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May 28, 2010

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May 28, 2010

It's difficult to describe how moving and impressive this organization is. I haven't had the opportunity to dive into as much as I'd like. However, participating in the The Vagina Monologues v-day performances has given me the chance to enrich the lives on my college campus. It's a show that gives women confidence and confronts our embedded societal fears. It empowers women to take ownership of oneself while trying to remove the "woman stigmas" still left in the world. Finally, every show gives a sense of global awareness causing donors to fight the war again women not just on the home front but internationally as well. I am so proud to have found this organization and look forward to participating in V-Girls when I learn more about it and how to get involved.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Everyday. Just knowing that there is a group of women out there that care about empowerment as much as I do has really opened up my own voice in the world. I love sharing this empowerment with all of my friends and family also.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 28, 2010

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May 28, 2010

I was first introduced to V-Day in 2004 when I was invited by a friend to see her perform onstage. I witnessed a group of women sharing stories of other women around the world. These were stories of rape, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, oppression, hatred, servitud, as well as ingenuity, transformation, strength, empowerment, resilience, passion, love... I remember laughing and crying as I took in all for a little over an hour. The message was clear and powerful as these stories were shared. I decided that I wanted to share this message in my community. As a Latina, I knew I had to share it in my Latino community to raise much needed awareness in order to break the silence. Six years later I am still involved in this extraordinary cause along many others in my community. All this, thanks to the vision of one extraordinarily committed woman, Eve Ensler, and her dedicated team. The journey I have taken has changed my existence as a woman and as a human being and has allowed me the opportunity to work with other volunteers and witness their transformation as well. We've done this one person at a time. Empowered by the awareness that has been brought into our lives and that now we go on to bring upon many in the community. We've learned to share a passion through our voices and collective efforts. We have joyfully spent many hours doing volunteer work to raise funds and have seen the impact it has had on the population we committedly strive to support. The funds we've generated have allowed for the continuation of much needed services in our community, e.g., at a local domestic violence and sexual assault shelter. We've seen how individual's in need that have benefited, have been supported in their efforts to break the cycle of violence. This help may include helpipng someone acquire sustainable housing by helping them pay move-in costs. As part of a community involved with such an amazing organization as V-Day, we have strengthened many bonds as individuals and have put forth the effort to reach incredible goals to help social service agencies in our community. Furthermore, we have witnessed many in a crowd impacted by the awareness raised. And their moving words have let us know that they had been touched by the work of V-Day. The effort of V-Day continues to be multiplied worldwide and I am proud to say that I am part of that effort on a local and worldwide basis and continue to see the growing involvement of others in my community. I continue to see the lives that are touched of the volunteers themselves as they gain personal growth, hence creating in them the passion to work for such an important cause. In closing, I treasure the fact that I am part of a local and worldwide movement and have successfully joined efforts to stand up against the oppression and violence generated against women and girls locally and worldwide in an effort to end the atrocities and crime and help those in need follow a path of healing. Thank you, V-Day. Thank you for making a difference in my life and the lives of millions in the U.S. and around the world. Thank you for helping a woman in my city free herself from domestic violence and recover from rape and incest while helping a young girl in Africa be saved from Female Genital Mutilation or a group of women in the Congo recover physically and emotionally from multiple rapes suffered as a result of the war, to name a few. My heart is humbled at the opportunity to work with such an empowering and effective organization as V-Day. Thank you, again, for the opportunity. Cynthia Trejo

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have had a personal transformation, which has empowered me to have the strength to speak up and stand up for the most vulnerable. I am stonger and more confident because of my experience with V-Day. I have learned to create positive change.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 27, 2010

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May 27, 2010

it happened that the play we put on was not the vagina monologues but we had a congo teach-in in conjunction with the play and people learned about v-day. to be honest, i got too emotional when speaking about what the women in the DRC are facing each day. this prevented me from drilling home the issue---- although i did have lots of literature around which stated clearly the horrors that women and girls face. v-day org. has alot of materials that can be quite useful when you are putting on any kind of event for the public. even when you think that everyone must already know what's happening to women and girls, you'd be surprised! this is a subject that no one wants to speak about and thus it continues. eve ensler has been the brave soul who has "opened this can of worms" and now many more women are speaking up......that's all it will take - we cannot be silent about this issue - no matter how much of a bringdown the truth is.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

just watching the vimeos of the city of joy being built. from a pile of bricks to buildings with windows and roofs.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

none

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that they work with the people that they are helping. they follow the lead of women that live there rather than coming into a place and telling them what to do. they listen.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

do alot more.

Ways to make it better...

can't think of anything that would make it better.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the fact that the truth is not pretty and people don't want to talk about it.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 27, 2010

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May 27, 2010

To me VDAY is more than the production of The Vagina Monologues which sits at its core. VDAY is an opportunity to share with others through creative and educational means a terrible truth which happens daily in this world and in our own cities and towns. That truth is that women and girls are abused and violated in horrific ways. And that this... 'culture of violence'... must be seen by the greatest number of citizens on the planet and stopped by their awareness. But to do that through theatre and art, through education and through the community-building which develops from VDay is the positive RIGHT direction for change. In Florence we do a bilingual version of The Vagina Monologues with 26 women on stage: Italians, expatriates from around the globe and US study abroad students. Women who would never know each other form a bond around this work. This past year we held a Chianti wine raffle created by one of the women, we had a gorgeous exhibit of art in response to the situation in the DRC in the lobby. We showed a film which brought information to people who knew nothing of the situation in the DRC. Eve Ensler and her team have given me and those of us in Florence the opportunity to be a part of a positive movement. I have learned about horrors which I never knew existed and I have learned the power of communal response which I continually stand behind with gratitude and joy. VDAY gives that opportunity.... to learn, and to fully give through your own creative voice and expression. I have been able to include my passion for US study abroad students having a healthier, intimate engagement with the communities they visit through including them in this project. VDAY is an exceptional organization.

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Florence International Theatre Company, Florence Italy

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I honestly have no changes that I feel would be made. I feel a push toward a more global presence involving US students abroad would be something I would stand behind and take part in.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Within its structure it supports creative expression and builds incredible community.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

We worked in two languages with women from around the world. The project reflected that.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Literally change the world. The moment violence against women stops humankind would have to shift its focus from a violence-based society to something else. The question is... are we capable of that as a species?

Ways to make it better...

If we, in Florence Italy where this project was implemented, were financially supported for the project. Finding funders in Italy is a very difficult thing. Generally Italians do not fund charities in their culture so it does make being effective hard

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

The truth Eve Ensler speaks. She is opening doors to areas of this world which many people simply do not want to see. This is why she is my heroine. Her road, though not impossible, is a very difficult one.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Being involved in this project opens your heart, your mind, your body and creative emotions to the community you live in. It is a rare opportunity to do that for anyone. It is a gift you receive and then share.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 27, 2010

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May 27, 2010

The VDAY organization became a part of my life in 2005, and I have been a VDAY activist ever since. One of the million reasons why I believe in this organization is its ability to not only be a monetary aid, but also its contagious ability to spread awareness, hope, endurance, and education. VDAY helps you to not only work for the cause they are spotlighting and to stop the end of violence, they also help you get involved in a grass roots way with your own community. In my journey with the VDAY organization, I have performed in and directed the Vagina Monologues 4 times. I also have held fundraising benefits and educational events. I was present in New Orleans for VDAY's 10th Anniversary- all of the women artists, friends, advisers, lovers, professionals, and survivors there changed my life. When I started working with VDAY I had a thirst for helping others. VDAY gave me the guidance and strength to not only help others but also to help myself. It has taught me that every woman has a story, none less important then the other. It has taught me to speak out loud, and take actions that abck up those loud words. I have grown into a stronger woman then I have ever known I could be. Thank you V DAY, and thank you Eve Ensler.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 27, 2010

more

May 27, 2010

I've particioated in VDAY for 2 years now, in 2 different countires and I've had a wonderfully rewarding experience each time. I look forward to working with VSAY again in years to come in an effort not only to raise awarness of the strifes of women throughout the world, but also (and perhaps even more importantly) to nurture other women and watch them as we all grow together from our experiences in VDAY!!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Watching the other volunteers grow and become more out going and more able to talk about issues from their own lives. This program helps its participants grow emotionally and psychologically.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 27, 2010

more

May 27, 2010

I believed as a passionate, emotive dancer and actor that I was comfortable with my body and the empowerment of women in general. However, after being involved with the V-Day Movement through performing The Vagina Monologues, I discovered the negativity and shame that my strict born-again Christian mother had given me. I had men and women of 70 years old in the audience who were stating,'It is good to talk about this kind of thing.' I had a formal cast member talk openly about her body for the first time in her life; I empowered teenage girls, old women and men to be open and to honour and respect women through the use of the script and talk held by the manager of the Lanarkshire Rape Crisis Centre.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

ensure mo

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Empowering people through the use of performancee - my forte!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Giving, generous, hard working women from all walks of life who have become good friends.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Empower men and women all internationally and help change the world to a peaceful place to exist.

Ways to make it better...

More staff were hired to answer my technical and production queries. Not all my questions were answered!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

My apologies for generalising, but the fact that women are so often looked upon as a commodity by men be it during war or times of peace so that they become the first point of hurt and violence.

One thing I'd also say is that...

If people work together and become open and non-judgemental and don't look down on others, humanity could be free.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 27, 2010

more

May 27, 2010

I love VDAY. The tools and resources they give as well as the entire mission of ending violence against women and girls helps me make my community a better place while also helping women across the globe have a better life. The ability to produce plays and other works by Eve Ensler is a great tool in opening up a dialogue about topics that women need to discuss with everyone in their community while also helping raise money and awareness for both our own local non-profit and for VDAY at large who contributes money and services to women in need all over the world.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

how we helped raised money for our own local organization while raising awareness in our community about issues local women are facing as well as issues that women are facing all over the world.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 27, 2010

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May 27, 2010

V-Day is incredible. I worked on staff in 2000-2001 and have volunteered ever since. This year, I produced a TVM show. The response from our community to both the theater experience and the work that Eve Ensler and V-Day do was profound and overwhelming. Everyone involved in the process was moved and changed forever. Donations and support came easily and we were able to raise a lot of money for a local women's shelter program -- which went directly to them! The V-Day model is just plain brilliant and their work is so important. Long live V-Day!

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

raising funds, raising awareness, changing minds, changing lives and empowering and facilitating women and girls to step up to the plate and do something to change the world.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 27, 2010

more

May 27, 2010

I have worked with several nonprofit organizations and I can say that my volunteer experience with V-Day has been the most satisfying and is the experience I feel has allowed me to make the biggest impact on my community. The model of having the productions be totally community organized with a lot of support from V-Day allows volunteers to experience really deep and meaningful community organizing without feeling totally overwhelmed. I think that the focus on benefiting one's community also allows for so much more ownership and a more positive, connected experience for the participants. Finally, I believe that V-Day's programs are incredibly effective. My event raised $4,500 for a local rape crisis center, and I know that seeing the production has educated so many and changed perspectives -- my own fiance is a perfect example! In 2009, he was very reluctant to see the show, thinking that he would be the only man there and that it would make him uncomfortable. After seeing it, in 2010 he was one of our most supportive volunteers and was envangalizing about how important this piece is for men to see! Overall, great experience for volunteers and audience alike, and very effective at fulfilling the organization's mission.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

this question is a little unclear... Fundraising, volunteer engagement, community education, activism

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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