Ashley Judd, an American actress and Goodwill Ambassador for UNFPA, has been involved for many years in the fight against gender based violence (GBV), and strongly advocates for better and stronger gender rights. In 2017 she has been nominated, by Time Magazine, as person of the year as a consequence of her direct involvement and commitment to the aforementioned causes. Moreover, she is one of the main activists participating to the Me Too campaign, an international movement against sexual harassment and assault.
Last week, on June 28th, Ashley Judd visited Juba’s POC (Protection of Civilians) in South Sudan to participate at the Youth Friendly Space organized by UNFPA in collaboration with INTERSOS. During the event she talked with the Peer Coordinators about the various and multiple problems surrounding GBV and sexual reproductive health education (SRH).
The 25 Peer Coordinators participating at the event are young and committed people between the age of 18 and 24-years-old, to whom INTERSOS provides with a safe environment where they can play and learn about GBV, SRH and HIV prevention. Their professional figure, within the POC, has the specific purpose to raise awareness among women and men about those aforesaid topics.
In this regard, Ashley’s intervention during the Youth Friendly Space event has been of particular interest and help to the Peer Coordinators. They played a game on HIV, during which the young folks had to be able to identify the symptoms, treatment, and prevention of the latter. Following the game, there has been a Q&A moment that the guys used very efficiently in raising questions and reflections of particular concern, such as: the living conditions of women within the POC, their many difficulties in actively participating in the social life of the community and its activities due to the cultural background that limits their existence in the public domain.
Last but not least, at the end of the games and Q&A session, the young Coordinators and Ashley Judd played domino and billiard table all together. At the end, Ashley received, by the center, three gifts: a traditional quilt, as a sign of good omen, a necklace, and an INTERSOS’ t-shirt.
INTERSOS, specifically, is operating in the country to ensure that thousands of people, fleeing from violence, receive adequate food, basic goods, clean water accessibility and education. Moreover, INTERSOS is making sure to protect the most vulnerable people, such as women and children, by building safe spaces where they can freely interact with other individuals.