Season 6, Episode 10: Learning New Ways of Advocacy
The Ignite Institute welcomes a new host for Season 6 of Change Happens Now: education and community advocate and Pacific School of Religion grad student, Maurice King, aka Mo. Join Mo, sharing space with incredible leaders, thinkers, and practitioners as they walk us through the change that’s happening within them and around them, and how they’re responding to this moment, creating change for our world.
In a global culture that has perpetuated sexual violence and a recent shift to more people talking about it than ever before, how can we as leaders truly be in community with survivors of this kind of abuse? In our Season Finale, we sat down with Lydia Matioli, Program & Partnerships Director of Freely in Hope in Kenya and Zambia, to talk about her own story and how this shift in mindset is helping her be more expansive in her vision in terms of advocacy. Born and raised in Kibera, East Africa’s largest slum, Lydia has experienced the effects of sexual violence, lack of education, and poverty firsthand. Now, at Freely in Hope, she coordinates, designs, and implements programs that exemplify best practices for ending the cycle of sexual violence. She shares with our community how listening to survivors’ stories and telling their stories in a dignified way, helps them to shift the blame from them to their perpetrators and begin the healing process. We learn specific pathways to take so that we can all become active survivor advocates, as well as how therapy, contemplative practices, and having an attitude of gratitude can keep leaders in this work grounded and nourished. Lydia also talks about teaching children the importance of preventing sexual abuse through bodily autonomy, speaking up, consent, and safe touch.
After giving birth to her daughter, Lydia wanted to ensure her daughter grew up in a world that was safe. As a survivor of child sexual assault, Lydia was terrified that her daughter could be vulnerable to the same harm she experienced. As a child-protection advocate, Lydia wanted to educate children to be aware of what abuse looks like, and to empower parents to build trust and establish safety measures with their children. This vision birthed Pendo’s Power, her first children’s book! Through the launch of Pendo’s Power, Lydia hopes that children around the world will discover the power of their voices and utilize it to call out sexual abuse and build a safer world for generations to come.
Pick up Lydia’s book Pendo’s Power here.
*This episode contains mature content.
The Ignite Institute at PSR brings together personal, communal, and spiritual work from wisdom traditions to provide established and emerging leaders with the vision, resilience, and skills to create a world where we can all thrive.