SASA! is a groundbreaking community mobilization approach developed by Raising Voices for preventing violence against women and HIV.
Raising Voices is a nonprofit organization based in Kampala, Uganda working toward the prevention of violence against women and children by influencing the power dynamics shaping relationships between women and men, girls and boys and catalyzing social change in communities, rigorously studying and learning from their work, and sharing experiences to shape the field.
What does it take to prevent violence against women? For us, SASA! is part of the answer. It is uniquely designed to address a core driver of violence against women and HIV: the imbalance of power between women and men, girls and boys. Documented in a comprehensive and easy-to-use Activist Kit, SASA! inspires and enables communities to rethink and reshape social norms.
For more information: raisingvoices.org/sasa
What makes SASA! unique?
SASA! is about power: SASA! is unique in its focus on unpacking power, both its positive and negative uses, shifting away from the traditional focus on “gender” towards the heart of the problem.
SASA! walks communities through a process of change: SASA! evolves step-by-step, avoiding the chronic cycle of awareness-raising.
SASA! involves everyone! SASA! engages a critical mass of people across all levels of society in order to create social norm change.
SASA! is personal: It is more than just a program or a job. It is a part of us. SASA! helps staff and community members to reflect on their own lives and relationships before trying to influence others.
SASA! works! SASA! is helping to create happier, healthier, safer relationships between men and women around the world.
SASA! Activist Kit for Preventing Violence against Women and HIV
How are you using your power? This is a central question explored in the SASA! approach. Provocative and systematic, SASA! is a creative approach for changing the social norms that perpetuate women’s vulnerability to violence and HIV.
We know that violence against women is both a cause and a consequence of HIV infection. We know that the power imbalance between men and women fuels these pandemics. But how can we address such a complex and deeply rooted issue? SASA! is Raising Voices’ response to this question. It is a comprehensive approach documented in a user-friendly program tool. Many organizations, institutions, and groups interested in mobilizing communities to prevent violence against women and HIV are using SASA!.
How SASA! Works
SASA is a Kiswahili word that means now. Now is the time to take action to prevent violence against women and HIV! It is also an acronym for the four phases of community mobilization that scale up the stages of change to enable a community to move through a series of activities and experiences naturally. Each phase uses four different strategies to engage community members in a variety of ways.
During the first phase, Start, violence against women and HIV/AIDS are introduced as interconnected issues and community members begin to foster power within themselves to address these issues.
In the second phase, Awareness, community members experience a growing awareness about how our communities accept men’s use of power over women, fueling the dual pandemics of violence against women and HIV.
Throughout the third phase, Support, community members will discover how to support the women, men and activists directly affected by or involved in these interconnected issues, by joining their power with others’.
In the fourth and final phase, Action, community members will explore different ways to take action. Use your power to prevent violence against women and HIV.
SASA! includes practical resources, activities and monitoring and assessment tools for local activism, media and advocacy, communication materials and training that organizations working on violence or HIV/AIDS can use to incorporate these cross-cutting issues into their work.