Bukeni’s Excellent Adventures

Bukeni Waruzi had a busy month.

WITNESS’ Senior Program Manager for Africa and the Middle East traveled to Jordan to train activists on how to interview survivors of gender-based violence; to England to participate in the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict; and to Australia to lead training workshops on how to document sexual violence at the 20th International AIDS Conference.

Gender-Based Violence Training in Jordan

Bukeni’s work started in Amman, Jordan where he trained women’s rights activists on using WITNESS’ GBV Guide for interviewing survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. The guide, Conducting Safe, Effective and Ethical Interviews with Survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, along with a six-part video series that accompanies it is a practical tool for both practitioners and trainers.

In Amman, participants produced short videos reflecting how the guide can be used in their work.

“I definitely appreciate how useful this is in my capacity as trainer and researcher,” said Thoraya El-Rayyes, a researcher and trainer from the International Labor Organization, a group that documents the abuse of female migrant workers in Jordan and Lebanon. “Everyone knows how difficult the situation of women migrant workers is in Jordan and Lebanon, and we need these kind of skills to ensure proper documentation that will enhance research and advocacy.”

Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in England

Next up for Bukeni was the four-day Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.

As Bukeni wrote on the WITNESS Blog before heading there:

I am excited to talk about best practices for documenting sexual violence in conflict, an issue that WITNESS has been working on for years…

…The issue of sexual and gender-based violence in conflict is personally very important to me. In my home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo I used video documentation to record stories of sexual violence against girls soldiers who I came across as part of a disarmament and demobilization mission I was carrying out in militia camps across the province of South Kivu.

The summit, which brought together 1,700 delegates from 129 countries, was an opportunity to share WITNESS’ gender-based violence training materials, meet with allies and develop new ones.

Bukeni also participated on a panel that explored ways documentation and investigations are conducted, and how an international protocol — as a best practice — will strengthen such investigations of sexual violence in areas of conflict.

Later, after conversations with representatives from the Côte d’Ivoire army, Bukeni posted the following on Twitter:

20th International AIDS Conference in Australia

The final stop in Bukeni’s whirlwind month was AIDS 2014 in Melbourne, Australia where he conducted six training sessions on documenting sexual violence, and a seventh on how to ethically and safely interview HIV/AIDS patients as part of an effective advocacy campaign.

So, one month, thousands of miles traveled, trainings conducted, GBV Guides distributed and participation in best practices leadership in combating gender-based violence. Not bad. Let’s see what August may bring.

Images: Twitter posts from Bukeni Waruzi.

Resources: WITNESS’ Gender-Based Violence resources can be viewed, shared and downloaded here.

Related: Videos highlights of WITNESS’ work with the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice and their locally-based partners are available on this Playlist from our YouTube Channel.


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