By Kate Kiama

On February 14 2017, we spent Valentine’s afternoon with the girls at Moonlight School in Nairobi’s Kawangware estate to celebrate V- Day. V- Day is a global movement and series of consciousness-raising events aimed at ending all forms of violence against girls and women through public performances, education, networking, and dance. On Valentine’s Day in 2012, V- Day launched perhaps its most ambitious campaign to date dubbed ONE BILLION RISING!

One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end all forms of violence against girls and women in human history. With a population of about 7 Billion people, the campaign was launched to address the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime.

Kate Kiama, Young Changemakers Program Director leads the Mentorship session at Moonlight Centre. Since the campaign begun, people across the world have come together on V- Day to express their outrage, strike, dance and rise in defiance about the numerous injustices and inequalities women suffer whilst demanding an end at last to all forms of violence against girls and women globally. Naturally, Akili Dada headed this call and took to dance with the girls at Moonlight on the sunny afternoon that was yesterday’s Valentine ’s Day. This year’s theme was “Girls Stage It! Say It!”

The two-hour session begun with a brief and sobering documentary on various forms of violence women and girls the world over are subjected to. It led to an engaging discussion with the girls on why girls and women often feel emotions of shame, pity and blame when the same violence which is not their own becoming befalls them. The girls also identified various forms of violence that they see daily in their schools and community and came up with possible solutions to remedy the same.

At the end of the day, together with the girls, we took a commitment to RISE and speak up and be our sisters keeper and we danced the afternoon away to the Break the Chain Dance!

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