“We all know how to talk when we not in dem shoes
Saying we know what is abuse
So they can’t be excused
While we saying we disgusted by videos of women getting beaten by their boyfriends in bars
Like we didn’t give the videos an extra couple dozen views.”
Those were the first few lines of a piece by poet; Brendon O’Brien, opening PSI-Caribbean’s second annual Make It Stop (Gender Based Violence Prevention) Youth Rally which took place at Queen’s Hall on October 4th 2016.
The Rally brought together hundreds of students from Tunapuna Secondary School, Corpus Christi College, Bishop’s Centenary College, Servol Junior Life Centre, Chaguanas South Secondary School and Debe High School.
The participating schools shared their talent through performance art pieces with messages of ending violence against women and girls. The event featured special performances from poet Brendon O’Brien, dancer Jamie Philbert, UNCOVERED alumni Nailah Blackman and Aaron Ifill, the cast of Shades of I-SHE – Eintou Springer, Mavis John and Dara E. Healy and the St James Police Youth Club Drummers. The Boom Champion’s DJ Prince kept the proceedings lively with his music selections.
PSI-Caribbean’s Communications Strategist Kevon Gareth Foderingham was MC for the day and introduced feature speakers Marina Hilaire-Bartlet, PSI-C Executive Director, MP for Laventille East/Morvant, Adrian Leonce and U.S Embassy Acting Public Affairs Officer, Lashawna Johnson.
The Make It Stop Youth Rally was created to be an extension of PSI-Caribbean’s Make It Stop Youth Empowerment Program which was developed because of the belief that it was crucial to develop an intervention that empowers boys and young men as well as girls and young women to challenge negative gender norms that lie at the root cause of gender based violence.
The Youth Empowerment Program (Y.E.P.) is a 12-session interactive program which is designed for youth, ages 15-24, and which can be implemented in any setting where youth can gather for the full program cycle.
The modules of the Y.E.P. cover:
• Gender and Gender Norms
• Values and defining positive self
• Communication and communicating emotions and boundaries
• Sex, Sexuality, Sexual Health and relationships
• Understanding gender-based violence and intimate partner violence
• Power in Preventing GBV
PSI-Caribbean through its overall Make It Stop – Gender Based Violence Prevention Project in Trinidad and Tobago, is seeking to contribute to the reduction of the prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and to ensure the health and safety of women and girls experiencing IPV. PSI-C will be implementing the project in collaboration with local partners. To address IPV in real and concrete ways the project will seek to:
• Increase access to quality, comprehensive gender based violence (GBV) services and support for women and girls experiencing violence
• Transform negative gender norms among youth and their families
• Cultivate community-based approaches to preventing GBV
• Support the creation of an enabling environment for the uptake of GBV services
• Increase public awareness and advocacy for a concerted national response to GBV
If you’re interested in learning more about our Y.E.P. Program and work in Gender-Based Violence in general, please contact Sharon Mottley, Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 868-623-2497/627-1783.