Safe World for Women Logo

Video by Morgan Matheson, Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate & Vocational School

Young People's Views: Why a Safe World for Women?

Canadian Students from Kitchener, Ontario, won a school competition by creating a website and video to raise awareness about Safe World for Women.

The school raised $120 for the organisation.

The students also came up with innovative ways in which people can take action, and wrote a report about Safe World for Women.

Safeworld staff are deeply touched that the students chose Safe World for Women for the focus of their project.

Reaching out to younger people is crucial to our work, so we wanted to know what attracted them to Safe World for Women, and what impact it has had on them.

We asked two of the young people about their project and how they made their choice:

Can you briefly outline the project you were set?

We were part of a class that combined tenth grade English, careers and civics classes, and as a summative assignment we were asked to pick an NGO or charity that we believed was doing their part to positively change the world. The project was to do an in-depth research assignment, and present our findings to the class and a panel of teachers as judges.

During this time, our class raised money to send to the group who had the most convincing presentation's NGO. Since our group was voted as having the best presentation, we were very pleased to be able to send A Safe World For Women a cheque with our class' fundraising.

Could you describe the region you live in, and your school?

We attend Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School along with about 1200 other students, which is located in the downtown core of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

Kitchener is the tenth largest metropolitan city in Canada, but is surrounded by smaller towns and suburbs with plenty of green space and agricultural land.

We also asked them individually how the project, and Safe World for Women, has impacted on them.

Morgan Matheson:

How did you find out about Safe World for Women?

Our group eventually decided on the idea of doing our project on an organization related to women's rights, but then it was a matter of choosing which one. We weren't aware of too many, but after performing a quick google search, I stumbled across A Safe World For Women, and got so caught up in the website!

I was fascinated with all of the articles, and spent some time reading about the organization! I shared my findings with my group, and it seemed like a perfect fit for our assignment!

What made you choose Safe World for Women for your project?

We chose Safe World because we believe you are all greatly changing the lives of women all over the world, making it a safer and fairer place for all. We loved the fact that almost everything is volunteer based, and that some project funding even comes out of your own pockets! Also, the fact that your organization touches into so many aspects of women's rights as well as children's rights was a big deal to me.

Some other organizations we looked at only focused on very select problems, rather than the big picture.

A third reason for choosing Safe World was the incredible partnerships that have been developed with grass-roots partners. The success of these partnerships showed me that Safe World's initiatives truly help women in communities world-wide.

Were you already passionate about women's empowerment and gender equality - and, if so, why?

To be completely honest, I wouldn't have said I was passionate about these issues before doing this project, for the sole reason that I wasn't fully aware of the atrocities and injustices that women are facing every day. I knew that women were not treated as equals in many countries, but I did not know the full implications of this, and just how many women are affected.

Has Safe World for Women changed your mind about anything? What did you learn while doing this project?

Yes, absolutely, Safe World has opened my eyes to more than I can even begin to express.

It has made me realize just how many women and children are affected by gender inequality every day. It is a much more widespread issue than I ever imagined, taking place in not just developing countries, but in“first world” countries as well.

I was astounded to find out all of the cruelties many women and children still face today. In a world where media is such a huge presence, how is this not drawing the attention of more people is beyond me.

Do you have a vision / ambitions for the future? Your future? The future of the world?

In completing this project, it made me believe that there is hope for the future of the world to be a safe place for everyone. I really do believe that is possible with the help of organizations such as yourself, devoting your time and resources to make this happen.

As for personal ambitions, I plan on wrapping up my last two years of high school, with some travelling in the summers to Italy, Greece and Turkey, and then heading off to university. I am still in the process of deciding which program I would like to be in, whether it's sciences, teaching, or who knows, maybe a program related to international development or human rights!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I would just like to personally thank all of you there at Safe World for your ongoing support and cooperation in answering our many questions. You were all a tremendous help, and were a big part of our group being voted the best presentation! In all honesty, you have opened my eyes to the many issues surrounding women's empowerment and gender equality, and this inspired me to educate my peers and classmates about your work and successes.

Your website is a fantastic resource, and gives me hope for the future of the world.

Luke Baulk:

How did you find out about Safe World for Women?

Throughout the beginning stages of the summative project, the group and I went through a lot of different possibilities of which organization we wanted to focus on.

My peer Morgan was the first to discover Safe World and proposed to the three of us. We thought it was a great choice for our project.

What made you choose Safe World for Women for your project?

After comparing the last remaining organizations it was clear to us that Safe World was the organization for us! The fact that they touched in so many different aspects of not just woman’s rights but the rights of children all around the world was truly inspiring.

On a more personal level, a lot of people believe that only woman can support woman’s rights and that it is odd for men to be passionate about it. This was also a deciding factor for me, because that way of thinking is simply not true. Everyone should be treated equally no matter the gender, age, race, etc. They should have the same opportunities and not have to struggle to meet the basic necessities of survival. In most countries around the world this is not possible for most of the women.

Everyone should support woman’s rights, and by doing so, they would be supporting rights for everyone.

Were you already passionate about women's empowerment & gender equality - and if so, why?

I cannot say that I was overly passionate about women’s rights and gender equality. I understood that it was an issue that needed to be dealt with I just saw no way for me to help. After this project however I have become a lot more aware of ways to help and what needs to be done.

Has Safe World for Women changed your mind about anything? What did you learn while doing this project?

Safe World for Women has opened my eyes to a lot of issues that I didn’t know existed. Before doing the project I knew that in most countries gender equality was not the case, what I didn’t know was the number of cases and the extent of it.

Safe World for Women’s website really was a good tool for me to research and learn about things happening all around the world.

I also learnt that men should also take a stand for woman’s rights and gender equality just as much as women. Throughout the project I learnt a number of things and I am grateful for everything A Safe World has taught me.

Do you have a vision / ambitions for the future? Your future? The future of the world?

I could go on a big long rant about how my future ambitions are to end world poverty, gender equality and save the world from every issue out there, but, I am honestly just an average high school student; I am trying my best to figure out my future which changes every time I think about it, let alone the world.

In saying this, I do plan to continue standing up for what I believe in and not sitting by watching it happen. I am not sure where life will take me but I can say I am buckled in and ready for the ride.

 Is there anything else you would like to add?

In closing I would just like to thank you and everyone else at Safe World. You were a tremendous help in June with our project.

I also would like to thank you for taking such a interest in us, it means a lot and makes our project worth doing.

 You can see the inspiring website made by the students here