The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities to restore safety, dignity and hope, IRC leads the way from harm to home. Women and children are front and center of their work. GE Crotonville’s Executive Learning Classes are joining IRC's partner list to support their Vision Not Victim program.

IRC’s Vision Not Victim Program

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) believes that girls deserve the right to determine their own paths in life. The IRC’s Vision Not Victim program works with adolescent girls, parents, and communities to provide girls with equitable opportunities, and create community solutions to combat violence against women and girls and gender inequality.

Vision Not Victim provides a platform for adolescent girls in the United States and around the world to explore their aspirations and design visions for their future, and build skills and knowledge to pursue their visions. The girls are supported by mentors and use photography as a tool to strategize and communicate their goals to their parents, local leaders and communities. Vision Not Victim combines the IRC’s expertise and proven methodology with a creative lens to ultimately create a safe and supportive environment for girls, and to provide girls with equal life chances and choices. Vision Not Victim stands to be a game-changing program in how we access and inspire communities that have suffered from conflict to look towards a positive future.

Together, the IRC and GE Crotonville Education can make a difference to overcome some of these alarming statistics:
  • 600 million adolescent girls live in the developing world.

  • 1 in 7 girls in the developing world will be married before the age of 15.

  • Nearly 1/2 of all sexual assaults worldwide are against girls aged 15 and younger.

  • 1 in 3 women will experience gender-­based violence in their lifetime.

  • Childbirth is the number 1 cause of death among adolescent girls ages 15­19 in low and middle income countries.

  • Out of the world’s 130 million out­-of­-school youth, 70% are girls.

Despite these challenges, as well as those that adolescent refugee girls face in the United States, girls have both the power and potential to achieve incredible things for themselves and transform not only their own lives but also their families and communities. The health, education, and social behaviors established during this pivotal adolescent life stage have long-term impacts. There is definitive evidence that investing in girls’ education, health, and financial literacy contributes to a substantially better future for girls and their families, communities, and even the world:
  • When a girl in the developing world receives 7 years of education she marries 4 years later and has 2.2 fewer children.

  • If she is able to decide when to marry and have children, she and her children are more likely to lead healthier, productive lives, and exit out of the cycle of poverty.

  • Children whose mothers have no education are 2 times as likely to be out of school as children whose mothers have some education.

  • 1 additional year of primary education increases a girl’s eventual income by between 10 - 20%.

  • A woman will reinvest 90% of her lifetime income back into her family, compared to men who on average only reinvest 30-40%.

  • Closing the joblessness gap between girls and their male counterparts would yield an increase in GDP of up to 1.2% in a single year.

The Vision Not Victim Project is growing in impact and reach. We are engaging new groups of girls in the United States and other countries and gathering parents, leaders and community members to view these images, rethink stereotypes and develop concrete ways to support girls.

Donation Levels/Impact for IRC:

  • $You Decide – Personalize your donation to meet the needs of IRC and your own give level!

  • $50 Support a mentor for a girl – Female mentors from the community are allies and role models for girls, exposing them to a wider range of possibility and transforming their understanding of what they can do with their lives. Mentors will help girls learn how to anticipate and navigate obstacles, and plan for the future they want.

  • $100 Support a Girl in Directing Her Vision – Support a girl to direct and star in a photo shoot based on her future vision. During the process, she will learn from professionals in her envisioned field, build self-confidence, and assume a leadership role, creating images that will be used to challenge stereotypes and transform the position of girls in her community.

  • $250 Support the Female Leader Speaker Series – Through this series, girls will have an opportunity to interact with successful women from a wide range of fields, learn how these women overcame obstacles of poverty, lack of access to education, and community beliefs that confine women to the home.

  • $500 Give a Girl Access to a One Year, Skill-building Program – She will learn leadership, communication, and critical life skills, all of which will help to better navigate obstacles, reduce her risk of violence and early pregnancy, and increase her access to critical information that will help keep her safe, healthy, and moving towards her aspirations.

  • $1,000 Provide Opportunities for Community Engagement towards Social Change – Using vision photographs to challenge social norms, the IRC will facilitate discussions with community leaders, teachers, peer groups, local authorities, and girls over the period of a year. These discussions will focus on understanding girls’ potential and rights as well as any issues identified by the girls themselves. The groups will work together to develop concrete actions that community members can take in order to prevent violence and abuse of girls, and will create a more supportive environment for adolescent girls to have equal chances.

  • $5,000 Support a Vision not Victim Program for 15 Girls and their Parents – Support a group of 15 girls to go through the year-long Vision Not Victim program where they will learn critical skills that will keep them safe and also teach them leadership, gain access to mentors, and create media that communicates their vision and the power of women and girls. The IRC will also support the girls’ parents through discussion series and trainings on the violence and risks girls face, the significance of girls having equal opportunities, girls’ access to education, and how they can support their daughters’ aspirations.

  • $10,000 Nationwide Outreach Campaign for Girls’ Protection, Education, and Empowerment – Girls, their parents, and their communities will collaborate on a nationwide campaign to transform stereotypes of girls, and reduce violence and the risks of early marriage and pregnancy. Using a mix of print, television, radio, billboards and other outlets, this campaign will target communities and critical leaders and will advocate for girls’ education, protection, and equal chances and choices.

  • $25,000 Publication of the Vision not Victim Process Guide – This manual will amplify Vision not Victim, reaching tens of thousands of girls, their parents, and communities. Available in print, online, and interactive CDROM, this resource guide will help facilitators from institutions, schools, and local community groups around the world to establish a supportive environment for girls and empower them with the skills they need to work towards their goals.