us a note in the comments below!
This past Tuesday I conducted an all-day training with 13 local women’s rights organizations from throughout the Eastern DRC. These organizations are members of the network Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, our new partner on a campaign to end gender-based violence against women in armed conflict and politically repressive states. The training was held at the Witness Guest House Bukavu – I was pleasantly surprised to see another “Witness” in Eastern DRC.
The training covered WITNESS’ methodology of video advocacy and basics on how to film using Flip cameras. We agreed to produce a video featuring interviews with participants at the March, telling their stories and highlighting the issue of violence against women in eastern DRCand to screen that video during the March. In order to turn around the edit very quickly I’m working with a local editor and an assistant editor who works for the Ligue pour la Solidarite Congolaise (LSC), another Women’s Initiatives member organization. In my next blog post I’ll share the results of the screening which we held today.
In addition, the women who attended the training are conducting interviews among themselves which we had hoped to upload and share during the March. The participants are really excited about this opportunity to share their work and issue with wider audiences (via sharing the video online); an opportunity they rarely have had or never had before. As I mentioned, the weak Internet connection and unreliability of electricity has made this difficult to do from Bukavu, but we will get these videos online when I’m back in the office, if not before.