Campaign against Violence launched with support from PEPFAR

“Give Hope to 1001 Rositas” is the name of the newest campaign launched in Mozambique to strengthen the fight against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), in particular intimate partner violence. The initiative is promoted by the Interfaith Platform for Communication for Health – PIRCOM, in partnership with the Association ComuSanas – an USAID Implementing Partner, with the Support of the Government of the Republic of Mozambique through the Ministry of Gender, Women and Social Action, and the Government of the United States of America through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief – PEPFAR.

The name of the campaign is derived from a true story of a young woman named Rosita, who lost her life in February 2021, victim of an act of violence perpetrated by her partner. Rosita, who in life was an activist for girls’ rights, working as a Mentor for the DREAMS Program supported by PEPFAR in Sofala, ended up being a victim of the crimes she fought against leaving behind her little daughter.

The campaign “Give Hope to 1001 Rositas” was created to honor both the memory of this Rosita from Sofala Province and other Rositas throughout the country, and as a plea to raise awareness against gender-based violence. A distinctive feature of this campaign is that it is led by faith-based organizations – a key intervention in the PEPFAR HIV response given the role those religious leaders play in local communities and their congregations.

The Country PEPFAR Coordinator, Jacquelyn Sesonga, who was present at the launching ceremony, stressed the importance of the engagement of all social sectors to end violence.

“It should be the effort of all of us, individually and collectively, to ensure that the dreams of many girls do not end up shattered because of the violence to which they are subjected. Mozambique is the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.  And what value does a broken pearl have?” she questioned, adding that “gender-based violence destroys the potential for a stable and happy life.”

Moreover, the Minister of Gender, Women and Social Action, Nyeleti Mondlane, said that combating gender-based violence is one of the priorities of the Government of Mozambique, which promotes equality among citizens.

“We have to act so that women and girls do not suffer violence, so we don’t have more Rositas,” the governor stated.

Data from UNAIDS and UNICEF indicate that about 33% of adolescent girls aged 15 are survivors of physical violence and that 46% experienced domestic, sexual or emotional violence by their intimate partners in Mozambique. GBV represents an important problem  in the country, and it affects everyone, regardless of socio-economic status.

The campaign “Give Hope to 1001 Rositas” will be launched, also in the provinces, starting with Sofala, on September 18, 2021, with the presence of members of the Rosita’s family, members of the Provincial Government, representatives of the American Government, religious leaders, among others, in an event broadcast live on Televisão de Moçambique (TVM).

Follow this link to watch the event live on Facebook

Below are available the full speeches of the following personalities present at the campaign launch:

PEPFAR National Coordinator – Jacquelyn Sesonga

Minister of Gender, Children and Social Action – Nyeleti Brooke Mondlane

Vice President of PIRCOM – Sheik Aminuddin Muhammad

Executive Director of PIRCOM – Dom Dinis Matsolo