It's been a thrill to follow the journeys of last year's ESD Global's camp participants into the world of practicing and teaching empowerment self-defense.
We are very excited about the recent launch of our GoFundMe campaign, which we are calling "The Power of One."
The campaign was created with the goal of bringing thirty more deserving women from around the globe to attend the second annual ESD Global Bootcamp, which starts in two weeks.
At camp, these women will learn to design and deliver a ten-hour empowerment self-defense course to women in their home communities.
Why is camp so important?
Gender-based violence is a worldwide epidemic. According to UN Women, 70% of women will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime.
The good news is that there are ways we can reduce that number.
Empowerment self-defense is the one proven violence prevention intervention that:
-- Reduces the incidence of gender-based violence by up to 50% and increases a woman’s chance of de-escalating a bad situation before it turns violent.
-- Provides women with tools to end a physical assault while it is happening.
-- Reduces the time it takes for survivors of violence to heal, and increases women's self-esteem and efficacy in their academic, professional and social endeavors.
We also know that empowerment self-defense can be taught locally and cost-effectively by trained women in ten – twenty hours in communities worldwide.
So really, there is no reason not to have camp.
What is "The Power of One?"
We strongly believe that one woman has the power to impact to one community, and that one community has the power to impact the world.
Here's how ESD Global's president and founder, Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman, explains "The Power of One:"
As she says, "One donation, that's given to one woman, to be able to train, to be able to go back to one community, to affect one area of life, will then affect all those little worlds too."
Read more about "The Power of One" and ESD Global Camp success stories here, here, and here.
Who is coming to camp?
This year's ESD Global Camp cohort is made up of women from thirty countries and ten American states.
Their backgrounds vary, but they are all extremely educated in and devoted to their fields, which include psychology, gender studies, and social work.
Here's what Karla, a youth organizer at the East Los Angeles Resource Center, has to say about bringing ESD to her community:
Hear from more of this year's camp participants here.
Hear from last year's participants here.
How can you help?
In addition to donating, here are some ways you can support our campaign:
-- Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and invite your friends to do the same.
-- Spread the word about the campaign by liking and sharing our posts wherever you can. You can also post a selfie of you holding up our sign (download A4 or 8.5 x 11). Please tag @esdglobalselfdefense and use the hashtags #ThePowerOfOne, #ESDforAll, and #ESDWorks.
-- Leave a comment on our GoFundMe page.
Final thoughts. . .
When we asked this year's cohort to name something they were bringing to camp, nobody mentioned bug spray or flashlights.
Though there was a conversation about chocolate, the two most popular answers were "a beginner's mind" and "hope."
Clearly, these women already know what camp is all about, and are ready to embrace their power of one.
Thank you again for your support.