Shakti Ethnic Women’s Support Group has launched a crowdfunding campaign and petition for the immediate survival of Shakti Wellington Refuge and Shakti Youth’s work to end forced and underage marriages.
Shakti’s crowdfunding campaign during 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence will feature the release of 16 portraits of 16 activists in Asian, Middle Eastern and African communities across Aotearoa.
The crowdfunding campaign comes after more than five years of advocacy and negotiations with the relevant department in the Ministry of Social Development, which again has seen Shakti Wellington denied allocated contracted funding.
“We were very hopeful when the government announced the increase in funding for the family violence sector,” says Shakti spokesperson Mengzhu Fu.
“While this new government has been more sympathetic, this has not translated into contracted funding for Shakti Wellington Refuge. We have not been given an explanation for MSD’s decision.
“This decision as a continuation of institutional racism against migrant women. It has been a humiliating and frustrating process to beg for funding year after year only to be denied the essential funding over and over again.
“We now have no choice but to turn to the community for emergency financial support. The holiday period is the busiest time of year for crisis calls and we need community support to help to get us through this period,” says Fu.
The petition to Save Shakti Wellington Refuge will be delivered to Parliament on Thursday 6 December. Shakti aims to reach 5,000 signatures before the delivery of the petition.
16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is a global campaign to highlight the ongoing problem of violence against women and girls. It began on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and ends on 10 December, International Human Rights Day.
The 16 portraits for 16 days of activism are being released across Shakti’s social media platforms of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The original portraits and other donations of artworks will be available at a fundraising art exhibition and auction, Empowered Women Empower Women, on 5 December at Studio One Toi Tū in Auckland.
You can contribute to the Stand With Shakti Survivors crowdfunding campaign here: https://chuffed.org/project/stand-with-shakti-survivors