They fled discrimination and violence in hopes of a better future for their families. They embarked upon an arduous trek for an unfamiliar land and an unknown fate. They took an enormous chance because their opportunities at home were so limited, their safety so precarious, their freedoms so constrained. These words describe my family 100 years ago. They also describe millions of today’s migrants. But despite these similarities, their journeys and destinies look very different.
As the co-founder of Caminando Fronteras—a grassroots group supported by the Fund for Global Human Rights—Helena works to defend the dignity of some of the world’s most vulnerable people: migrants. Most of the people she works with have fled their homes in search of a better life, only to find themselves trapped in a kind of interminable limbo in North Africa, or nearly drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a commitment to humanity that can be traced back to Helena’s childhood in rural Spain, where she first encountered racism and discrimination, and was inspired to end it.
At first glance, the Behen Dooj festival in Rajasthan, India might look like some sort of women-only dance party. But a closer look reveals that behind the dancing, singing, and celebration lies some serious feminist activism—and seriously fierce activists. Last October, over 500 single women gathered in Rajasthan for the third annual Behen Dooj bash. The women created the festival as a safe space where they can express themselves freely and share their experiences—something they can’t do publicly because of the stigma associated with living by themselves.
When Sandra Wobusobozi visits rural communities in northwestern Uganda, she often goes alone—armed only with educational brochures and a beat-up motorbike. As a staff member of the Lake Albert Children Women Advocacy Development Organization (LACWADO), Sandra jets between remote areas, training and collaborating with community members to tackle issues ranging from domestic violence, to child marriage, to corporate land grabs. Despite her young age, Sandra’s presence in the communities LACWADO serves is vital to the group’s success.
Nevertheless, She Persists: How Burundian Activist Pamella Mubeza Overcomes Taboos to Improve Women’s Sexual Health
With its conservative gender norms, struggling economy, and limited social programs, Burundi is a difficult place to be a young, single mother. When an unmarried woman or girl becomes pregnant, she is often shunned by her family, cast out of her community, and told not to return to school. Cut off from social support systems, she faces daily challenges meeting her basic needs and those of her child. That’s the bad news. The good news is, thanks to people like Pamella Mubeza, the situation is changing. A pioneering local leader and women’s rights activist, Pamella has dedicated her life to shifting Burundi's cultural norms around sexual and reproductive health and single motherhood.
Nymia Pimentel Simbulan, Executive Director of PhilRights, a grantee of the Fund for Global Human Rights since 2008. Photo by Schwanke/Brot fuer die Welt December 11, 2017 By Carolyn Ziv, Fund Staff From the global women’s marches to the #MeToo movement, it’s been quite a year for women in activism. As we close out 2017, […]
The Fund recently sat down with activist Alfred Brownell to discuss the importance of natural resource rights to Liberia’s future and the threats he faces.
For most people, surviving a gunshot to the head, losing both your son and son-in-law to brutal murders, and being forced to flee your homeland would be grounds for giving up. But Pierre Claver Mbonimpa isn’t most people. He’s a fierce and fearless activist who won’t let the threat of violence stop him from defending the rights of the most vulnerable in Burundi.
Over the past month, Burmese military forces have intensified their scorched-earth campaign against the Rohingya by burning villages, looting homes, killing residents, and forcing nearly half a million people in northern Rakhine State to flee their homes and seek refuge in neighboring Bangladesh. Several Fund grantees are working to expose the atrocities and support the displaced.
After long battle, a renewed hope for truth, justice, and accountability Photo by James Rodríguez By Clare Nangle, Fund staff October 6, 2017 What would you do if your son was taken and you never found out what happened to him? This unthinkable question is one that Emma Theissen Álvarez has been forced to ask […]