Project #83 | Promoting Gender Equality in Eastern Congo
Our partnership with World Relief
A shocking 8 out of 10 women have been raped in Eastern Congo, a number beyond imagination. As a central issue for the people in Eastern Congo, World Relief is mobilizing local churches and engaging local governments to bring about change. The church is well positioned to care for survivors, ameliorate the cultural stigma, provide group counseling, and help them generate income for themselves through micro-savings and agricultural projects.
An important way local churches are playing a role in this project is through the development of grassroots Village Peace Committees. Members of the community – spouses, neighbors, families, etc. – can bring grievances to the committee and engage in a reconciliation process. Peace starts in the home, between neighbors and in communities. Churches are keys to peace throughout eastern DR Congo and World Relief works with its member churches to resolve conflict at the grassroots level so that conflict cannot take root in communities and be exploited by militias and other armed forces. Last year, over 600 local churches were involved in peace-building activities. World Relief is also working with local governments to raise awareness in schools and with military leaders, helping to change their attitudes toward women.
Our collective impact
Women Received Training
Women Provided Health and Wellness Care
Kyakimwa is a 34 year-old from Kiwanja in Rutshuru territory. She is a mother of 6, the youngest being the result of rape. She was in the field cultivating crops when three armed men came and raped her. After confiding in her husband, he abandoned her, kicking her out of the house. When she found out she was pregnant a few months later, she tried aborting without success. She carried the pregnancy to term. She sought help from her husband’s family, but because of the stigmas around rape, they told her they could not live with a raped woman. Not knowing what else to do, Kyakimwa fled to an IDP camp in Goma where she met a counselor who had been trained by World Relief. The counselor took her to GESOM Hospital where she received the necessary care and treatment such as a kit preventing sexually transmitted infections like HIV and hepatitis. “At the exit of the hospital, World Relief gave us each the income-generating activities according to the capacity of each one. Later she came back to visit us and counseled us to no longer be afraid; rather, to pray for these bandits and rapists who have done so much damage to us. I continue to seek justice but we thank World Relief so much for we have found hope and courage to live again.”
Thank you for making this possible!
Our movement is grassroots, to us that not only means the work on the ground is led by local leaders with the support of the community, but it also means that we raise the funds for our projects through everyday donors just like you. In addition to all the donors that gave $25, $100, or $250 and the campaigners that ran a race or donated their birthday to raise funds, we also want to thank our generous business, school, and faith sponsors who believed in our work and joined the movement.
If you want to support future projects like this you can make a donation to our Gender Based Violence fund.