Hi all, my name is Kristine Rivera and I am a Senior at Villanova University. This semester, I seek to serve as a catalyst for positive social change as a Producer through the year-long Social Justice Documentary course at Villanova.
On October 7th, my class' production company, Oak Tree Films, will be traveling to Siaya, Kenya for two weeks to collaborate with the Siaya Muungano Network, an organization dedicated to educating and uplifting women and girls. In Siaya, we hope to amplify the voices of these women and shine a light on their stories and experiences.
A little bit about our film and initiative:
A woman’s right to education and reproductive rights are fundamentally human. In Kenya, the lack of prioritization of women’s higher education in conjunction with a culture of stigma surrounding female sexual and reproductive health is particularly evident. The awareness of these inequities in Kenya is essential in understanding the systemic injustices committed against women globally.
Siaya is a special place, particularly through the creation of a strong network of individuals who believe in protecting the future of young women amidst the very conservative socio-political beliefs of the county. The stigma surrounding natural parts of womanhood has caused a neglect of essential sanitary needs for women of all ages. Though it is our goal to call to attention the need to end this stigma, that is just half the battle–especially as sanitary needs remain scarce. Our film will explore the stories of the women and young girls of Siaya, Kenya in order to challenge these injustices and work to dismantle the misconception that the flow of menstrual cycles doesn't have to change the flow of a woman's path through life, education, and their dreams.
Please consider donating to help fund our trip! Any amount helps, and thank you for your support!