Witness Change@witness_change

Our visual storytelling on human rights abuses aims to change opinions. Visit our latest campaigns @whereloveisillegal @onedayinmyworld

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Witness Change

"It was early in the morning when the military arrived," says Tayeba Khatun, 22. "They announced on a loud speaker that we shouldn’t leave the house. I told the men not too leave the house. The military went house to house; eventually they came to ours. They took away my father-in-law and brother-in-law.” Then they came for the women. “When I was being dragged out my husband tried to save me and was shot dead. Then they dragged me away,” says Tayeba. “There were five military men. Three stood outside to manage the situation, two raped me… they raped me until I lost consciousness. When I woke, I collected my children and escaped.” The attack is never far from Tayeba’s mind: “Whenever I’m alone I think of all of this. Whenever people discuss the fact that my husband is dead I think of it all over again… I do not feel peaceful. I cry often. When I do I gather my children around me and I cry a lot.”
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One of life’s greatest misconceptions is a simple fable. That time is a healer. One year ago this week “ethnic cleansing” perpetrated by the Myanmar military against the Rohingya sparked a massive refugee crisis. Nearly a million Rohingya – those who escaped the flames and executions – are now living in camps in Bangladesh. Many of them were raped, most saw loved ones killed, thousands arrived wounded. All are traumatized. Here, in this impoverished monsoon soaked corner of Bangladesh, is one of the most densely populated areas of PTSD affected and depressed people on earth.
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#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. This work was made in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières @doctorswithoutborders who are providing mental health support to the refugees and local population. Photo by @hammond_robin. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


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Witness Change

“Barbers don’t want to trim me. Certain taxi man don’t want to carry me.” Tevin is proud of who he is, despite the stigma he has faced. Will you be his ally?
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In #Jamaica, many from the LGBTQI+ community cannot expressing themselves openly. While homophobia and transphobia is a reality, there are also many in Jamaica and around the world who embrace love and reject hate. For the persecution to end, we all need to take stand and be an Ally of the #LGBTQI+ community. An Ally can be a friend, a family member, a neighbor or a stranger. An ally is a reminder that we are not alone. Will you be an ally? #PRIDEJA2018
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Pledge your support to #LGBTQI+ Jamaicans and become an ally today at www.isupportthelgbt.community. The #IAmAnAlly campaign was developed by @witness_change as part of the @whereloveisillegal campaign in partnership with @equalityja


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Witness Change

“We thought love never existed in our world. Little did we know love is everywhere, but the challenge is bitter.” Ben (above) and John (below) are a gay couple in Ghana. For three years they have been together, however for all of that they have to be careful to hide their relationship in public to avoid judgement or attacks. “I was attacked by gang guys twice. The first I was beaten, second, my partner and I was attacked by a gun. His hand was shot and had to go under a surgery, all in the name of stigma and discrimination in Ghana. We're living in a world of fear.”
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In #Ghana, only a brave few dare show their face and publicly say they identify as LGBTQI+, most live in the shadows fearing discrimination, hatred and violence if they lived openly.
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This work along with stories from Kenya, Mozambique and Ghana are currently being shared at #AIDS2018, the 22nd International @aids_conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands with the support of Elton John AIDS Foundation (@ejaf @ejafdn) who help continue our work sharing LGBTQ+ stories of survival and to raise awareness of the impacts of stigma. Around the world, grants made by the Elton John AIDS Foundation make possible the work of countless community-rooted organizations that touch the lives of millions every day. For more information, and to join the fight, visit www.ejaf.org
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Click the link in our profile to see how to share your own experience of #survival and #discrimination and learn how you can support. Photo by @Hammond_Robin / @noorimages. This is a @witness_change project. For more stories of survival follow @WhereLoveIsIllegal #loveislove


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Witness Change

Children dance at a pre-wedding party in the Rohingya refugee camp, Bangladesh. Living conditions in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps, now the largest in the world, are dire. Many people lack access to clean water, sanitation, health care and shelter. The mental and psychosocial impact of not only being forcibly displaced, but also the difficult conditions of the camp, continues to affect the Rohingya refugees.
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One year ago this week “ethnic cleansing” perpetrated by the Myanmar military against the Rohingya sparked a massive refugee crisis. Nearly a million Rohingya – those who escaped the flames and executions – are now living in camps in Bangladesh. Many of them were raped, most saw loved ones killed, thousands arrived wounded. All are traumatized.
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#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. This work was made in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières @doctorswithoutborders who are providing mental health support to the refugees and local population. Photo by @hammond_robin. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


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Witness Change

“My mother told me that I had to take a test at the time. I did not take it very seriously, but I knew that I got involved with people infected, who I had sex with ...those people using no protection.” Jennifer is a #transgender woman from #Mozambique. Jennifer faced discrimination due to her gender identity causing her to lose jobs. She turned to sex work as a means of survival, however sex work is risky and has exposed her to HIV. “After taking the test, the test was positive. And when it was positive, I came back home and I did not tell anybody about it. My mother asked, and I always said ‘ahh I have not done it yet’ but I was already taking medication. So I was ashamed of it all at that time I was going to get more medication then I gave up on medication.”
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In Mozambique more than a third of gay men and transgender women have HIV, but, because of stigma, many don’t have access to care. New hope comes in the form of a program that will test thousands for HIV, as well as train LGBTQI+ people to test their peers confidentially and in their own homes.
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This work along with stories from Kenya, Mozambique and Ghana are currently being shared at #AIDS2018, the 22nd International @aids_conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands with the support of Elton John AIDS Foundation (@ejaf @ejafdn) who help continue our work sharing LGBTQ+ stories of survival and to raise awareness of the impacts of stigma. Around the world, grants made by the Elton John AIDS Foundation make possible the work of countless community-rooted organizations that touch the lives of millions every day. For more information, and to join the fight, visit www.ejaf.org
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Click the link in our profile to see how to share your own experience of #survival and #discrimination and learn how you can support. Photo by @Hammond_Robin / @noorimages. This is a @witness_change project. For more stories of survival follow @WhereLoveIsIllegal #loveislove


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Witness Change

“Every single moment I remember this,” says 25 year old Rohingya refugee Rohima Khatun recounting the events of a year ago. Her story is horrifically typical. After encircling her village, the Myanmar military started burning houses. They went house to house and shot the men, including Rohima’s husband. Five months pregnant and in shock, Rohima held her four-year-old to her chest, and her screaming six-year-old to her side. A soldier marched forward, picked up the distraught child, and threw him into the burning flames of a house. The screaming stopped. Somehow, through the tears and choking smoke, Rohima managed to slip away and into the jungle. Her four-year-old and unborn child were safe, but Rohima’s world was broken.
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One year ago this week “ethnic cleansing” perpetrated by the Myanmar military against the Rohingya sparked a massive refugee crisis. Nearly a million Rohingya – those who escaped the flames and executions – are now living in camps in Bangladesh. Many of them were raped, most saw loved ones killed, thousands arrived wounded. All are traumatized.
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#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. This work was made in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières @doctorswithoutborders who are providing mental health support to the refugees and local population. Photo by @hammond_robin. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


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Witness Change

Nightmares take 12 year old Rohingya refugee Johura back to the day 14 of her 16 family members were killed. But her most regular dream is of eating a meal with her mother and sister in their Myanmar village. What food do you like? “I don’t feel hungry.” Ever? “If I feel very hungry I have a little rice.” Why don’t you enjoy eating? “When I think of my parents I don’t feel good eating.” Do you think about them often? “Yes. I do. With every breath I take.”
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One of life’s greatest misconceptions is a simple fable. That time is a healer. One year ago this week “ethnic cleansing” perpetrated by the Myanmar military against the Rohingya sparked a massive refugee crisis. Nearly a million Rohingya – those who escaped the flames and executions – are now living in camps in Bangladesh. Many of them were raped, most saw loved ones killed, thousands arrived wounded. All are traumatized. Here, in this impoverished monsoon soaked corner of Bangladesh, is one of the most densely populated areas of PTSD affected and depressed people on earth.
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Johura was semi-conscious much of the journey from Myanmar to Bangladesh. She had lost a lot of blood from a bullet that struck her hip. However from the shoulder of the man carrying her she shook awake to see a group of boys - one of them her 10-year-old brother - her only surviving sibling. And there is her light - the glimmer of hope in which she might find peace. Neither food, nor friends, nor playing, nor pretty dresses make her happy. How about you brother, does your brother make you happy? “If my brother is happy, that can make me happy - in here, he is the only one who can.”
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#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. This work was made in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières @doctorswithoutborders who are providing mental health support to the refugees and local population. Photo by @hammond_robin. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


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Witness Change

New work from @onedayinmyworld (link in our profile)! The Rohingya of Myanmar have been forced from their homes. Thousands were killed, wounded, raped. None have peace.
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One of life’s greatest misconceptions is a simple fable. That time is a healer. One year ago on the 25th of August “ethnic cleansing” perpetrated by the Burmese military sparked the world’s greatest refugee crisis. Now nearly a million Rohingya, those who escaped the flames and executions, are living in camps in Bangladesh. Many of these survivors were raped, most saw loved ones killed, thousands arrived wounded. All are traumatized. Here, in this impoverished monsoon soaked corner of Bangladesh, is the most densely populated area of PTSD affected and depressed people on earth. Here, time has not healed. For the Rohingya, the psychological scars remain painfully open.
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#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. This work was made in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières @doctorswithoutborders who are providing mental health support to the refugees and local population. Photo by @hammond_robin. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


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Witness Change

“It’s been very bad here. There is no life here. I wish I strayed in Syria and died,” says Kasim Al Salih. “Any time the kids hear an airplane they are afraid. They think bombs are coming... All the time I’m angry. I’ve lost my daughter in Syria, and then I come here there is not enough water, not enough food, no life... I wish I could go back to a peaceful Syria. If there was peace in Syria I would not wait here one minute.”
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The Island of Lesbos, Greece: a camp overflows with refugees and their desperation. Inhuman living conditions and a snail-paced relocation process can drive the already traumatized towards depression and suicide - mental health issues that haunt a people with no home. They risked their lives to get to Europe. They thought they had escaped the trauma & would find peace, a future. They were wrong.
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#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. This work was made in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières @doctorswithoutborders who are providing mental health support to the island’s refugees. Photo by @hammond_robin. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


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Witness Change

"I also think that the camp causes trauma on top of the trauma the people are coming with from their country. The trauma get worse, with our surroundings, the bad handling we’re getting. The routine that kills the world," says AbdelRahman Obaid Alhamad, originally from Deir ez-Zor, Syria.
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The Island of Lesbos, Greece: a camp overflows with refugees and their desperation. Inhuman living conditions and a snail-paced relocation process can drive the already traumatized towards depression and suicide - mental health issues that haunt a people with no home. They risked their lives to get to Europe. They thought they had escaped the trauma & would find peace, a future. They were wrong.
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#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. This work was made in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières @doctorswithoutborders who are providing mental health support to the island’s refugees. Photo by @hammond_robin. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


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Witness Change

“There was a time in my life that I thought I was the only person of my kind on Earth, was very lonely, emotionally traumatized and looking for people I can relate to.” Effery is a transgender woman from Ghana. In order to safely navigate life in Ghana she can not present her true self when she is out in the world. “When I'm outside the house I have to pretend I'm the boss. I need to walk more masculine, not very feminine, like the way I feel when I'm in the house. And the way I talk too sometimes when I'm out, I have to be very careful because when you start talking and you start being all fabulous and all gay, they'll raise eyebrows. So when I'm out there and I'm talking I need to talk straight. I need to act straight.”
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In #Ghana, only a brave few dare show their face and publicly say they identify as LGBTQI+, most live in the shadows fearing discrimination, hatred and violence if they lived openly.
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Where Love is Illegal traveled to Kenya, Mozambique and Ghana with the support of Elton John AIDS Foundation (@ejaf @ejafdn) to continue our work sharing LGBTQI+ stories of survival and to raise awareness of the impacts of stigma. Around the world, grants made by the Elton John AIDS Foundation make possible the work of countless community-rooted organizations that touch the lives of millions every day. For more information, and to join the fight, visit www.ejaf.org
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Click the link in our profile to see how to share your own experience of #survival and #discrimination and learn how you can support. Photo by @Hammond_Robin / @noorimages. This is a @witness_change project. For more stories of survival follow @WhereLoveIsIllegal #loveislove


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Witness Change

"I remember when the helicopters came with the barrel bombs," says 14 year old Bidoor Almohammad, "and destroyed everything and people ran away to the river but the airplane would follow them and kill them." Bidoor and her parents and siblings left their home in Deir Ez-Zor, Syria in November 2017 and are now in Moria refugee camp on Lesbos.
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The Island of Lesbos, Greece: a camp overflows with refugees and their desperation. Inhuman living conditions and a snail-paced relocation process can drive the already traumatized towards depression and suicide - mental health issues that haunt a people with no home. They risked their lives to get to Europe. They thought they had escaped the trauma & would find peace, a future. They were wrong.
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#inmyworld is designed to expose the challenges faced by people living with #mentalhealth issues and give them the chance to be seen, heard and valued. @witness_change is a nonprofit that aims to improve life for excluded groups by amplifying their stories. This work was made in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières @doctorswithoutborders who are providing mental health support to the island’s refugees. Photo by @hammond_robin. To see more or to share your own mental health story please follow @onedayinmyworld


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