SASA! A New Social Mobilization Model adopted and piloted in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (August 24, 2020):A new mobilization model titled, “SASA” which refers to (Start, Awareness, Support, and Action) was shared at a key event with Civil Society and media in Islamabad. The press briefing was arranged by Aiming Change for Tomorrow (ACT International) a local civil society organization to showcase the impact of SASA! Four years roll out in Sindh and KP.

Addressing the news conference at National Press Club, Islamabad, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of ACT International, Syed Mubashir Banori disclosed the key findings of the 4 years pilot project implemented in 31 villages of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh provinces.

Mubashir Banori said since implementation in 2017, there has been a significant rise (54%) in community members who are able to reach out to women experiencing violence in communities, with a 58% rise in community members who consider that violence is not okay. In addition, on average 73% of the targeted community members are now very able to extend support to survivors of violence, know and can tell alternatives to violence, refer cases, and can challenge social norms.

Mr. Banoori said, “It is always good to adopt new and innovative best practices and approaches to curtail violence against women and girls.” He added that one of the top priorities of the present government is the reduction of violence against women and girls and the involvement of women in all spheres of life”.

“Further he added that there is a dire need of change in mobilization model for rural, illiterate, and vulnerable communities and we need to provide them an impactful alternative of mobilization which can be adopted in varying settings.”
Professor Farkhanda Javed, Chairperson ACT International while speaking at the news conference, said that during the course of implementation of the project, over all 19000 families in 31 villages, of KP and Sindh benefited from the project. She said the community leaders, volunteers, and Imam of Masajid and school teachers were sensitized about early child marriages, gender discrimination, and women’s right to inherit. She said that overall 1800 police officials from different ranks have been trained to treat the victims of violence in the project districts.

The media event included a presentation on SASA! by Deputy Chief Executive of Aiming Change for Tomorrow (ACT) presented on the journey to adapting the SASA! model to the Pakistan context and its implementation. Testimonials of Community Activists (CAs) and a comprehensive documentary on SASA along with comprehensive details of Community Activists (CAs) role was highlighted.

SASA! is a community mobilization approach to prevent violence against women (VAW) developed by Raising Voices in Uganda. SASA! works by supporting communities through a comprehensive process of social change focused on interrogating unequal power dynamics between women and men.

This approach engages a critical mass of people across all levels of society in order to create social norms. It helps community members to reflect on their own lives and relationships before trying to influence others. SASA! helps to create happier, healthier, safer relationships between men and women around the world.