I Act first activity: the focus group meeting

Three weeks ago 5 people from different organisations of IFM-SEI got together in Vilnius, Lithuania to develop our new project, ‘I Act’.

The project started as an online campaign last year based on the active bystander model, exploring the power structures inside our organisations and asking people to act in situations that could led to sexual violence. You can read more about it here and here

The new project is a thematic work plan financed by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe and so there will be a lot of activities during this year but its work and results will extend beyond that.

The three main things of this project will be a training of trainers (here you have the call for participants), an online platform (coming soon), a brochure pack with resources and activities to use in your own organisations, and an International action day/week around the 25th November 2017, the international day of the elimination of violence against women.

The focus group met with Maria Almario, an expert on gender-based violence. She gave us information about the bystander model, gave us guidance about planning the project, always thinking about the particularities of IFM-SEI and empowered us to better explain the project to others.

The next two stages of the project have already been planned in more depth: the training of trainers and the online platform. From the participants of the training of trainers, we hope to find more people motivated to steer the second part of the project: the brochure pack and the international action day/week.

All in all, it will be a long project with different parts that aim to change the paradigm in which we live. We need to realise that sexual violence happens inside IFM-SEI and our member organisations and that we must not ignore it but acknowledge it and do something to change it. We are a reflection of the societies we live in and want to change. To do so we have to start in IFM-SEI and in our own organisations.

By recognising that sexual violence happens inside our organisations we can move forward by taking an active role in tackling it and move to a better community. That’s why we ask people to act in small moments so a bunch of small moments of doing simple things can spark a bigger and deeper change.

If you see something say something, don’t leave it to other bystanders.

The first action on the project was taken during the YO!Fest last week in Maastricht. There we asked people where and how they would intervene on the situations we developed during the campaign.

Be an active bystander from IFM-SEI on Vimeo.