NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Twenty-three young adults are committed to helping young people in the Bahamas become more aware of gender-based violence (GBV) and the strategies that can lead to its reduction in our country.
The cohort was formed due to ORG’s latest iteration of its Me, you, us Youth Fair project, which featured high school and college students working with ORG Executive Director and Project Manager Delsanea Thompson.
The group explored the causes and solutions around GBV over a three-month period and were then tasked with developing a public education campaign that would resonate with other young people.
Thompson, who traveled to the Dominican Republic in June for the Caribbean United Against GBV conference, noted that “gender-based violence is a global community health issue that affects one in three women and girls at some point in their lives. . It is any act that results or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women.
“While ORG does not position itself as an expert on GBV in the Bahamas, we are very invested in ensuring young Bahamians become active voices in our community. Through a social and emotional learning approach, this group can be a catalyst for their peers,” Thompson said.
“It’s a gender-based program, but for us it’s about social education and activating young activists. The format of our project was to get young people to develop tools that would speak to their peers about this topic. Programs like this are all testament to the power of young people to create ways to discuss these issues with their peers.
This year’s cohort chose to develop a series of videos called “Listen Up”, as their main project to help raise awareness about gender-based violence in the country. On the show, participants discuss their thoughts and opinions on gender-based violence at home and at school. The three-part series will be streamed online on ORG’s social media platforms in July.
For Talitha Pratt, a 21-year-old student at the University of the Bahamas, the decision to join the cohort came from a desire to help people struggling with abuse.
“I’ve seen the increase in domestic violence that’s happened throughout the pandemic and the various statistics,” Pratt said.
“I wanted to find a way to help in any way I could, be it a comforting word. I wanted to be part of a program that wants justice and finds ways to help victims.
“This conversation is important because some of the violence we see and experience is so normalized – the cultural aspects of it. people laugh and joke about domestic violence and it’s not funny.
Johnnecia Pinder, 19, echoed Pratt’s sentiment as she said she was dedicated to passing on what she learned to elementary and junior high students.
“I joined this program because I wanted to learn more about gender-based violence and raise awareness about it,” Pinder added.
“I felt this conversation was important for people to feel comfortable enough to talk about it. I feel 100% confident because I know someone is going to gain knowledge about what was presented. Anyone, literally anyone, can be a victim, and victims tend to turn more to faith-based organizations.
The GBV program structure of this cohort allowed participants to speak with experts from groups like Equality Bahamas and The Bahamas Crisis Center to better understand the critical issue. The video series will help young people learn to identify patterns of behavior and learn about the resources available when people are dealing with domestic violence or GBV in general.
ORG, through initiatives like this, seeks to create a more educated population and empower people with the tools and knowledge to advocate for the issues that matter to them.
“Unsurprisingly, one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to eliminate GBV within the next nine years,” said Matt Aubry, Executive Director of ORG.
“We are proud of the 23 young activists who have shown such great interest and commitment to raising awareness and building momentum towards ending violence against women and girls. Their work demonstrates the importance of getting informed and getting involved.