Sometime in 2017, AWWAS embarked on a journey to aid the African girl in finding her voice over the hold of victimisation and the culture of silence it thrives in, inspiring her to be an agent of social change.
AWWAS is an acronym for A Woman With A Story. It is an initiative of the Dan Kauna Foundation (CAC/IT/ NO 120928) that provides a platform for creative therapy and expression for women, with the goal of transforming emotional trauma into stories that drive social change.
Meet the team
I’ve been asked if it is truly achievable; ending victimization…I don’t know. Someone, somewhere will still be cruel and unjust, or maybe the society will do what it needs to do to keep abuse away from women and vice versa. Until then, I don’t know.
Here is what I do know: people will move on and expect victims to do the same. So whether or not the system does what it’s supposed to do to perpetrators, the victim remains a victim unless a form of intervention takes place. She remains locked in the prison of the experience of abuse that torments her mind. If I can offer one woman freedom; the idea and creative tools she can use to break free from the chains of stigma and the lingering memories of abuse, I would have succeeded. We heal by helping others heal…so one woman helped will birth a community; one story at a time.
Abuse often happens when there is an imbalance of power, resources and many times, information. I support anyone or initiative that seeks to empower women and balance the scales by giving the right knowledge and skills.
Victims of abuse must be shown how to take their power back.
Victimization is a crime against humanity more so that its intentionality marks it as a multi-dimensional problem that lingers long after the crime is committed. It adversely affects the victim and leaves the burden of healing solely to the victim who is already incapacitated by the trauma.
Creatively refocusing pain in my own opinion is one effective way to deal with the emotional and mental toil victimization takes on its victims…especially women. The experience leaves behind a story that may either be suppressed or told. Perspectives in story telling impacts the narrative and may engender a culture of silence that becomes a vicious circle without end.
A society where the potential and capacity of women aren’t harnessed, is a society that would yield results below its expected or standard outcome. It is unrealistic to conclude that women aren’t more vulnerable than the other sex, the percentage of women suffering abuse is replete in history. This begs the need for women to be protected and advocated for on all levels of productivity. Because preserving women is preserving a nation, or any society. Women’s rights are human rights, and women who suffer victimization are living below the baseline of every human. It is therefore delicate and urgent that women are advocated for in order to preserve the potential of every society.
Hadiza Ibrahim Bassi
Victimization shouldn’t be tolerated. For the African society, some things may be considered as norms because they’ve never been countered so we’ve grown up to think of them as normal . So victims of abuse most times, don’t live up to their full potential except the decline in self-actualization is interrupted by intervention. I believe in a society that sets out to constantly break the cycle of abuse.