Posted by: Ana Monroy | January 10, 2012

16 Days of Activism: Activities in the Field

UNHCR field offices around the world undertook a number of activities for the 16 Days of Activism in partnership with persons of concern, host communities and other actors and agencies. Here are a few examples:

Police officers help create Peace Houses in Bujumbura

At the opening ceremony of the 16 Days in Bujumbura, Burundi, male UNHCR staffers, police officers and partner agency personnel  laid the foundation of the Peace House while their female colleagues provided the initial building blocks. Persons of concern then filled in the rest of the Peace House.

In Fugnido, Ethiopia, staff and persons of concern gathered for a panel discussion about the local implications of this year’s theme, “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World,” to launch the 16 Days.  Many other activities were also planned, including a school debate amongst primary school students on girls’ education, cultural dances performed by refugee children, role-playing exercises about sexual and gender-based violence, a community sport competition and construction of a Peace Tukul, the traditional homes of the refugee community.

UNHCR staff in Fugnido facilitate a community discussion

A school debate in Fugnido about the household responsibilities of men and women









In Amman and Al Mafraq, Jordan, UNHCR together with UNICEF and the Ministry of Education organized in public and private schools an awareness campaign about children’s rights, SGBV and other forms of violence.  This campaign utilized a puppet show as a way of sharing information. Both refugee and local children attended these events, which sought also to foster tolerance and acceptance of difference.

UNHCR also organized a community outreach campaign for adults on SGBV within local and refugee populations with its partner Jordan River Foundation (JRF). The community educators had previously participated in a Training of Trainers organized by JRF.

T-shirts distributed during school events. It reads: I am a child and I have rights. Let's start from home.

At all three offices in Kyrgyzstan, a series of awareness-raising and informational meetings, trainings and discussions were organized with persons of concern and other partners. In Bishkek, a conference of UNHCR and other UN agencies and stakeholders was organized to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. As well, UNHCR with partners organized meetings for male and female refugees and asylum-seekers to raise awareness about sexual and gender-based violence and response mechanisms.

In Jalalabad and Osh, UNHCR, Help Aid International (HAI) and local Social Protection Departments (SPD) organized information sessions about violence against women and available assistantce programs. Also in Osh, UNHCR organized information sessions on HIV for families with HIV+ children for World AIDS Day, and UNHCR and HAI organized an information session for 50 elderly and disabled persons, 20 of whom were provided with wheelchairs by the local SPD, for International Persons with Disabilities Day.

Information session with Uzbek refugee women at a reception center

Information session with refugee men in Kyrgyzstan

In the Republic of Congo, many events and activities were organized. In Betou, UNHCR staff and partner agency personnel attended presentations and workshops and created a Peace House. In Impfondo, persons of concern and the host community gathered for singing, dancing and poetry recitations at the opening ceremony for the 16 Days, as well as a presentation of their Peace House.

Congolese group dance in Impfondo

Staff in Betou with their Peace House








In Yemen, UNHCR and its implementing partners organized a number of events and activities around this year’s theme, “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World,” on domestic violence, child abuse, FGM, early marriage and HIV/AIDS. Refugee children created peace houses reflecting their ideas of peace in the home and refugee girls competed in a basketball match. Theater plays were presented on domestic violence, family planning, FGM, education and early marriage as awareness and outreach strategies. Awareness sessions and workshops on FGM and HIV/AIDS were held for refugees and partner agency staff, and International Persons with Disabilities Day celebrations were organized for children and adults. UNHCR also organized a roundtable discussion on domestic violence with police, judges and civil society organizations. You can find a slideshow of these events here.

Refugee girls compete in a basketball match

Refugee children decorating a Peace House in Yemen



  1. IChoose my reproductive rights. iChoose my sexuality. IChoose.

    Get to know our politicians. Educate yourself. Speak out.

    Love yourself. ♥ Spread the word. ♥

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