16 days of Activism 2021-regional campaign launch by ACIP

Two days ago, we marked 30 years since the inception of the celebration of the 16 days of activism against Gender-based Violence (GBV) campaign which begins on November 25th, the day of Elimination of Violence Against Women (VAW), and ends on Human Rights Day, on December 10th. For 30 years globally, and 17 regionally, activists have been uniting and concentrating their efforts in building an effective 16 days of activism. Since 2004, the GBV Prevention Network, of which ACIP is a member, has been organizing regional campaigns and providing tools for action and advocacy.

ACIP Director,Professor Eunice Kamaara poses with campaign materials for #16days of rest

In 2021, the regional theme is: 16 days of rest: Our collective Resistance. This has been developed in recognition that activists around the region have tirelessly worked for so many years in all kinds of efforts against VAW in order to create safer spaces for women and girls. We recognize that there is still work to be done but would like to take time to celebrate our frontline activists. This would help them to recharge and come back stronger.

Perpetua,an intern at ACIP,going through the mindfulness journal that ensures and promotes the wellbeing of activists even as they join the rest of the world in the campaign

This year, we are taking time to reflect on our wellbeing and safety in organizations, reflecting on our progress in the 17 years that Africa has participated in the 16 days’ activism. Well, even as we rest, we are still engaging in global and community campaigns that prioritize rest for women and girls in our society.
Welcome to #16daysofrest world. Let us recharge our lanterns so that we can get back to raising our voices and banners louder and shed lights on VAW and GBV.

I was scrolling through the internet one day when I read a title, “The Perfectionist trap.” That made me want to dig deeper and read the article. Upon reading it, I discovered that it had not quenched my thirst. So I went hunting for similar articles on the internet. I discovered that through social media, people feel pressured to act and think in a certain way. This reminds of a certain documentary on Netflix dubbed the social dilemma. It presents some disadvantages of social media, how it leads to addiction, depression and suicide in society. It also highlights the perks of social media and how a weigh scale on the two causes a dilemma.
Upon speaking to and interacting with a few young guys, it became clearer that most people feel like social media poses pressure on them. One just scrolls on instagram for five minutes and sees flashes of young people, who might be their age mates, seemingly having their life together. Photos and videos of flashy cars and houses, pictures of twenty year olds with their newborns and families are the norm. Some time back, a meme was doing rounds on social media. It insinuated that when one logs into their instagram, they would think that Kenya is one of the richest countries in the world. That all we share on social media are the flowery parts. We leave the dark side of our lives for closed door family meetings and behind the scenes.
I am not here to judge anyone based on what they post. Just here for a conversation. Guy, is this to say that there should be restrictions on what people post on their social media platforms? Is that even possible? I do not think so. In my opinion, people are free to post what makes them happy as long as they do not infringe on the rights of other people.
So, how does one dal with such pressures? One can deal with these pressures in other ways. Please critic what you read both online and offline. Take note of the good stuff. If it is a post with a valuable lesson that you might use later, save it somewhere and refer to it when you need to. As for the negative stuff, stuff that does not add value to you, simply ignore it or throw it in the trash can. Avoid the temptation to compare your life with what others are posting. Always remember, we all have different journeys. Some planes take off earlier than others. If you have not yet gotten where you aim to be, put in some work. Better yourself and strive to move towards success. Remember, we all have different ideas of success in life. Success in this case is identifying our goals and working towards them. We should embrace our different journeys and embark on them in our different paces to reach our desired destinations. Remember, in life, anything can be a rose or a thorn depending on whichever lens (attitude) you decide to put on. If you view it positively, and are appreciative of it, you are more likely to reap positive outcomes and vice versa. However, it is important to maintain a positive attitude towards life. Let us know how you view your social media platforms with on the comment section below.
Have a great weekend,
Till next time.
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ACIP Motto: Choose Life (Deuteronomy 30: 15)

To empower young people with life skills they need to make the transition from childhood to adulthood without falling victims to challenges such as HIV infection, drug abuse and lack of self-esteem.

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