This year’s #BeTheBeacon Launch on November 25th in tandem with the UN Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women will include an in-person benefit for the Women at Risk International Foundation; WARIF, an NGO based in Lagos Nigeria founded by Dr. Anita ‘Kemi’ Dasilva-Ibru that addresses the prevalence of rape, sexual violence and trafficking of girls and women in communities across the country. with the provision of free post-incident services, healthcare, education; community-based initiatives, and advocacy for women and girls in Nigeria.
Dr. Kemi’s NGO has been actively addressing the Shadow Pandemic that has resulted from the COVID 19 pandemic and the increase in the number of cases of domestic and sexual violence in Nigeria.
Her passion for women’s health and the sanctity of one’s own body and reproductive health stems from her medical background that spans three continents as a specialist doctor trained in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and a Public Health Physician.
When asked in an interview by the SUN Newspaper about her WHY, Dr. Kemi had this to say:
“I do not have any personal experiences with abuse or gender-based violence. I was very fortunate to have been brought up in a very nurturing environment by wonderful parents. But as you know, with rape and sexual violence there is no criteria. It happens to black women; it happens to white women; it happens to the vulnerable as well as the successful. It affects Muslims and Christians and young and older women. Rape affects all women.”
Dr. Kemi resides in Lagos Nigeria and sees women presenting to her medically who have been survivors of sexual violence in her private clinical practice as well as the WARIF Rape Crisis Centre.
“When you come across young girls and women who have been abused, your heart breaks. They are left to feel isolated, ashamed, and guilty by their family members and communities at large. Speaking out about the abuse often has enhanced negative consequences as the survivors are then blamed for their assault.
A taboo subject is marital rape. If you have a wife who is abused by her husband physically and sexually – society says ‘but you are married to him’; so there is no justice.
“Consider the child who is not believed when a sexual act has been committed by a family member and their perpetrator not brought to justice as there is more concern about how the family will be viewed by the communities than addressing the immediate needs of that child. This shroud of secrecy about the issue persists and survivors are encouraged not to speak out.”
Survivors need a strong voice. Survivors need strong advocates. This is what WARIF is.”
The #BeTheBeacon online campaign kicks off the UN 16 Days of Activism. WanderSafe is proud to acknowledge WARIF as the beneficiary of the #BetheBeacon fundraising activations for 2021 as we salute the work by Dr. Kemi and her team in Lagos.
Beyond #BetheBeacon and the #16Days of Activism, WanderSafe will continue to work with Dr. Kemi and WARIF to Collaborate for the Goals, the 17th United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to end gender-based violence and to achieve Generation Equality by 2030, as mandated in The Inagural WanderSafe Accord.
WanderSafe has donated WanderSafe Shakti Beacons to WARIF’s stakeholders as part of an initial Impact Study to see how our technology makes a difference in the lives of these women and girls in Nigeria as part of our B1G1 Pledge.
The Shakti Beacons work with the free WanderSafe smartphone application and is designed for those who might feel threatened and allows the user to signal for help quickly and discreetly using a voice shortcut built into the application that works with SIRI and Google Voice Assist.
The geolocation capability of the WanderSafe application allows first responders – family members, emergency services, or employers to locate the users of the application quickly with 3-meter accuracy in partnership with What3Words.
Curious to see how you can use WanderSafe?
Download the WanderSafe application for IOS and Android and start a conversation with your employer, child, school, community group, active independent senior, or roommate about a safety plan and equip yourself with tools and strategies to help you get help faster.
An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure!
Want to get involved in our movement to end gender-based violence? Add your voice to the global cry for change and become a ‘beacon’.
To learn more about how to use your voice to share the #BetheBeacon, #16DaysofActivism, #HeforShe movement go www.TheWanderSafeAccord.com
“Until women and girls can #WanderSafely, the world will not know peace.” – Maria Calibo-Sales