WHEN opportunities knock at our door step, we open the door and welcome them! A team of nurses from Northend clinic in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe offered free HIV/AIDS testing and counseling services at Montgomery Hall, where our offices are located. Our programme team integrated this activity into our 16 Days of Activism campaign. We talked to 41 women and 12 men about the need to end violence against women and girls. Our volunteers, led by Senzeni Bhila, took 100 purple ribbons and distributed them at a local sports bar and a shopping centre in Kingsdale. The ribbons had the message “Prevent Violence Against Women”. This exciting activity took place on November 24, 2012. As we continue to work with women and girls we want to promote community dialogue so that Communication Rights issues affecting women and girls can immerge so that we can respond to them. These may include addressing questions of inclusion and exclusion, of quality and accessibility.
This is the second time an opportunity has knocked at our door step following the establishment of our offices in Kingsdale, Zimbabwe. Earlier in October 2012 we were invited to exhibit at the Bulawayo Ideas Festival. We distributed purple ribbons and posters that we had received from the Gender based violence network. We reached 120 women, men and children. Thanks to the GBV Network for providing the 16 Days of Activism materials and to AWDF for enabling us to retain our human resources and allowing us to scale up our activities and reach out to more people.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to Ending Gender-Based Violence 2012.

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Action step 1, indeed! It is inspiring to hear how much you promote the different programs in your community. Each campaign needs multipliers like you are, who can really reach out into the communities. I think this is really the fundamental issue and actually a role model. Please keep on with this approach and let us others here in the World Pulse community know more about your achievements. All the best, Katharina

Hello Gertrude! What a beautiful uplifting article you have written. It sounds like your team did great work with this opportunity, the campaign and this activity, which I'm sure was very powerful to many who saw those ribbons. What a wonderful thing you are doing! The articles at World Pulse seem to be countless and from so many countries- Bangladesh, Nigeria, DOC, Zimbabwe- yet all with a common theme of inequality and injustice to women. It's strong and powerful women like you who will bring an end to this inequality and make change happen. I believe in you and I support you. Love, Lynn

Dear Gertrude,

Thank you for sharing this story and for your efforts in ending violence against women. Awareness raising and advocacy! Two things close to my heart, as I am a domestic violence/sex assault advocate. I have found that going to community events - like your festival - is a good way to do outreach and talk to people one by one. It sounds as if you and your team is respected and that you are trusted, allowing women (and men) to hear your message.

We have done similar projects like your ribbon campaign. It's the grass roots effort, getting into the community, which seems to be effective. Exciting to know that sisters across the globe are involved in similar activities!

I look forward to hearing more about your accomplishments. In peace, Beverly