Charlotte Ndayishimiye was named awardee of a prestigious Burundi Prestigious Presidential Award which recognize outstanding champions, initiatives, and practices that promote gender equality. This is a testament to the incredible amount of work being done by INERELA+ Burundi to advance gender equality through change agents. It sends an unmistakable signal that communities and survivors of gender-based violence must be leaders in shaping a gender-inclusive future. One of the ways in which INERELA+ Burundi has contributed to ending violence against women and girls is by mobilizing women and girls both at the community and national level to make them self-advocates of the change they want to see in society. INERELA+ Burundi has enabled women and girls they serve to imagine and pursue a better, safer, and more equal world – alongside INERELA+ Secretariat which wants to see an end to inequality, violence against women and girls.
Charlotte expressed her gratitude for being selected to receive the prize which she called “an award for all of us who are working tirelessly to fight gender-based violence. The chance to make a real difference is not an opportunity that everyone is given and is one I have no intention of taking lightly – she said” Having survived gender-based violence women’s rights are something so inextricably linked with who she is. As a fearless and outspoken advocate for gender equality and community engagement. Charlotte dedicates her efforts towards the empowerment of survivors of gender-based violence and campaigning to promote gender equality under INERELA+ Burundi. Charlotte made sure that she mobilises survivors of gender based violence to conduct outreach to local traditional leaders, politicians, the judiciary and communities to better understand and address discrimination, women’s rights violence and needs. She also hosted discussions on domestic violence and gender equality. This contributed to building of strong and enduring relationships between communities and the INERELA+ Burundi.
For INERELA+ meaningful participation is a cornerstone of many of our projects, with women and girls playing an active role as trainers, community mobilizers and activists advocating for change at community and national levels. Their meaningful participation therefore emerged as both a process and a truly impactful dimension of project programming. It also enables a shift from a charity mindset around passive victims to a different ‘optic’ of contributing agents of change.