Empower Liberia's Young Women Through Photography and Storytelling

Nov 7, 2012 3:50 PM ET

November 7, 2012 /3BL Media/ - Sexual violence is rampant in Liberia and it occurs across all socio-economic backgrounds. The assaults on women and children throughout the country are hard to control due to a weak justice system, the lingering violence of war, and an unwillingness to report the attacks. We would like to stop these vicious, spiraling acts violence and abuse by providing these bright, deserving women a voice. We, at PCI-Media Impact, believe in the power of storytelling as a catalyst for social change. We want to encourage Liberian women to tell their story with the help of photographs, especially as an organization that strongly believes in the power of storytelling.

We have partnered with THINK, an organization dedicated to strengthening the peace process in Liberia through human development using advocacy and activism, focusing on the rights and wellbeing of marginalized communities. THINK provides a safe place for victims as well as physical and psychological consultations to affected women. This work is most important, but we believe we can and must do more. With your help, PCI-Media Impact wants to give Liberia’s women a voice.

Our plan is to use a method called Photovoice, a process by which people can identify, represent and enhance their community through a specific technique of photography and storytelling.  It entrusts cameras into the hands of people to enable them to act as recorders, and potential catalysts for social action and change in their own communities. Photovoice uses the immediacy of the visual image and stories to furnish evidence and promote an effective means of sharing life experiences. This method has proven particularly effective for hard-to-reach populations such as war affected adolescent girls, victims of trafficking, and survivors of gender based violence, giving a voice to communities who have historically been silenced.  The participatory photography process centers around taking photographs, but also incorporates a broad range of elements beyond simply taking a picture. It involves learning to express opinions, to interpret and discuss images, to work as part of a group, to listen to others, to develop ideas and a voice, to edit and caption images, to identify and define audience and messages.

With your financial support, PCI-Media Impact and THINK will be able to achieve the initial phase of this project -  to buy and deliver the technical equipment, such as cameras, printer, and photo paper to 25 participating women. PCI-Media Impact will contribute the professional communication expertise by designing and leading a one week capacity-building photography workshop where women will learn the basics of participatory photography. Further, funds will be used for travel costs as well as the production of an international exhibition showcasing the photos and stories. We believe that women feel less fear and inhibition to start a conversation using the creative and powerful impact of photographs. Taking pictures is also a communication medium that transfers messages across language and culture and a great chance for Liberian women to raise awareness and bring their stories on an international stage. In short, pictures can be a catalyst for much-needed social change in Liberia and with help, we can fuel this change.

To read more about this campaign and to find out how you can help, please visit http://www.indiegogo.com/Empower-Women-in-Liberia



PCI-Media Impact (Media Impact) is a leader in Entertainment-Education and communications for social change. For more than 25 years, we have advanced the well-being of vulnerable populations by improving knowledge, shifting locally-determined attitudes and changing behaviors with regard to critical social issues, allowing millions to live healthier lives, sustainably, and in harmony with their natural world. 

Media Impact creates social change through comprehensive Communications for Behavior Change campaigns, drawing on over 40 years of social science theory and applied practice.  We do so within a capacity-building model through our My Community approach, training and mentoring in-country organizations to lead program implementation.  Media Impact programs leave behind a lasting footprint of local capacity and sustainability.   Together with our partners around the world, Media Impact has produced more than 3,000 episodes of 80 television and radio productions, reaching more than one billion people in over 40 countries.

For more information please contact:  Alex J. Cottin, Communications & Program Manager / PCI Media Impact; Mobile: +1(646-326-8377) / acottin@mediaimpact.org


Alex J. Cottin

Communications & Program Manager / PCI Media Impact

777 United Nations Plaza; New York, NY 10017

Mobile: +1-646-326-8377 / Skype: A.Cottin