Media Invitation: #GirlSafe Youth Media Change Makers Expo, Nov. 30

The United States Mission to South Africa will host a day of discussion and engagement with youth on November 30, 2017, to support the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV) campaign. Implemented through a grant to the iSchool Press Team and part of ongoing U.S. partnerships with South African government and local organizations, the project addresses the socio-economic challenges that make young women in South Africa vulnerable to contracting HIV, including GBV. Funding is provided by the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

The Youth Media Change Makers Expo will bring together well-known media personalities such as actor Patrick Shai, journalist Aspasia Karras, and performance artist Sethembile Msenzane to discuss creating a #GirlSafe South Africa. Participants will develop a campaign seeking to educate and drive behavior change that will bring an end to GBV. The Expo will see the launch of five Public Service Announcements that have been scripted, filmed, and edited by youth ambassadors, which will be displayed during the remainder of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence (November 25-December 10) on Twitter and Facebook at USEmbassySA.

U.S. Embassy Chargeacute; d’ Affaires Jessica Lapenn said, As World AIDS Day approaches on December 1, we reflect on the progress made and challenges that lie ahead. Although great progress has been made in South Africa, many are still at risk � especially young women who have significantly higher HIV infection rates than men. This year, more than ever before, we are placing a special emphasis on combatting gender-based violence (GBV) as a part of our efforts to tackle the socio-economic challenges that make young women so vulnerable to HIV. GBV robs girls and young women of the chance to meet their full potential. It leaves them to struggle with potentially life-threatening outcomes such as HIV infection, as well as severe damage to their dignity and a loss of security. It is not just girls; GBV also affects men and boys, both directly as survivors of violence and indirectly through the cycle of violence. This is why we are so pleased to partner with the iSchool Press Team to deliver the Youth Media Change Makers Expo and #GirlSafe campaign. Through these shared efforts, we can bring an end to GBV.rdquo;

The iSchool Press Team’s mission is to give young South Africans the tools, platform, and confidence to be heard on critical issues affecting themselves and their communities. We are excited to partner with the U.S. Embassy to give our youth a voice to build a #GirlSafe South Africa, where gender based violence is history,rdquo; said Michelle Lissoos, Director, iSchoolAfrica Education Trust.

Media are invited to cover the Youth Expo: 1:00 � 6:30 p.m., November 30 at the Focus Rooms, Sunninghill, Johannesburg.

Source: U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa.