Continuing Humanitarian Work in Ghana
The Hope Clothesline
Hope is..."The belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's own life."
“Freedom cannot be achieved
unless women have been emancipated
from all forms of oppression.”
"Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that
freed self was another.
Tamale, Ghana West Africa
The Hope Clothesline Project is patterned after the 22 year old Louisville, KY social justice initiative termed, the Clothesline Project. PGHF Executive Director, Dr. Campbell is one of the founders of the "Clothesline Project" that provides intimate sessions where women can express their own pain by painting words and imagery on tee shirts in a safe, secure and private environment. The shirts are then displayed on a clothesline as a public display of how widespread abuse is. The project alerts perpetrators that victims will not keep silent, and provides women who might not ordinarily have platforms to share their voices an intentional space to share their trauma, speaking out against violence with a support system.
The women-led Hope Clothesline Project became a reality when one day, during a hot summer in December 2007 in Tamale, Ghana, a group of fifty women spoke out about the devastating violence that had been inflicted on them by people that were supposed to love them and protect. The women gathered in a dirt floor hut with wooden benches and a few wooden tables. Due to financial constraints instead of using traditional tee shirts that are typically used during sessions, they used a bolt of yellow felt material. They cut the material out in the shape of fifty tee shirts as they shared a box of eight magic markers.
In this crowded hut women who could not write drew their feelings about the abuse they experienced, and women that could write, wrote their feelings about the types abuse they endured. These women, for the first time in their lives, magnified their voices and could speak out about the cruelty they suffered. The shirts were hung out on a clothesline in front of the hut for all in the village to see. The women held hands with each other and screamed with joy about what they did that day. They chanted as they held hands.
“We are strong & vibrant women with the innate capacity to heal.”
When we left "it" on the line