The Collection

16 Days of Activisim

BY MECHELLE MOORE | WRITER

In 2018 people across the globe joined together for #16DaysOfActivism. This is a time when we remind each other that it’s only by working together we can end violence against women and girls around the world.

To celebrate the 16 days of activism (25 November to 10 December 2018) we highlighted different organisations who are doing their part to support women and girls across the globe.

Day 1: United Nations Women

“From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.” – UN Women

Day 2: Life Impact International

Life Impact International is an anti-human trafficking organisation doing their part to support girls (& boys) across Thailand, Burma & Brazil. Lead by Founder, Lana Vasquez, the Life Impact International team are made up of talented & unique individuals. Many, experts in their own fields, they have the love, skills & passion to do whatever it takes to prevent, rescue & heal.

Day 3: Global Alms Incorporated

Global Alms Incorporated is an Australian not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the elimination of trafficking, sexual exploitation and physical abuse of men, women and children. Lead by Founder, Garry Bradford, the Global Alms Incorporated team, are a passionate team of young people who Go For The One. Based in Thailand, the objectives of their work are Protection, Preparation & Purpose for each individual.

Day 4: BossBabe

BossBabe’s are women who KNOW that they’re the business. In their community no dream is too big or aim too high: they encourage women to be unapologetically ambitious & equip them with the kit to create success for themSELVES. Lead by founders, Natalie Elizabeth Ellis & Dr. Danielle Canty, BossBabes is a community that was created by women for women to come together as they work to start and scale businesses.

Day 5: Yes She Matters

The ‘Yes She Matters’ program provides women an opportunity no matter their race, religion or documented status, to receive immediate help if they have been raped, sexually assaulted, abused or caught in domestic violence. Lead by founder, Mechelle Moore, the Yes She Matters team are all women trained across several fields & on call 24/7 to provide immediate help meeting victims in their homes, at the police station or local hospital. They provide Emergency Packs (clothes, undergarments, sanitary items, toiletries), a ‘Yes She Matters’ Case Advocate to offer one on one support (especially during police interviews & medical exams), Mental Health support, Training options, Personal Protection and Safety Plans.

Day 6: Te Minitatanga mō ngā Wāhine

The Ministry for Women, Te Minitatanga mō ngā Wāhine, is the New Zealand Government’s principal advisor on achieving better results for women, & wider New Zealand. Lead by Chief Executive, Helen Potiki, the Ministry carries out its work by bringing the voices, experiences & priorities of different groups of New Zealand women to government. It also works closely with other government agencies, women’s non‑government organisations and stakeholders within the private sector.

Day 7: Boss Women Project

The Boss Women Project is an upcoming podcast to share stories of extraordinary & inspirational sporting women. Lead by founder, Mollie Gray, Boss Women Project will be launched 10 January 2019. Mollie has an incredible story & this initiative will be an inspiring platform for women to share their battles, aspirations & victories!

Mollie Gray | Overcoming the odds

“Australian back-rower Mollie Gray has overcome numerous setbacks over the years. This year though, the 28-year-old faced arguably her toughest test yet.”

Day 8: Share The Dignity

Share The Dignity is an Australian Women’s charity bringing dignity to homeless, at-risk & women experiencing domestic violence through the distribution of sanitary items & funding funerals of those killed as a result of domestic violence. Lead by founder, Rochelle Courtenay, Share the Dignity has grown into a national charity.  Consequently, it has over 3,000 volunteers Australia wide, and most noteworthy, provides multiple initiatives aimed at giving dignity to women.

Day 9: Dance To Be Free

Dance To Be Free is changing the lives of incarcerated women through the healing power of collective dance. Lead by Founder, Lucy Wallace, their  first program held at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility in July 2015 was a success. They expanded into weekly classes and now conduct a teacher-training program in Pueblo, CO, NE, WA, MS, HI and AR. Dancing in prisons for women who have experienced violence, assault & sexual abuse. What an incredible initiative to help women heal!

Day 10: Global Girls Project

The Global Girls Project is a collaboration writing project for women & girls to share their stories & advice from their own journey’s. Lead by founders, Sharon & Allison Reed, Global Girls Project also supports global literacy initiatives & improving access to education for women & girls.

Day 11: Women’s Rugby League

Girls and women playing and participating in rugby league has increasingly forged a pathway of its own – and the future is bright. A new era for Women’s Rugby League began in 2018, with increased competitions and extended pathways, built around record participation levels. It’s the same game. Played our way.

Day 12: Help Save The Kids

Help Save The Kids seeks to reduce poverty along the border and create safe living environments for children and families. Lead by founder, Judah Tana, their aim is to train students to build a Sustainable Living Centre that can be replicated along the border of Thailand/Burma. In training students with this skill set, they will be able to thrive in their communities as well as revive and stimulate local economy. 

Day 13: Red Table Talk

Red Table Talk is an American web television talk show starring Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Norris that premiered in 2018 on Facebook Watch. Lead by founder, Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow, and mother Adrienne – three generations of women open their home for a series of candid conversations with family and friends.

Day 14: Kingdom Builders Training Centre

Kingdom Builders is a discipleship program held in Mae Sot, Thailand geared towards 16- 25 year olds. Founded by Jamie & Cole Campbell, Kingdom Builders offers a 6 month Internship Program where young people live onsite and learn vocational skills, leadership skills, character building and life skills.

Jamie Campbell consistently builds relationships with women & girls within many communities along the Thai Burma border. We love how she comes alongside women as a friend, a sister, a teacher & an advocate. Jamie shares her experiences as a woman, a young mum & a wife; she listens to their stories & experiences life’s challenges with them.

Day 15: Leaders In Heels

Leaders In Heels is a community of like-minded women who are dealing with the same challenges and obstacles as you. At Leaders In Heels you will find everything you need to survive and thrive in the modern world. Lead by founder, Kasia Gospos, Leaders In Heels has been created to nurture, inspire and empower female leaders and entrepreneurs.

“I created the Leaders in Heels Manifesto to bring to life the main qualities that make YOU a Leader in Heels successful and good at what you do in your daily life – moving up the corporate ladder, turning passion to profit and empowering other women to also reach their potential.” – Kasia Gospos

Day 16: White Ribbon Australia

White Ribbon Australia operates in collaboration with, & alongside, many other organisations working to end men’s violence against women. Our focus & strength is in mobilising men & communities to end men’s violence against women. Lead by Chief Executive Officer, Tracy McLeod Howe, White Ribbon Australia is encouraging Australians to build a future free from violence & abuse.

MM.

Because I’m a girl …

BY RUTH LESMANA | WRITER

“When I was a child, my parents wouldn’t let me walk at night by myself – because I’m a girl.”

“If a man attacks me then I won’t be able to fight back – because I’m a girl.”

“When I get married, my husband will work and I’ll stay at home – because I’m a girl.”

“Even if I don’t agree, I’ll do what my father/brother/husband/boyfriend says – because I’m a girl.”

“I don’t think I would be as strong as them – because I’m a girl.”

These are just some of the statements we hear from students and friends in the community in which we work. Each time, my heart sinks.

There’s no doubt that in some cases, they’re surrounded by cultural and safety complexities. But when girls are not ‘allowed’ to do certain things, or ‘warned’ against them – simply because they’re girls… I want to ask ‘WHY?’

Why is this a good enough reason to limit what girls can, and should do?

What good does it do, to raise girls who grow up in fear and cower at new opportunities?

When will this statement speak of possibilities and positive expectations, instead of limitations?

Not to mention the educational, health, and leadership sectors of our world; did you know that in the majority of countries, it has been reported that 40% of women who have experienced violence sought help? It’s been said that in many countries, both women and men believe that wife-beating is justified.*

They’re expected to stay silent, because they’re girls.

We need to continue working hard to equip communities to look beyond this. If girls continue to believe this, it will seep into every other part of their lives. They need to know that they can ask questions so that it broadens their future options, rather than box them in. To build teams and support networks that believe in themselves, because that’s what creates change. When individuals are encouraged and equipped to pursue their own growth, it spills out onto others.

For every student that learns to operate a sewing machine, to avoid or survive violent encounters, to share their personal stories so that they can begin to heal from traumatic experiences, to provide better care for children, and to set and achieve goals… they’re changing their understanding of this statement, “Because I’m a girl…”.

“I stand up for, and make wise decisions about my own future – because I’m a girl.”

“I show, and expect to be shown – respect, by others – because I’m a girl.”

“I’m strong, capable, and loyal – because I’m a girl.”

“I’m fierce, compassionate, and loving all in one – because I’m a girl.”

“I’m contributing positively to society – because I’m a girl.”

These are the statements that should come to mind when we hear those four words.

RL.

 

*https://unstats.un.org/unsd/gender/downloads/worldswomen2015_report.pdf

Step by Step

BY MECHELLE MOORE | WRITER

Today Global Alms Incorporated published a media release announcing that as their CEO-Asia, I am now a new partner of the Kiah Elevating Excellence program. This might not seem so significant to you, but for me this is a big deal!

“We are excited to announce that our Chief Executive Officer – Asia, Mechelle Moore, has recently been selected as a new partner for the Kiah Elevating Excellence program.” – Global Alms Incorporated

Media Release | Global Alms Incorporated CEO is now a partner of the Kiah Elevating Excellence Program | November 2017

Although I am the CEO & Founder of RMJ United, my full-time position is currently as CEO-Asia for Global Alms Incorporated based on the Thai/Burma border. Global Alms Incorporated is a growing Australian based not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the elimination of trafficking, sexual exploitation and physical abuse of men, women and children.

The Kiah Elevating Excellence program is designed to focus on “selected individuals who inspire, create and make a difference to those around them, and with just a little help, could do so much more”, says John Glenn, Managing Director and Founder of Kiah Consulting.

“The Elevating Excellence program is our contribution—using who and what we know to give a hand to a few who have talent, a drive and a vision.  We call it Elevating Excellence because we aim to support our partners to level up, to take that jump to the next stage of their careers.” – Kiah Consulting

I have worked extremely hard over the last 6 years to help Global Alms Incorporated grow into what is it today. Thankfully, we have a great team of young men and women who are passionate about our work in Anti-Human Trafficking. In this industry it is extremely difficult to build an organisation from the ‘ground up’ without professional guidance, but with persistence and hard work we have done it.

The Kiah Elevating Excellence program will provide networks and resources for me to grow professionally and expand my work in both Global Alms Incorporated and RMJ United.  I have learnt it is extremely important to challenge yourself as an individual; not only investing in yourself, but in your team. The more I grow, develop and improve, the more my team will do the same. For me to invest in them, I need to first invest in myself.

I believe we should celebrate the small wins, not just the big achievements. This is an exciting time for me and also my teams.

MM.

 

Hidden in the Fields

BY KATHERINE THEN | WRITER

The migration of women around the world has remarkably increased in the last 40-50 years. Although many women and girls migrate voluntarily, others migrate as a result of war, ethnic conflicts, economic stagnation, and natural disasters.

In 2016, the Council of Europe reported that, “for the first time since the beginning of the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe, women and children on the move outnumber adult men”. “Women and children made up nearly 60% of refugees and other migrants crossing into Europe.”

According to the UN, between 2000 and 2015, the number of international migrants has increased by 41%, reaching 244 million. Almost half of them are women. Today, 50 per cent of the world’s refugees are women and girls.

This week, as part of our community collaboration efforts with Global Alms Incorporated, our team visited a family that has been in Thailand for 30 years living as undocumented migrants. Family members – most of whom were women, work in the agriculture sector- dealing with uncertainties, such as lack of work in low harvesting seasons, harsh working conditions, minimal pay, and maltreatment. Due to their undocumented status, they often face challenges relating to their safety, health, and economic security. Everyday they walk through these muddy rice fields, at times in the adverse conditions of rainy seasons, just to access their homes.

As reported by the International Labor Organization, agriculture contractors around the world often hire the most vulnerable laborers least aware of their rights to maintain low pay for long hours of work. In some countries, women account for a substantial proportion of the agricultural labor force. India, being the largest producer of tea, employs over a million of tea workers, mostly women. In the United States, approximately 400,000 women, majority of whom are immigrants, work in agriculture. In Thailand, migrant workers from Myanmar, more than half of which are women, make up a vast majority of the agricultural workforce.

Although most migrant women prefer to work in urban rather than rural areas – due to greater economic and educational opportunities, there are still many women that remain working in the fields – enduring and wading through despite cycles of insecurity and hardships.

KT.