On the tenth anniversary of International Day of the Girl, in a world which is profoundly more precarious, Footage’s work continues to support girls and women as the organisation scales up its Girl-talk-Girl program in Kazakhstan.

NEW YORK, NY, October 12, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — “Deep inside every fragile woman sits strength that will not let her break apart. Don’t let your fear and your past take over. Rise above this. Not for the sake of the children. Not because of what others think. For your own sake.” K’s story, Girl-talk-Girl Kazakhstan, 2020

“I was offered a job. But they didn’t pay me. I felt like a slave. I was threatened every day. They told me they would sell me. I wanted to end my life. I was scared and felt helpless. I asked many people to help me. One night I took a risk and escaped through the window. I ran carelessly. I felt brave and free.” V’s story, Girl-talk-Girl Kazakhstan, 2020

Following the success of the Girl-talk-Girl (GtG) program in Kazakhstan in 2019-20, Footage Foundation is returning to work with young women who have experienced, or are at risk of, gender based violence (GBV)*. The project, funded by the US Embassy & Consulate in Kazakhstan, allows Footage to expand on the work launched in Almaty with Kazakhstan NGO, Rodnik in 2019. It will further sustainable collaboration promoting shared values of civil and human rights, inclusion and women’s empowerment and build the capacity of underserved young women in Kazakhstan.

On the tenth anniversary of International Day of the Girl, in a world which is profoundly more precarious, Footage’s work continues to support girls and women denied the most basic human rights and offer healing and care from violence and displacement.

Dr. Kristen Ali Eglinton, co-founder and Executive Director of Footage Foundation is leading on the scaled up Girl-talk-Girl program, working with, and for, some of the most resilient, powerful, tenacious young women on the planet to offer agency and hope through compassion and connection.

“Our work is urgent,” says Dr. Eglinton. “From refugee camps and settlements throughout Europe, to villages, basements, and shelters in Ukraine, to LGBTQI+ communities in Russia, from GBV and trafficking survivors in Kazakhstan – to young women in Chile, those from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Iran, from Cameroon, Guinea, Somalia, and Nigeria, to communities across the United States – our commitment to this crucial work is ceaseless.”

In June this year, on a visit to Kazakhstan, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed spoke out against the “silent pandemic” of gender-based violence worldwide, saying that only collective action could end the scourge.

“GBV is one of the world’s most insidious human rights violations. Girl-talk-Girl raises the voices of young women while simultaneously leveling the inequalities that sustain GBV, such as a lack of leadership opportunities and access to trustworthy information, by building the capacities of young women in leadership and technology,” says Dr. Eglinton.

“Footage uses narrative and expressive approaches empowering young women around the world to connect as agents of social change. At large conferences such as the UN Commission on the Status of Women we are often the only organization working with young women and GBV in the post-Soviet space as we seek to mitigate the impact of gender based violence using our participatory storytelling methods. Through this scale up of our GtG program, 20 at-risk, underserved young women in Kazakhstan will have the opportunity to tell their stories and raise their voices,” she adds.

GtG connects young women worldwide, using mobile digital storytelling. For this project in Kazakhstan there are two areas of focus. The first is a chance for the 20 young women taking part in the program to share their own experiences and to craft their stories by developing their digital storytelling knowledge and skills. And the second is an opportunity for five of these young women to develop their skills and equip them to share, connect and lead social change in their community. They will have an opportunity—as leaders—to expand GtG programming, demonstrating the power of voice, participation, and storytelling to increase gender equality.

As well as the digital storytelling workshops, a global online seminar will also serve as training for NGOs across the country. The webinar, in December, will focus on participation and engagement with civil society (through its interactive format), as it advances awareness of GBV, grassroots advocacy, Footage’s storytelling methodology, peer-to-peer model for scaling human rights programming and, the opportunity for young Kazakhstani women to connect with and hear perspectives and experiences of young women from across the globe including the U.S.A., Ukraine, Chile, and Russia.

Previous program data shows that of the young women who took part in GtG 87% increased their interest in global problems, including GBV. 77% better understood their beliefs and views toward GBV. 93% saw themselves using mobile technology to advocate for causes in the future. Of the young women trained as program leaders through GtG, 70% felt confident guiding peers in telling compelling stories and advocating for the project. 90% improved skills in facilitation, problem solving, and leadership. Overall, young women showed a statistically significant improvement in the skills of leadership, technology, communication, storytelling, and empathy.

About Footage Foundation: Footage is a U.S. based feminist organization raising voices to elevate lives through creative research, wellbeing interventions, and advocacy—all advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Footage has received nine Public Diplomacy awards from the U.S. Department of State to design and implement programs focusing on women and violence primarily in the Post-Soviet region. A nonprofit organization founded by PhD colleagues at Cambridge University, Footage uses narrative and expressive approaches empowering young women around the world to connect as agents of social change. Our programs provide connection — a community for women on the frontlines of gender inequality where their ideas matter and their voices count. We have a particular focus on forced displacement and gender-based violence and believe compassion and connection are as important to sustainable development as food and water.

Girl-talk-Girl connects young women worldwide, using mobile digital storytelling (2-5 minute multimedia narratives produced on mobile phones) to spark dialogue and change around the gender-based violence present in their lives.

To learn more about how you can donate, or join Footage in solidarity and advocacy, and help to raise the voices of those at risk from gender-based violence (GBV) and displacement and visit footageproject.org and follow Footage on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

*GBV = acts intended to hurt women or make them suffer physically, sexually, psychologically and/or economically.

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