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[EN] Innovation Hub Impact Story

Impact Story 15: Empowered 2 protect

Her family had to flee the war in DR Congo, she lost her husband, and now Sabiba (41 years old) is raising her eight children in the refugee camp in Burundi, where they have lived for 15 years. Sabiba knows very well how dangerous life in a refugee camp is, especially for women. But… she is empowered to protect!

In this series, we highlight the Innovation Impact Stories of our members. They share their projects with a focus on new, innovative ways to make an impact and accelerate change to a better world!

08 maart 2024

Empowered 2 protect

By Red een Kind

In 2019 Help a Child, in co-creation with Invi and the Dutch Relief Alliance, developed a ready-to-use package for any organization interested in a strong SGBV prevention concept: Empower 2 Protect (E2P). One we also introduced in the camp where Sabiba lives.


“There’s a lot of violence in this camp”, Sabiba shares. She’s experienced this herself, but also the impact of the Invi bracelet: “I went on a trip recently and there were three men who tried to rape me and the woman I was with. I used the bracelet. The smell was really, really bad. They ran away from the smell. I was scared in that moment. I really saw they planned to hurt me. I thought it was my only option to use the bracelet so I had to open it.”

Innovative bracelet

The Invi Bracelet can be broken when the carrier is attacked. It will spread a foul smell, that deters aggressors and can alarm others. The bracelet is not just handed out, but it’s part of E2P training sessions. The community sessions are led by trained facilitators, who apply the E2P training modules and who also explain the use of the Invi Bracelet to provide rapid protection and to boost selfconfidence.

Awareness and self-confidence

“The E2P-program gives knowledge on protection”, Sabiba (now a trainer herself) confirms. “Before a man would come in the house and try to touch. Women were scared to even raise their voice. You don’t want to be ashamed that the neighbors hear you. Now most of them are trained, they know now how they can fight for themselves. We were not used to say no, but now we can say no. Now we can cry out to help and can go to the police.”


E2P already made hundreds of men and women aware of their rights and responsibilities. During the training participants discuss gender roles and responsibilities, culture, dealing with emotions, SGBV and consequences, prevention (including the INVI bracelet) and what to do if something happens. And we? We learned to embrace an innovative attitude and we’ve grown during our co-creation with Invi and the Dutch Relief Alliance. But right now, Help a Child is looking for more impact with E2P and we’re inviting other NGO’s to join us in the E2P movement and further scale the concept. Care to join us?