The Bumble Team ventured to Mexico to meet the Moves Making Impact Women Leaders
November 2019 – Vital Voices partner Bumble is making moves – this time in Mexico! Bumble, the woman-first social networking app, collaborated with Vital Voices to launch their “Moves Making Impact” initiative, a new product feature in its app that empowers its more than 75 million users to give back with every first move made. Users who make a “first move” across Bumble’s platforms (Bumble Date, BumbleBizz or BumbleBFF) can choose one of three causes – human rights, public policy or economic development – that they want to support. Each cause is associated with a woman leading change in her community. Based on the number of first moves made for each cause, Bumble will make a donation to each woman through Vital Voices.
Bumble went to see that change in action with a visit to Moves Making Impact initiative women Saskia Niño de Rivera and Adriana Hinojosa Céspedes in Mexico.
Saskia is the President and Founder of Reinserta, an organization working to breaking the cycle of crime in Mexico by intervening with children born in incarceration, women in prison and juvenile offenders. In Mexico, children who are born in prison are allowed to live with their mothers up until six years of age, so Reinserta works directly with them and the prisons they live in to create an environment that better serves their needs.
The Bumble team went with Saskia and Reinserta to Penal de Nezahualcóyotl, a prison for women. While there, they participated in a music class specifically for women who are living in prison with their children, and were moved by the songs provided by Reinserta for this class, created to imitate sounds and colors that the children wouldn’t necessarily have experienced within the prison walls.
Children living in the prisons aren’t allowed outside at all, so Reinserta painted the ceiling of the music room to match the sky, helping the children get a sense of what the sky looks like. Hearing them sing songs about buses honking and dogs barking seems like a normal song for children to sing, but when you realize that they are imitating noises they have never heard, the importance of that lesson hits a bit deeper.
Reinserta also works with the prisons to create safe spaces for mothers and their children, and we were able to see Reinserta’s direct interventions when we visited the maternity and children’s wing of the prison, painted brightly with bold colors and blooming flowers, with necessities for a comfortable living space for the children with private cells for their mothers AND a full playroom of toys and books.
The group also joined some of the women in a workshop about relationships and love. Reinserta led conversations on healthy relationships, as many of the women in the prison are in their position as a result of having been forced to commit crimes by their partners under threat of violence. We ended the day by joining the women in an exercise led by Reinserta that challenged us to write a letter to ourselves: what is the letter that we would want to receive that proved to us that we were loved. It was clear that not only has Reinserta directly improved the lives of the children in the prison, but has given their mothers a space to learn, grow and ask questions. Reinserta has given them a support group and relationships that will help them raise their children to have full lives once they are released.
Adriana is a Former Congresswoman and currently works for the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Gender Based Violence Crimes in the State of Mexico. The team started the day by visiting one of three special shelters for children who are victims of trafficking and gender-based crimes, held in undisclosed locations around the state of Mexico to protect child survivors. Children are brought to the shelter when they are rescued by the state from certain trafficking or gender-based crimes – including the youngest child currently living in the shelter, who was just two years old. The shelter is full of natural light, room for crafts, and bedrooms for the children to feel as safe and secure as possible.
Adriana also took the group to a state-sponsored shelter for domestic violence survivors – which provides all resources women who are victims of domestic violence might need. From an onsite doctor’s office to counselors, lawyers and a full support team of investigative police, the team was struck by how this center provided any resource a woman might need, within one building.
Our group was then able to meet with the Gender Police, a special police force created by Adriana, who have been trained specifically in working on gender-based crimes. They must go through training to help inform a survivor-centric approach, equipping them tools ranging from the language they use to the questions they ask, and all wear special badges so that they are easily identifiable to women.
It was so impactful and important for us to get to see Adriana’s and Saskia’s efforts in person. Their work affects so many women, children and communities throughout Mexico – and we’re excited to watch them continue to expand their efforts in the years to come!
The mobile-based app was first founded to challenge the antiquated rules of dating, providing a long overdue shake up to the exclusive gender norms of online dating. Now, Bumble empowers users to connect with confidence whether dating, networking, or meeting friends online.
Bumble and Vital Voices have collectively identified twelve women leaders solving problems in their communities who will benefit from “Moves Making Impact” over the course of the next year.
This post was written by Vital Voices Senior Manager, Development and Strategic Partnerships Maria Davis.