By Tina Shaygan, January 31 2018 —
University of Calgary students are bringing the One Billion Rising campaign to campus from Feb. 1–14, concluding on Valentine’s Day.
One Billion Rising started in 2012 as a call to action to end violence against women worldwide. “One Billion” refers to the statistic that one in three women will experience domestic or sexual violence in their lives. This year’s theme is “Rise! Resist! Unite!”
According to U of C kinesiology student Sagar Grewal, the on-campus campaign aims to raise $6,000 in 14 days in order to create care packages for 30 female survivors of domestic or sexual abuse who are seeking assistance through Punjabi Community Health Services in Calgary.
Punjabi Community Health Services is a not-for-profit and a “pioneer in the cross-cultural understanding of providing health and social services” in Canada.
“These care packages will have everything from skincare products to blankets to toys for children because we got to learn more about [survivors] and if they have children with them,” Grewal said. “We’re hoping to get them hygiene products, chocolates and flowers and basically anything you can think of to make their Valentine’s Day better.”
Grewal said he hopes this initiative continues annually. He added that he and other students learned about this initiative through World Sikh Organization and decided to get involved in Calgary, as WSO hosts events across Canada.
“To think that [domestic and sexual violence] is still an issue is a big issue with me personally,” Grewal said. “One Billion Rising campaign is great because it is a global call to action so there are events happening in every country and their theme this year has been to be more intersectional and to advocate for all people.”
The campaign will include educational information, such as access to resources in Calgary, as well as works by artists and poets from across Canada.
Students can find more information and donate to the campaign on the One Billion Rising Calgary Facebook page.