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Sudan: New WhatsApp Course Equips Journalists to Report on Conflict Related Sexual Violence

03/05/2024

An innovative learning tool to help media and civil society better understand how to report Conflict Related Sexual Violence has just been launched for Sudan and its people in the diaspora.

The course, which is available for free via the WhatsApp platform, is a front-line response to the war in Sudan and the increase of gender-based violence.

It is delivered in Arabic and English via the links below. It is self-paced and interactive and involves participants in real-life scenarios as they work through the course.

There are five chapters which cover understanding what gender-based violence is and why it happens; setting out an ethical framework for working with and reporting on the survivors with respect and confidentiality; how you find and interview survivors; writing your report or story in an appropriate way and how to use advocacy to campaign for change. It keeps data downloads to a minimum, with no audio or video, making it accessible via mobile phones in hard-to-reach territories.

The course builds on Thomson Foundation's 13-year history of working in Sudan and a recent track record of producing learning courses delivered on the WhatsApp platform. A course on understanding and counteracting mis/disinformation went viral, with around 11,000 people engaging with the content.

Conflict-related Sexual Violence is a dark and difficult subject to approach, but sadly it is on the increase in Sudan and because of the war, many people are struggling to understand how to report on it either for the media or for organisations working in the field.

We hope that by making the information in this course as accessible and approachable as possible we will empower people to shine a light on this horrific aspect of Sudan's war, says Thomson Editorial Associate, Helen Scott.

The course was devised by Derek Ivens, who has worked in Sudan for the last decade, in collaboration with a team of Sudanese women experts, including Wini Omer, activist and writer, Enas Elhadi, a trauma expert who has worked on the front line with survivors of gender-based violence, and Zinah Abdelkareem, a civil society expert who has worked on women-centred issues.

Whilst this course addresses the Sudan experience, the principles of covering conflict-related sexual violence to international standards are universal so this course could work well in other territories as well, says Deborah Kelly, Thomson's Director of Training and Communications.

The course is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency as part of the project Empowering Media Actors, which Thomson Foundation is delivering in partnership with Internews.

How to take the course The content is available in Arabic and English.

To register for the Arabic version of the course, please click here.

To register for the course in English, please click here.

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