Champlain College Emergent Media Center’s BREAKAWAY Game a Finalist for International Award Winner of the three-year funding award for using technology for social change to be announced in May

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- (Jan. 27, 2016) The Champlain College Emergent Media Center’s (EMC) BREAKAWAY initiative has been named a finalist for The Womanity Foundation’s 2016 Womanity Award, an international award for the prevention of violence against women using information and communications technology.

BREAKAWAY is a soccer-themed video game, encouraging players to move away from behavior that promotes violence against women, towards behavior promoting mutual respect. Young players meet in camps where they role-play scenarios that create environments of gender equality.

The game has been played in 185 countries with more than 5,000 registered users.

The Womanity Foundation defines the competition as “an international award that supports collaboration between individuals or groups seeking to combat gender-based violence, and aims to break down barriers that such organisations face. This enables groundbreaking projects that are successful in one location, to be expanded, and reproduced elsewhere, to reach and help many more women.”

BREAKAWAY is competing with three other pairs of finalists using ICT hailing from all over the globe. Womanity will announce the winners of the Womanity Award for the Prevention of Violence Against Women at OuiShare Fest in Paris in May 2016.

In partnership with the South Burlington, Vt.- based Population Media Center (behavior change experts), and with Grassroot Soccer South Africa as a “Scale-Up Partner,” the collaboration aims to scale-up and integrate two successful existing models in a new context with the support and mentorship of The Womanity Foundation over a three-year period.

"We are very excited that through the Womanity Award a new generation of Champlain College students will be able to amplify the efforts of Grassroots Soccer in Africa by engaging youth through BREAKAWAY.” said Ann DeMarle, director of the Emergent Media Center.
In 2010, we conducted preliminary testing of the game in impoverished schools in St. Lucia.
“Our long lasting partnership with Population Media Center and the UN has enabled us to bring this successful program to communities and create gender equity champions. Womanity in turn brings forward new channels for sustainable social change.”

BREAKAWAY, matched with Grassroot Soccer’s innovative soccer-based HIV and gender-based violence prevention curricula aims to create sustainable and effective change in attitudes and behaviors.

Former Champlain students and EMC’s Sarah Jerger working with youth in Khayelitsha, South Africa - where BREAKAWAY began and where the Champlain team will return to work with Grassroot Soccer.

The BREAKAWAY initiative was created by Champlain College students under the sponsorship and guidance of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Population Media Center, and faculty and staff at the Emergent Media Center. BREAKAWAY is part of the United Nations' UNiTE campaign and supports the United Nations' goals to end poverty and violence. Other recent partnerships include UN Women, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), University of Sonsonate, University at Buffalo—the State University of New York, Unidad De La Mujer Sonsonate, Municipality of Sonsonate, Municipality of Hebron in the Palestinian Territories, the LKW Foundation, and HOPEWorks.

We have been working with BREAKAWAY either creating it, fine-tuning it, translating it, or conducting youth camps for the past eight years. More than 150 Champlain College students to date have left their impact on this life-changing project.
Created By
Stephen Mease
Champlain College Emergent Media Center

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