Building Awareness

Providing companies with a plan for a practical HIV policy that reduces the cost of the treatment for all employees

Project M.O.M. Sunshine in Cameroon aims to convince companies to provide medical, psychological and nutritional support to employees living with HIV/AIDS. Their main tactic is to present the company with a plan for a practical HIV policy that reduces the cost of the treatment and that benefits the company’s public image. In particular, the project negotiates with insurance companies dependent on company contracts to improve insurance policies with regard to workers with HIV, and making them more affordable to companies.

Promoting discussions on disability to generate a holistic and inclusive human rights dialogue

Currently many groups working in the disability rights movement, and even the broader human rights movement, compete among each other in political debates and institutions in order to gain recognition, funding and policy changes.  Instead of recognizing their common goals and challenges, human rights groups often isolate themselves along victim hierarchies where, for example, someone living in poverty may be better off than someone who is physically disabled, experiences politically-motivated torture or lacks access to clean water.

Operating a temporary restaurant to raise funds and awareness

In the spring of 2009, five students from Utrecht, the Netherlands, operated a temporary, volunteer run restaurant, The Cultural Cookery, to engage new people and raise money for three selected development projects. Using their own time and effort to create PR, attain donations for foods, other sponsorships, and gain access to free space, these students raised EUR 8,000 in just two weeks time.

Offering community education and developing alternative rites of passage to discourage Female Genital Cutting

The NGO PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health) and Maendeleo Ya Wanawake, Kenya's largest women's organization, have collaborated to offer alternatives to Female Genital Mutilation. They combine community education for young girls and parents with alternative rites of passage that preserve many traditional aspects of the coming-of-age ritual, while prohibiting physical harm to girls.

Instituting a community-level truth and reconciliation commission to address racial divisions

The community of Greensboro, North Carolina hosted a unique Truth and Reconciliation Commission, developed as an act of society rather than the government, and has been the only Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in the United States. Community survivors and activists saw a need for action beyond the legal system; they wanted to alleviate the pain harbored in victims, and address the racial hatred enduring in others.

Establishing village peace committees to build understanding between internally displaced people and host communities

The Community Trust Fund (CTF) involved youth volunteers as Peace Facilitators to reduce friction between internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities (or residence of temporary settlement of IDPs) in Sri Lanka. The CTF was successful in introducing a non – violent conflict resolution program at the community level by mobilizing youth volunteers in an effort to bring IDPs and host communities together. The youth volunteers’ work contributed to the creation of village peace committees comprised of leaders in both communities.

Using popular culture to sensitize and mobilize youth around human rights issues

Rassemblement Action-Jeunesse (RAJ) used pop culture to involve Algerian youth in human rights issues. Although youth in Algeria represented 75% of the population, a history of government repression had led to a lack of youth participation in political life. RAJ hoped to change this by combining something youth already were involved in, pop culture, with human rights organizing.

Using sports to build engagement and life skills

Reclaim Childhood, based in Amman, runs a sports program called “Goals for Girls” in cities and towns in Jordan with significant Iraqi and Syrian refugee populations. They recruit young women and girls, ages 8 to 18, from these refugee communities to play with young women and girls from the local communities in Jordan. Their goal is to empower Iraqi and Syrian young refugee women and girls by fostering engagement and critical life skills through sports. Reclaim Childhood has impacted the lives of more than 800 young women and girls since 2008.

Using street theater to inform the public about social issues

The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) stages informance plays—performances meant to inform—on social issues ranging from women’s rights to children’s rights across the Philippines. With its mobile theater, PETA uses informance plays as tools to engage the public to confront important social issues that remain unaddressed. In doing so, PETA indirectly forces individuals to seek solutions to their own problems.

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