The BTWoHT Story
Our Why :
BTWoHT's mission is to build a global movement of young women, by young women, that seeks to empower young women through storytelling and shared experiences, making them catalysts, key actors in solving urgent social challenges, authors, and heroes of their own stories. We have done extensive research on Mindset Change, trying to find effective ways to stimulate positive Social Change, and have found that simply presenting numerical evidence alone is not nearly enough. We believe that scalable impact can be achieved if we can effectively get people to care about the interconnectedness of social challenges, and how they affect us all, and that is what the goal of storytelling is. We also firmly believe that digital technology can be used as a key component to stimulating widespread positive mindset change and eliminating negative social stereotypes. Several clinical studies on human brain function have concluded that stories have the ability to powerfully hook and hold human attention, because, at the brain level, whatever is happening in the story is happening to us as well and not just to the characters in the story. In providing a platform that documents real-life experiences, struggles, and successes, BTWoHT hopes to break the negative stigma and stereotypes associated with certain ordeals and experiences that young women all over the world have had to face in silence. We want to motivate people to act, and call them to action, from the grassroots to the top. We believe that systemically narrated stories mixed with struggle and success, give hope, move people to action, create pathways for meaningful participation, and bring about better understanding. People relate better to other people than they do to issues, and once we can understand one another, we can identify our shared vision for a better world and work to make it a reality.
Our What :
We have created a free online platform where personal experiences on any social topic are posted through a category in the members' forum, called the Story Bank. In addition, the forum has a Q&A category, which is a solution space that enables members to interact through the posting of questions about any social topic, the sharing of wisdom, transferable skills, and resources gained through personal experience. The solution space also enables members to participate in brainstorming case-by-case, or in this instance, story-by-story solutions. The solution space is open to everyone. In the solution space, members are guided through identifying the social element of a shared experience, the key players in the scenario, and their roles and responsibilities, and then drafting best practices or lessons to be learned. The BTWoHT platform can be an insightful, call-to-action tool, for organizations, governments, duty bearers, and stakeholders in addressing harmful practices against women & girls, as it documents real-life scenarios. The platform helps to uncover critical data and social patterns and outlines the intersectionality of the social challenges faced by young women around the world. We have a tailored resource section for survivors, organizations, and stakeholders. The resource section comes with a sectionalized digital library, links to free resume builders, and opportunities for youth web pages. We have cataloged several key documents such as rights of survivors, informed consent, gender term glossaries, guides on how to share your story for survivors and on how to interview a survivor for organizations and stakeholders, and much more. In Addition, we have come up with a set of recommendations and best practices for survivors, organizations, and stakeholders in relation to storytelling and sharing for social change.
Our Engagement :
BTWoHT is actively involved in several movements, foundations, and activities that are dedicated to eliminating harmful practices against young women and girls. This includes participation in high-level dialogues and sessions where we advocate for the need to include survivors' voices in the formulation process of policies for young women, under the notion that survivors' voices matter. We also actively participate in several humanitarian activities during our field missions, where we donate our time, skills, food, and clothing items to children's homes and shelters for homeless young women. In the past, we have gone into communities, identifying young mothers and women in need, and providing them with small seeds to enable them to start small businesses such as market stalls for fruits, vegetables, refreshments, or pre-owned clothes.