NEW YORK, NY, March 08, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — As of March 6, more than 1.5 million people have fled the escalating crisis in Ukraine. Aid agencies estimate that, with ongoing violence and a lack of resources, up to 5 million people may flee within the coming weeks and caution that these events may quickly degenerate into the largest refugee crisis in Europe this century. According to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), an additional one million have been internally displaced, although through the chaos, the figures are constantly shifting and sometimes unreliable. According to a 2015 report from the Commission on the Status of Women, more than 60% of internally displaced people in Ukraine are women and children.
In 2017 and 2018, Footage, the international nonprofit dedicated to raising voices to elevate lives through creative research, media arts, and the science of storytelling, brought its Girl-talk-Girl program to Ukraine. With funding from the United States Embassy in Kyiv and working in collaboration with two local arts NGOs, Footage engaged a group of young women who had been internally displaced by the ongoing armed conflict already upending eastern Ukraine and Crimea.
Utilizing innovative research-backed methods, Girl-talk-Girl provided this group of young women, many of whom were victims of gender-based violence (GBV), the opportunity to participate in a range of activities designed to drive positive change in their lives and in the lives of those with whom they interact.
The women spoke bravely about their experiences and connected with each other through stories of domestic violence, harassment, inequality, loss of dignity, shame, confusion around gender roles, self-harm, and living through armed conflict.
“Sexual violence, trafficking, and forced sex work occur at much higher incidences amongst forcibly displaced women and children,” warns Kristen Ali Eglinton, Ph.D., Executive Director and Co-Founder of Footage. “In Ukraine, conflict and insecurity have made an already dire situation for internally displaced women exponentially worse.” Dr. Eglinton notes that Footage is currently working tirelessly with its network of resources in Ukraine to help as many people as possible seek safety and refuge wherever and however possible, including technical support for evacuation, material donations of cash and live-saving supplies, and direct care on borders. Donate to their efforts here.
In its continuing effort to raise awareness and elevate lives, Footage announces two upcoming events:
Beginning Tuesday, March 8th, at 12:00pm EST, and continuing throughout March, Footage will be presenting a campaign of storytelling events to highlight the voices of the women they have worked with in Ukraine to demonstrate how Footage’s work has the power to intentionally impact communities of at-risk women while simultaneously influencing international policy and generating awareness to end gender-based violence (GBV). Follow Footage on Instagram to stay up to date with their campaign.
On Wednesday, March 23rd at 2:00pm EST, Footage will present their groundbreaking work during the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The UN’s Commission on the Status of Women is taking place March 14th through the 25th. To find out more about the CSW, visit their website.
To learn more, donate, or join Footage in solidarity and advocacy, visit footageproject.org and follow Footage on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
About Footage Foundation: A nonprofit organization founded by PhD colleagues at Cambridge University, Footage designs innovative, evidence-based programs that use local technology and expressive multimedia tools to improve well-being by bringing the underrepresented voices and experiences of young people into dialogue on the world’s most challenging issues. Based in the U.S., Footage has been working internationally at the intersection of youth, human rights, and GBV for more than a decade.
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