Kenya

Promoting Equity in Education through Film

FilmAid Kenya is producing three short films about access to quality education in Northern Kenya, an area that continues to exhibit extensively lower participation and completion rates, particularly for girls.  


The three films tackle the following:

  1. Chore Burden – A fictional short film about how girls attending school in Turkana and Dadaab are often unable to complete homework due to the burden of household chores, while boys are left to do their homework and take part in recreational activities.

  2. Economic value of educating girls – A short fictional film that explores the positive effects and economic return of investing in educating girls.

  3. Men and boy promoters of girl education – A short documentary film showcasing a number of testimonials by influential men who support girls’ education with the aim of challenging opinions which hamper access of education for girls.

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Following the completion of the films, these powerful stories will be shared with Kenyan and refugee communities through film-based workshops, mobile evening screenings and SMS outreach. The communications campaign will aim to creating spaces where new skills are acquired and dialogue where existing attitudes and practices around equity in education are questioned.

The films are being produced and distributed in partnership with the World University Service of Canada (WUSC-EUMC) and Windle International Kenya.

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Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) Activation in Turkana

FilmAid Kenya is implementing an innovative social marketing project on the benefits of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) in 24 locations around Turkana County, Kenya.

The project is providing information on VMMC to communities directly, through interactive face–to-face dialogue initiated by the screening of the short FilmAid produced film ‘Heroic Cut’. Video initiated dialogue is being complemented with radio and public address announcement and mini road shows.

 The FilmAid produced short film ‘Heroic Cut’ being screening in Turkana County

The FilmAid produced short film ‘Heroic Cut’ being screening in Turkana County

VMMC is an effective biomedical intervention that has been proven to reduce the risk of female-to-male HIV transmission by up to 60 percent. The Turkana community is traditionally do not practice circumcision and uptake by men 25-29 years has been generally low.


This project is funded by  Population Services Kenya and supported by AMREF Kenya, Nyanza Reproductive Health, Kakuma Mission Hospital, the Catholic Church, AIC Mission and Turkana County Health Ministry.  

 FilmAid staff Moses Epem facilitates a mobile screening at a hall in Lowarengak settlement, Turkana.

FilmAid staff Moses Epem facilitates a mobile screening at a hall in Lowarengak settlement, Turkana.


Watch ‘Heroic Cut’!

NEWSLETTER: Making an impact with the power of personal stories

At FilmAid we believe that when people speak up and are heard, their experience, their existence, and their demands can no longer be ignored.  In this newsletter you'll learn about the different ways that FilmAid, with your support, has been making an impact in the lives of refugees. Through media training, life-saving information campaigns, film-based workshops, and by engaging the community in its own development, FilmAid is working to build community resilience and expand opportunities for youth in two of the world's largest refugee camps. 

But first, we need to tell you about the first TEDx in a refugee camp and FilmAid's role in celebrating the creativity and contributions of refugees. 

 

Taking the STage and telling her story at TEDx kakuma camp

Two young women from FilmAid's programs recently stood up on the world stage to tell their own stories at the first ever TEDx in a refugee camp. Follow the links below to listen to Aminah and Mercy tell their stories of struggle, survival and self-determination. 

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Aminah Rwimo, Filmmaker

"I faced my fear. I made a film. I found my voice... This is my calling. It is my passion. I want my voice and the voice of other refugees to be heard."

Aminah Rwimo is an award winning short filmmaker, winner of the Best Director prize at the 2015 FilmAid Film Festival, and is currently working as a film training assistant at FilmAid Kenya. Aminah fled the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2009 after losing her entire family to violence. Aminah identifies herself as a survivor of sexual and gender based violence, and has chosen to use her filmmaking talent to tell the stories of other young women whose lives are too often destroyed by the violence of more powerful men. 

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Akuot Mercy Marang, Musician

"Alongside my work fighting for women, I’m also pursuing my dream as a singer. I want my music to bring hope and joy."

Akuot Mercy Marang was one of two musical artists who was chosen under FilmAid's Finding a Star project done in collaboration with hip hop producer Wyre. Finding a Star helped Mercy launch her professional music career, and gave her a platform to push back against negative stereotypes about refugees in Kenya.

At 15 Mercy was forced into marriage to a violent 56 year old man. She finally escaped from Uganda to Kenya along her own personally constructed Underground Railroad. Her courage is what led her to the safety in Kakuma Refugee Camp. And it is her continued courage in fighting to end forced marriage that provides hope for other girls, everyone of whom has a right to pursue her dreams free from sexual violence.

Aminah’s Speech starts at 25:00. Skip ahead to see Mercy’s speech which starts at 3:42:00.

TEDx Live Screenings for the communities in Dadaab and Kakuama 

FilmAid livestreamed TEDxKakumaCamp in its entirety in six locations in Kakuma Refugee Camp and four locations in the Dadaab Refugee Complex, ensuring that community members could experience the event live, as it unfolds.

 

UPDATES on the impact of Filmaid's core programs 

When personal stories reach a mass audience individual ripples can turn into waves. The same thing occurs within individuals, families and communities when people lead by example, work through consensus, and speak out on behalf of those less powerful.

FilmAid's impact at the community level can only be glimpsed through the numbers. But behind every campaign, every short film, every theater performance and radio show there are individuals from the communities we serve using their stories, their skills and their ambition to make change in their own lives and within their own communities. 

Continue reading to find out how FilmAid's Media Training and Skills Development combines with our Life-saving Information Campaigns and intensive Film-based Workshops to foster resilience and the ability of individuals and the community at large to advocate for its needs and the needs of most vulnerable. 

Mastering THE sKILLS TO MAKE Change

 Graduates from FilmAid's 2017-2018 Media Training Course

Graduates from FilmAid's 2017-2018 Media Training Course

Every year FilmAid conducts a year-long Media Arts Training Program where students like Aminah learn the fundamentals of filmmaking and journalism. 

This year, 120 students took part in our program, a 40 person increase in enrollement over last year. Also this year, FilmAid has begun conducting its first Master Class in Kakuma Refugee Camp where media arts students who’ve finished their first year can continue to refine and professionalize their filmmaking skills. Of the 80 who completed the first year course in Kakuma, 50 have signed up for the Master Class.

FilmAid also conducts Theater Trainings that harness the skills of refugee youth to support social marketing projects promoting community well-being. Over 100 youth have taken part in our Community Theater Training.

Engaging the Community in its own development

 FilmAid's Kenya staff building their skills and their team spirit.

FilmAid's Kenya staff building their skills and their team spirit.

FilmAid hosts yearly Community Outreach Trainings where FilmAid's national and refugee staff learn a range of vital work and leadership skills. So far in 2018, over 70 staff members from the refugee community have participated in our Community Outreach Training.

Life-saving Information Campaigns

 FilmAid conducting registrations for its Bulk SMS Messaging Service for Refugees in Kakuma.

FilmAid conducting registrations for its Bulk SMS Messaging Service for Refugees in Kakuma.

One of FilmAid’s core functions is to develop and distribute life-saving information. Every single day FilmAid's over 130 staff are in the communities sharing information about the recognition and prevention of often deadly diseases like cholera, HIV, and malaria. Additionally, we ensure that refugees know their rights and are able to leverage those rights to access all of the camp's services from health to education to economic opportunity. 

Over the past year FilmAid's campaigns have used a multi-platform distribution strategy that leverages channels FilmAid itself developed and maintains. Our approach ensures that the right message reaches the right person at the right time. 

  • FilmAid sent 19 emergency alerts through its own SMS network reaching 37,000 households in both Dadaab and Kakuma who subscribe to our service.

  • FilmAid distributed 130 separate announcements using loud speaker trucks broadcasting critical information in 6 languages and reaching on average 70% of the camps’ populated areas. 

  • FilmAid held 140 Film-based events reaching 153,000 people. FilmAid's in-person events are a platform for delivering reliable, life-saving information on topics like how to prepare for and deal with flooding, how to protect sources of clean drinking water, and how to protect children and the elderly during cholera outbreaks.

In an crisis, having good information can be the the difference between life and death, and we take our responsibility to provide quality information as quickly as possible very seriously.

Film-Based Workshops - Building community resilience by spreading knowledge

 FilmAid Workshop in Dadaab Refugee Camp.

FilmAid Workshop in Dadaab Refugee Camp.

Film-based workshops are our most effective means for helping translate our communities’ knowledge of their human rights into action. We’ve led workshops on topics spanning from sexual gender based violence and girls’ education, to food preparedness and cholera prevention, and those who participate in our workshops leave equipped with the knowledge to take advantage of their rights and incorporate healthier practices into their day-to-day lives.

Over the last year, 686 film-based dialogue sessions conducted have led to 20,477 exposures or face-to-face interactions with community members. Each of these was led with the express purpose of teaching habits and practices that promote healthier physical and social lives.

Notably, 59% of our workshops’ participants were female, and this is important to us because although our workshops touch on a range of themes, we are especially interested in empowering women and girls. Through workshop series like Girls First and Women in Health and Leadership, we seek to give women and girls the knowledge to be advocates for their rights. Women in the camps are particularly vulnerable, and we help them become strong and resilient.

 

MOBILE CINEMA & Psycho-Social Support

FilmAid is also known for its mobile cinema screenings. Events that bring family films to the camps and provide welcome psycho-social relief.

Since September we have organized 139 screenings for refugees’ entertainment, including films like Air Bud, Mickey Mouse and Tom & Jerry. We also screened pan-African favorites like A Piece of Land, Yellow Card and Whom Do I Turn To.

One of our screenings, Soul Boy, is of particular interest. It’s a 2010 Kenyan drama filmed in Kibera, written by Billy Kahora, directed by Hawa Essuman, and developed under the mentorship of German director and producer Tom Tykwer. The film features FilmAid Kenya’s Director of Creative and Content who plays “Angry Man.”

Newsletter: Finding Stars & Fighting Stereotypes

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A Message from the Executive Director

Like many of you who are receiving this email, I am feeling overwhelmed. From the Korean Peninsula to the islands of Puerto Rico; from the devastating terrorist attack in Mogadishu to the recent tragedy in lower-Manhattan, there are new crises every day that demand our attention, our empathy, and with more frequency, our outrage.

At FilmAid, we believe during times of compounding crises like these, the power of film is not just important, but absolutely essential. 

Storytelling, photography, and filmmaking provide more than the spark that ignites social change. They are the fuel that keeps us fighting in the face of any obstacle. 

"The real challenge is not simply to survive... It's to survive as yourself undiminished" - Elia Kazan

The stories below are each about FilmAid students and staff using art and storytelling to not just survive, but "to survive as ourselves, undiminished."

Thank you for remaining steadfast in your solidarity, and strong in your support of refugees half way around the world who are struggling to lift up their communities.

With gratitude, 

Keefe Murren
Executive Director | FilmAid International

 

Life-Saving Information: UPENN and FilmAid

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Collaboration is the Only Solution

FilmAid initiated a powerful collaboration with UPENN this past July. Together 8 UPENN students and 16 FilmAid students produced a comprehensive “welcome kit” video for new refugee arrivals in Kakuma and Kalobeyei refugee settlements. The project was built from the ground up as an opportunity for youth to meaningfully collaborate and learn together while delivering life-saving information to displaced people in dire need.

FilmAid Executive Director at UPENN

The project with UPENN culminated in a presentation at the Perry World House on UPENN's campus. Former Assistant Secretary of State for Populations, Refugees and Migration, Anne Richard along with Professor of Cinema Studies, Peter Decherney and FilmAid Executive Director Keefe Murren hosted a presentation of the "welcome kit" along with a virtual reality project that the UPENN students produced during their time in Kakuma. Three UPENN participants joined the discussion as well, with Sonari Chidi summing up the inspiration behind the project by celebrating the resilience and creativity of refugees themselves: “People don’t consider that refugees had a full and vibrant life before they became refugees,” Chidi said. “This experience of being a refugee isn’t all that they are. They’re so much more than that."

Photo: Courtesy of Peter Decherney, UPENN Cinema Studies Professor.

 

Stories not Stereotypes: a FilmAid Documentary

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In October, FilmAid Kenya premiered a documentary in prime time on one of Kenya's biggest broadcasters. A Journey Through My City is a documentary about Kenyans and refugees building communities of mutual support and respect, as told by the the communities themselves. The film follows Anne Nyandeng, a young woman recently arrived from South Sudan, and Ignatius Lokitare, an older, visually impaired man from the Turkana community. Anne and Ignatius take the viewer on a tour of the diverse  communities they call their own, and introduce us to the many ways that both the Kenyan and refugee community are already benefiting from working together as neighbors.

The documentary was produced by FilmAid for a UK funded program called  SPARK (Support and Protection for Affected Refugees in Kenya) which seeks to integrate refugees into Kenyan society through skills training. The goal of the documentary was to show how these different cultures - refugees and Kenyans - can both benefit from their unique ingenuity and creativity.

FilmAid’s production team spent 6 weeks researching and filming the stories with the different communities in Kakuma and Kalobeyei, to capture the true power and potential of the people living both in and around the camp. With our Kenyan and refugee production team, FilmAid was able to compellingly push back against stereotypes that create obstacles in the search for solutions. 

Funded by the Department For International Development (DFID).

 

 

Indie Spirit Lives on in Kakuma Refugee Camp

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Move over Tarantino, Here Comes Amina

If the spirit of indie film is to get your movie made no matter what, then you can't get more indie than Amina Rwimo Hortence.

Made with her own money, in a refugee camp, and with her friends as cast and crew, her film, It Has Killed My Mother is a testament to the indie spirit, and to Amina's singular strength and talent. Amina's film is a love story between a young man and a young woman. Their love turns tragic when the birth of their first child takes the life of the young mother because of the effects of female genital mutilation. Through the compelling story and characters, the film is an emotional and defiant call to end violence against women and girls.

Amina started her film career as a student in FilmAid’s Skills Development program in 2015 and has worked as a Film Training Facilitator with FilmAid ever since. In 2016, Amina and her filmmaking partner Adbul Patient started their own independent production company, Exile Key Films. With their skills and ambition they are earning an income making videos for NGOs, events, weddings and more. It Has Killed My Mother is their first original production. 

“If it was not for the training I got from Filmaid I couldn’t have achieved what I have today. The training I received made me who I am.” - Amina Rwino Hortenc

Amina's film won the top prize for best film, best screenplay and best actress at the Slum Film Festival. The film will soon be featured at the Global Migration Film Festival being show around the world in December. 

 

 

Ending Discrimination through Hip-hop and Soul

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FilmAid launched its inaugural talent scouting program, Finding a Star, to push positive images of refugees in the media, and give opportunities to FilmAid trained youth to use their videography, public relations and music production skills. FilmAid teamed up with popular Kenyan hip-hop artist WYRE to engage young, talented musicians and FilmAid’s Media students under the Media Entrepreneurship Training Program. FilmAid staff and the stars themselves have appeared on TV and in the national press promoting the project, and showing that refugees can contribute to their societies.


Click here to view the music video for South Sudanese refugee Mercy Akuot's new hit single, Anavyo ni Fanya ni Hisi (The Way He Makes Me Feel). 

Click here to view Turkana hip-hop artist, Scooby Lincos' song Kazi Tu (Just Work).

FilmAid's Finding a Star project promotes youth economic empowerment through music and video production, with FilmAid students learning music journalism, public relations, video production and entrepreneurship. Finding a Star has encouraged and engaged young musicians and media professionals to create new opportunities for themselves. Read more about the project here.

Artists from Dadaab use creativity to combat early marriage and protect girls.

ART FOR CHANGE - CHILD FRIENDLY MESSAGING

By Eric Sande, FilmAid Journalism Trainer, Dadaab

 Artists work on mural paintings in Dagahaley Camp, Dadaab

Artists work on mural paintings in Dagahaley Camp, Dadaab

Dadaab Refugee Settlement provides an expansive canvas for artists to express themselves. Moving through the vast camps that house roughly 250,000 people, you can be overwhelmed by the dust and haze, but if you're lucky you may catch a glimpse of lively and strikingly colorful  works of art on the public walls that line camps.  These large-scale murals are the work of refugee artists who were supported by FilmAid's team of fine arts trainers and messaging strategists. 

Ifo 1, a camp that houses victims of the 2011 famine in Somalia, now welcomes guests and visitors with a vibrantly colorful mural spanning the 1000 square meter perimeter wall. The artwork is a series of panels depicting moments from a typical Somali girl's life, and celebrating her ability to make her own choices. The goal of the project is to provide context as well as a call-to-action for the community to engage in difficult discussions about female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage - cultural practices that have disadvantaged young women across many African countries. 

Initially, FilmAid and the young artists experienced resistance from some members of the community. They were concerned that the art work and its message would not be in accord with their faith. FilmAid's community-based approach demands that we be sensitive to and work with the community. This ensures not only the effectiveness of the message, but also helps protect the individual artists from accusations that they are not adhering to their faith. 

A young Ethiopian who participated in the project, Mulugeta Gashaw Yifru (pictured below), said,"the first time we made our drawings in Dagahaley camp, the Somali Refugees destroyed our work but after talking to them about its importance, they accepted the drawings and guarded them."

 Mulugeta Gashaw Yifru, Dadaab 2017

Mulugeta Gashaw Yifru, Dadaab 2017

"Our Trainer, Handerson Kiruri, made it easy for me to learn how to express myself with paint, and draw human beings, using shade, proportion and other techniques," according to Mulugeta.

The four Dadaab camps are home to approximately half a million refugees, mainly from the Somali community who are estimated to comprise of 97 percent of the total population.

The art pieces about FGM provoke and provide a positive context for conversations among Somalis in the camp, and provides support for the section of the Somali community who would like to end the practice.

"There is nothing as beautiful as refugee artists using their talent in drawing to pass informative messages that are influencing positive behavior change in their community," says Fatuma Roba, the artists’ Project Supervisor.  "The project aims at providing a platform for children’s voices to be heard and respected," She adds.

 Child Friendly Messaging Campaign, Dadaab 2017

Child Friendly Messaging Campaign, Dadaab 2017

FilmAid International conducted a two week, intensive training with nine young artists from the Dadaab Refugee Settlements. Through the workshops participants were able to develop their technical skills as well as expand their ability to incorporate stories, emotions and messages into their art. 

 Child Friendly Spaces, Ifo2 Camp, Dadaab; mural created with the support of Inter-Agency Child Protection Working Group (IACPWG)

Child Friendly Spaces, Ifo2 Camp, Dadaab; mural created with the support of Inter-Agency Child Protection Working Group (IACPWG)

With the guidance and mentorship of the trainer, the artists made sketches that were later transferred to five walls. The trainer directly participated in the production of one mural in Dagahaley Camp and supervised the production of the four murals that were painted by the Fine Arts Program trainees. As part of empowering the community, this initiative has provided the trainees with a job opportunity to complete the remaining four murals this September in Hagadera camp.  

Since the paintings were completed, children in Dadaab have identified and engaged with the wall mural paintings and were able to easily interpret the messages behind the drawings and showed great interest.

This project was supported by Terre des Homme and Save the Children

My Start - From Kakuma to London

My Start Project - Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya

AFRICA

My Start is a collaborative, creative Arts project working with Film Aid International. Since August 2012 My Start has run a series of Art, photography and film workshops in refugee camps each summer. These workshops encourage young refugees to share their experiences through the arts. The workshops teach practical skills, encourage creative expression and bring together the various ethnic and tribal refugee and host communities to work in a fun and dynamic way. 

 Kakuma workshop

Kakuma workshop

 Kakuma workshop

Kakuma workshop

United Kingdom

The art work produced at the camp is then exhibited in London schools. It acts as a powerful, visual resource that can be used across the curriculum to support learning on global issues. Issues such as conflict and conflict resolution, displacement and migration as well as promoting peace, tolerance and empathy. The exhibition encourages British students to share and discuss their own views on immigration, forced migration and refugees and challenges misconceptions and existing perspectives.

The student response was fantastic and thoroughly engaging
— Alex Costello, Art teacher, Park View School, UK.
                                                  London workshop

                                                 London workshop

The British schools are encouraged to create response work including their own visual diaries and messages for the refugees at Kakuma. This work is then taken back and exhibited at the camp the following summer.  My Start is an inspiring project that brings local and international communities together through the arts.

Creating the Mural - Kakuma Refugee Camp

If you would like to support the work of My Start and their projects with FilmAid International then please contact Tania and Amy or visit My Start's Facebook page.

tania@emmanueljal.com; campbellgoldingamy@googlemail.com

 

 

 

Light in the Shadows - By Hannah Kendi. FilmAid Kenya, Finance Officer

It's my third week in Kakuma and I am loving it. I have always wanted to be a humanitarian; it has always been like a thirst and something I felt I needed to do. I never really knew why, until FilmAid, actually, until I went to Kakuma. This is when I understood the real meaning behind what I do, why FilmAid works here, and why I needed to be a part of an organization like FilmAid. 

  Hannah Kendi, Kakuma 2015

Hannah Kendi, Kakuma 2015

February 17, 2015: Field trip day.

Our first stop was the new arrivals camp. The first thing I noticed was that the facilitators were refugees themselves.  Here my colleagues and outreach facilitators were showing a film to a group of extremely attentive women on HIV and AIDS and thereafter conducting an amazing question and answer session.  My love story with FilmAid was just beginning. 

  Issuing certificates to a women's group after completing a Health Course, Kakuma 2015

Issuing certificates to a women's group after completing a Health Course, Kakuma 2015

The second stop on our tour of Kakuma was a FilmAid journalism class.  FilmAid had a trainer taking these young men and women through the basics of journalism. I felt the hope in that class, the curiosity and the hunger for more knowledge. I am very passionate about the youth and education and it brought me to tears. It was amazing to learn that the journalism class gets fully involved in ideas and stories for FilmAid’s ‘The Refugee Magazine’.  I was completely blown away.

Next we visited a children’s event and screening.  A screen was set up showing cartoons to around two hundred excited children. This was probably the first chance for many of the children to watch cartoons. In some instances the first time in their lives.  It was wonderful to see their excited faces, hear their laughter and see the enthusiasm in answering questions after the screening. FilmAid gives the chance of normalcy to refugees at every opportunity.

February 29, 2015: My first evening screening.

A huge truck with a screen attached projected a children’s cartoon followed by a story about Cholera. The story was so simple yet so effective in its message. After this a movie was shown that was clearly enjoyed by everyone judging from the laugher and cheers in the nighttime crowds. Education, laughter, hope, teamwork and inspiration all rolled into one. There was literally light in the shadows.

  Chivas Regal 

Chivas Regal 

FilmAid -  Projecting Hope, Changing lives. Using the power of film in promoting health, strengthening communities and enriching lives.

Every day I am in awe of the FilmAid team. Everyone is working so hard, co-operating, always on the move. My heart melts every time I watch our incentive staff in action. Talent, passion, hard work, energy and the biggest smiles on their faces. They work hard every day with over fifty activities every week and still, they love it. It’s about the impact, and FilmAid giving them the opportunity to showcase their excellence despite everything they have gone through. This is what Hope is about.

I hear the heat will go to my head soon and that this spark in my eyes will fade eventually. I doubt it. The spark appeared in my heart the minute I landed here in Kakuma. I am too busy falling in love with my job that I don’t even think about the heat. I walk around like a girl with new found love. Completely dazed. 

 

If you'd like to support FilmAid's training courses, media projects and mobile cinema screenings you can donate here.

A Refugee Magazine Special Edition: 16 Days of Activism Against GBV

On the 25th of November, the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence launched worldwide. Across the globe, there have been numerous acts from millions of people symbolizing their support for this essential cause. The Refugee Magazine is honoring the 16 Days of Activism with this special edition dedicated to the issue of early marriage. 

if levels of child marriages continued at the current rate, 39,000 girls under the age of 18 will be married daily in the coming years - that’s 14.2 million girls a year.
— UNICEF statement released 2013

All these children face serious danger to their physical and mental health as a result of being married at a young age than if they married later in life: girls under 15 are five times more likely to die during childbirth; child brides are at a higher level of risk of contracting HIV from their older husbands, and young girls under 18 are more likely to experience domestic violence. 

Containing interviews with victims and survivors of early marriage and GBV and those dedicated to ending it, this edition is a powerful collection of personal stories, facts, and figures that hope to continue the movement to end early marriage and Gender Based Violence worldwide.

To read the full edition of The Refugee Magazine, 16 Days of Activism Special, please click here.


The Refugee Magazine is now in its fifth year, and continues to entertain, inform, and give a voice to those living in the camps. If you'd like to read more then follow our Refugee Magazine Blog Series on our Stories page. 

And as always, if you'd like to support FilmAid's training and empowerment of local writers, filmmakers, producers and actors, you can donate here.

FilmAid and Every Mother Counts at The Bulgari

 Porter Magazine 2014

Porter Magazine 2014

It is fundamental to work together to save each and every woman.

Statistics show that one woman dies every two minutes from complications during pregnancy and birth. This is why FilmAid was honored to join Christy Turlington Burns for Porter Magazine's event with Every Mother Counts at The Bulgari, to raise awareness of the vital need for the continued progress and preservation of maternal health. 

Driven by her own experience of pregnancy and giving birth, Christy founded Every Mother Counts with the aim of providing every mother with the same level of information and healthcare she had received when she needed it most. 

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A touching speech was given on behalf of FilmAid by FilmAid’s UK Chair, Sian Sutherland, and FilmAid’s Country Director for Kenya, Stella Suge. 

Emphasizing the common ground shared by the two organizations, Sian discussed Every Mother Counts and FilmAid’s important contributions to safeguarding women’s health and dignity by the provision of information and the giving of hope, life skills, and voices.

 

Stella spoke of her first-hand experience working on a FilmAid maternal health program based in two of the largest refugee camps in the world, Kakuma and Dadaab in Kenya. With over half a million people living as refugees in Kenya, and over half of these people being women, maternal health necessitates urgent action. Stella expressed that she had seen women die as a result of absence of knowledge and information, a situation that was complicated further by cultural issues relating to how women receive professional hospital treatment. In light of these experiences, FilmAid devised a program that included creating an informative film made by and for refugees. The film focussed on informing viewers of the critical need and benefits of maternal health, thus contributing to the ongoing welfare of mothers and thier children.