UNiTE t-shirt competition winner turns dedicated activist
24-year-old MwasapiKihongosi from Tanzania knew little about violence against women or efforts to end it until last year. “I did not really know just how widespread violence against women and girls is in my country until one morning, approximately one year ago the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE campaign changed my life.
A friend told him of UNiTE’stshirt competition and suggested that he use his graphic design skills to take part. As he researched the issue for his entry in the competition, he was shocked by the proportions of the problem.
Mwasapi was inspired to design a tshirt by the idea that societies begin with families, and that if every family knows, understands and respects human rights of women and girls, future generations of individuals will not treat them badly.
Mwasapi came out as Africa winner for the UNiTE T-shirt design competition, which had received more than 500 submissions He travelled to the UN Headquarters in New York with winners from other regions to receive his trophy from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the UN event on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November 2011.
Since the competition, Mwasapi has become involved in a number of other initiatives aimed at ending violence against women and girls. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in March 2012 with the UNiTE campaign, led a Caravan for Change against violence and harmful traditional practices in November 2012 and continues to work in cooperation with UN Women’s Tanzania office.
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