The Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has the highest number of sexual assaults on women in the world. Dr. Mukwege, winner of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, treats female victims of violence at the Panzi hospital in Bukavu. While medical and psychological care is provided, survivors find it extremely difficult to regain their place in the community, and face discrimination.
The project in brief
Interaction, private funds
DescriptionIn coordination with Dr. Mukwege's Foundation and Panzi Hospital, we began our support for women and their families in 2018. Our first project in Kavumu ended at the end of 2021. It enabled 65 young girls to reintegrate into their communities, following support and vocational training.
Through this project, which began in 2022, we are supporting 120 women survivors of sexual violence in the Katogota region. Through regular meetings and training, they are gradually regaining their self-confidence and acquiring the tools to develop a small business. As a result, they are regaining a place in their community and hope for the future.
To implement this project, we are working with the local organization "OCB Katogota" (grassroots community organization). It was set up in 2000 on the initiative of a group of women, to help female victims of sexual violence who felt uncomfortable confiding in male health or social workers during their treatment. Over the years, OCB Katogota has become a focal point in the fight against all forms of violence against women.
ObjectivesIn partnership with FH RDC and the local organization "OCB Katogota", we train and support women so that they can :
1. Learn agroecological practices and improve their production.
2. Increase their income by setting up small businesses.
3. Develop their projects by forming savings and credit associations.
ActivitiesActivities already completed
Creation of 4 savings and credit associations
Project beneficiaries have joined forces to form four village savings and credit associations. Each has around 30 members.
The groups meet weekly.
On the economic front, access to credit has enabled each of them to develop an income-generating activity, such as a small food business. What's more, the fact that they meet regularly to discuss their plans for the future reinforces their solidarity and confidence in the future.
12 animators from the Katogota OCB have been trained in agro-ecological practices. In turn, they have passed on their new knowledge (preparation of organic fertilizers, soil cover and erosion control) to the project's partner women for field preparation, sowing and crop maintenance.
Testimonials"Before, I lived from day to day. I lived like a beggar: I waited for someone to need help in their field so I could get work, and therefore food, that day.
Thanks to this project and the encouragement of the OCB Katogota facilitators, I realized that I was capable of doing something for myself. I started selling avocados and sweet potatoes, after obtaining a loan from our savings and credit association.
With the other women in the project, we also learned how to improve our farming methods, thanks to agroecological practices. Today, my harvests have improved.
Thanks to my small business and my fields, I can now live without fear of tomorrow.
I've seen a reversal of roles in my life. Before, I used to work in other people's fields to get something to eat. Today, I make others work. I give thanks to God, I thank God for having inspired FH to involve us in these activities that take us from death to life."
Mapendo R. (30) mother of 6 children
Latest project news
I've made a new start!
News from the reintegration project for women survivors of violence in Katogota in the DRC started in 2022. It concerns 120 beneficiaries and is focused on agriculture and savings and credit groups.