01 Dec Giving Gratitude, Giving Joy: Turn Pain to Power This Giving Season
Giving Gratitude, Giving Joy, #Giving Tuesday
Today is #GivingTuesday. As we enter the Giving season, we invite you to support the work of women leaders in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya who are pushing boundaries and creating spaces born from the vision of local women survivors where women and girls turn their pain into power. They are creating a world where women can thrive rather than merely survive.
To send a V-Card on the donation pages, check the box next to “I’d like to make this contribution in honor or memory of someone” and then “I’d like to notify someone of this contribution,” then fill in the rest of the information to finish designing your gift.
Support their work this season. Give the gift of JOY, donate today.
Turning Pain to Power, City of Joy in DR Congo
The City of Joy is a revolutionary leadership center for women survivors of gender violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is a place where women turn their pain into power, a place that restores women’s sense of agency over their lives as they learn real, practical life skills to feed their futures, and connects them to the global V-Day movement, one billion strong. From the return of warmth and joy into women’s lives, to a reconnection to their bodies, to the feeling of empowerment each woman feels when she masters a new skill or acquires life-changing knowledge, the City of Joy gives women a platform to transform their pasts into fuel for a revolution of the mind, body, and community.
Ever evolving and inspired by the women at City of Joy, a new fashion school and production workshop is being established to train Congolese women who have experienced sexual violence.
The textile and creative school, which is being funded by a donation from Dutch wax textile fabric company Vlisco, will empower women to learn new skills that will help them to reintegrate into society. They will be coached by members of Vlisco’s network of creative talent, including brand creative director and director of Vlisco&Co Gabriela Sánchez y Sánchez de la Barquera, and design experts from Africa and the rest of the world. Up to 30 Congolese women each year will undergo training at the school, which will house dozens of industrial textile machines and a hangar for the production of traditional Batik fabrics. Students will be taught the craft of African textiles but with a creative, forward-looking perspective. Once established, the City of Joy aims to build commercial partnerships for the school in a bid for the sanctuary to continue its efforts in helping women not only from the Democratic Republic of Congo, but across Africa and the rest of the world.
“The spirit of creativity will be the motto for our fashion school. Our global objective is that one day the City of Joy can become financially sustainable and it is therefore important to be able to create products that could be sold on the international market and around Africa. Through this new school and creative opportunity and with the help of Vlisco, the City of Joy will have longevity and help the lives of so many more women,” said City of Joy Co-Founder and Director, Christine Schuler Deschryver.
A woman who comes through the City of Joy is forever changed by it. She laughs more, she leads more, she gives more.
Educate a Generation! City of Knowledge in Kabul
City of Knowledge (CKO), – formerly Promoting Women’s Capability by Education Center – is an education center for girls and women in Kabul, Afghanistan where women turn their pain to power. Rising in the face of four decades of war that has left a huge population of Afghan women illiterate and several generations of women deprived of education, City of Knowledge is an education center for girls and women that offers courses in Computers, Science, Literacy, Arts, English, and Women’s rights. Graduates go on to pursue university and the careers of their choice, becoming the future doctors, engineers, lawyers, scientists, artists, and technical experts of Afghanistan, and inspiring countless others to do the same.
A message from the City of Knowledge: “We want to thank V-Day and each and every person who is contributing to our center from each and every girl and their families. This center is a source of hope, light, struggle against darkness and brutality. While we wanted to close the center for some days after the recent attack on Kabul University and an educational center, our science teacher refused to accept it and insisted to continue. He said, ‘I know what is happening but life goes on. We cannot stop our daily life and wait for our death.’ This has very deep meaning in a country where death and danger has become a routine.”
Changing Culture, Educating Girls; the V-Day Safe House for the Girls in Narok, Kenya
Tasaru Ntomonok is a grassroots initiative that created and runs the V-Day Safe House for the Girls in the southern Rift Valley in Narok County, providing shelter and educating girls running away from “the cut” and early childhood marriage.
Led by Agnes Pareyio, the founder of Tasaru Ntomonok, Chair of the Anti-FGM Board of Kenya, and UN Person of the Year for Kenya (2005), Agnes and her team bravely confront the cultural practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the Maasai community in Kenya and have won many hard-earned victories, influencing community members to take on alternative rite of passage rituals, and educating women and men alike about the power of an educated girl.
Each year, hundreds of girls’ lives – and that of their families – are transformed because of their work and vision.
JOIN US, support the urgent work to end violence against women and girls in Bukavu, Kabul, and Narok. Your trust, generosity and vision make our movement possible!
With all our V-love,
V (formerly Eve Ensler), Susan, Christine, Monique, Purva, Tony, Aja, Carl, Leila, Roslyn & Swetha
P.S. If your gift is already on its way, thank you!
V-Day is a California 501(c)(3) public charity and is one of the Top-Rated organizations on both Charity Navigator and Guidestar. 31 December is the last day to make charitable donations in order to claim them on your 2020 tax return.