- Project Title:
- The Kung Fu Bibi of Kenya
- Issue Area:
- Human Rights & Cultural Understanding
Charlotte has been home for me for nearly 10 years. The largest city in North Carolina and the second-largest banking center in the U.S., Charlotte has become renowned for its growing prominence in the global economy and its thriving, young culture. In my eyes, Charlotte was the greatest city in the world. But about a year ago, I was startled after learning the harrowing truth about the city I loved so much. Charlotte is among the top 10 cities with the most human trafficking reports. Since learning about this, I have researched initiatives and programs in Charlotte to protect its citizenry, particularly women against sex trafficking, but no large scale efforts were taken. Thus, it became the responsibility of Charlotteans to resolve this issue.
Then I heard about the documentary Kung Fu Grandma by Jeong-One Park. It tells the story of a group of 20 grandmas from Korogocho, a suburb near Nairobi. With young men in the neighborhood raping elderly women as a supposed cure to HIV/AIDS, these grandmas come together to help each other train in martial arts while practicing their verbal defense, saying “no” and “I don’t want to talk to you.”
My project can take what we learn from these grandmas who live in a slum on the outskirts of the capital and apply it back home. With a group of elderly citizens being able to promote self-defense with such minimal resources, a program can be installed in Charlotte. Similarly to the issue of human trafficking, state-funded self-defense programs would allow protection of women from being taken away. Hopefully, with the efforts of both the private and public sectors, a program can be created on self-defense to help prevent human trafficking in Charlotte and around the world.