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Rotaract Collaboration: Safe Cities, Safe Spaces

One of the Rotary areas of focus is promoting peace and conflict resolution. In December 2018 the Rotaract Club of Toronto teamed up with the Rotaract Club of Borrowdale Brooke from Harare, Zimbabwe to raise awareness for gender-based violence.

Through a creative media competition under the theme, “Safe Cities, Safe Spaces”, high school student activists shared how women and girls experience violence in their communities and what their vision for safe cities and safe spaces is.

The goal of the story contest was to advance international knowledge on the existence of difference forms of violence against women and girls, challenge the normalization of that violence and inspire communities to action.

We had many amazing submissions and we had a tough choice but the poem below by Rumbi a student in Lower 6th form (11th grade equivalent) was the overall winner. Here's the winning post below:

In a green dress

Dodging bricks and stones

Barefoot and afraid

Over rocks, stones and thorns

Barefoot and afraid

Jupiter, evading hurdling meteors aimed to her demise

One finds her arm

As planed, she’s harmed

She falls on the thorns

Some skin is torn

He’s on her, eyes blazing with scorn

His fist

Her jaw

A cordial union

From swollen eyes

Mama’s own marriage

Comes to mind

Bruised and battered

Scarlet and scarred

Born of a womb with a womb

Her only sin

When her lashes parted for the world

The men chanted

It’s just a body

Behold, a container for our sons

A misogynous shadow creeps

She wails and weeps

Her sons

Taught tyranny as toddlers

As she, her sisters and mother

Trained: submission not subversion

For marriage is sacred

Never to be broken

So she cooks his food

Avoids changing his mood

Cleans his clothes

Tries not to loathe

A man whose violence only forebodes

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