Seems everyone is climbing Kili these days! I started blogging my climb from 8 years ago because from friend Howard just climbed and he prompted me to reminiscing… Then lo and behold, another friend of mine, Noreen, is about to set out on the climb as well! So I’m going to interrupt my story to share some news on Noreen’s very important project.
The Equality Effect
Some of you may know that in April of this year I will be attending the wedding of my niece Siv and her soon to be husband Kimaro in Tanzania on the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. What you may not know is that before the wedding my colleague Antonella Nizolla and I will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, and dedicating our hike to the equality effect’s “160 Girls”Project. Our goal is to raise awareness about this charitable organization and show support via our fund-raising efforts.
The equality effect is an innovative charitable organization here in Canada that brings together leading human rights experts from Kenya, Malawi, Ghana, and the international community to conduct legal work on women’s and girls’ human rights issues.
“160 Girls” Project
Their “160 Girls” Project aims to achieve justice for 160 Kenyan girls who have been raped, and ultimately seek protection against rape for all girls in Kenya. The project will involve legal action that will address the root source of the problem – a state endorsed tolerance of violence against women and police failure to enforce existing laws that prohibit the sexual assault of girls. The goal of “160 Girls” Project is to achieve 180 degrees of change, and to ensure that rapists are held accountable and that girls are safe from sexual violence. The project is a legal advocacy initiative designed to protect girls from rape according to human rights law and international standards.
You can learn more about the equality effect, as well as view a four-minute documentary on the “160 Girls” project at:
The problem of rape in many Africa countries is a harsh reality that I have been sensitized to over the years. My work with African students and my experiences in Africa where I visited AIDS clinics and spoke with women and various medical specialists have been revealing. The truth is that very young girls are subject to sexual violence and little is done about it. I have often wondered how I could help. I have thought of contributing to public education, but the truth of the matter is that many important international organizations have been providing public education about violence against women and children, and that is not enough. Laws prohibiting rape must be applied if we truly hope to achieve change, and that is why I feel so strongly about the “160 Girls” Project.
In the last two months Antonella and I have raised about four thousand dollars ($ 4000.00). One hundred percent of the money raised goes to the equality effect. If you would also like to contribute, donations for the “160 Girls” Project can be made on-line at:
http://theequalityeffect.org/contribute.html (Please include our names, Antonella and Noreen, in the message box, and let me know via an e-mail that you have donated so that we can keep track of our fundraising efforts.)
If you are interested in knowing more about the girls; the litigation plan; why Canadians are involved; why we remain hopeful despite the history of legal corruption in Kenya; how the money will be used to litigate the case, and so on, please feel free to write me. I will do my best to answer your questions.
Of course, you can also see how official our Kilimanjaro climb is via this great CBC news report where my climbing partner Antonella stars as Montrealer of the Week!
I would also like to invite you to hear human rights lawyer Pearl Eliadis speak at the McGill law faculty. She is founding member of the equality effect and is very knowledgeable about the situation in Kenya and the legal matters surrounding the “160 Girls” project. We would love to see you there!
Finally, thank you so much for taking the time to read, for your positive wishes, for letting others know about the equality effect, and for any contribution you may wish to bring to the cause.