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Trailer for the City of Joy Documentary

Women's Groups in the DRC Are Demanding Justice 

Dr. Denis Mukwege: Surgeon, Activist, Visionary, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

For women and girls in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), rape is a constant threat. Sexual violence has been used as a weapon of war to control, humiliate, and intimidate millions of women and girls since conflict broke out in 1996. A weak functioning government in the area, a breakdown of social norms due to violence, a lack of respect for the rule of law, readily-available guns, and a destabilized society as a result of a struggle for the country’s national resources have allowed rape to become tragically endemic in the region.

Dr. Denis Mukwege is a Congolese gynecologist, Pentecostal minister, and activist working tirelessly to bring to light the injustice and cruel violence women in the Democratic Republic of Congo face every day. He has expanded his activism to include all women, men, and children dealing with brutality and political turmoil in his country. He founded the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, DRC, to treat women raped by rebels and militant groups, giving everything to help heal victims of war-time violence. 

 

He is well-loved by the people he treats; his return to the DRC was financed by the women he treated who worked hard to raise the funds to bring their hero back. He has won numerous awards for courageously speaking out against the injustices these women face, like the UN Human Rights Prize, Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People List, and the Nobel Peace Prize with Nadia Murad in 2018. 

Nobel Media AB. Photo: A. Mahmoud ©

Photo courtesy of Global Fund for Women 

Photo courtesy of Platon - The People’s Portfolio, March 2016 

Scroll down to watch Nobel Lecture

In Congo, "educating girls is educating a nation" 

The Panzi Model 

Photo courtesy of CNN 

Photo from Holistic Care Handbook 

Fashion

Learn more about traditional Kitenge cloths and the modern Le Sapeur fashion culture 

Boxing in the Congo

Read more about the Rumble in the Jungle, and the lives of female boxers in the DRC 

DRC Art

Explore Congolese art spanning the last century

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Panzi Hospital and Foundation’s world-renowned four-pillar holistic healing model works to meet the full spectrum of needs for survivors of sexualized violence, women who have suffered complex gynecological injuries, and vulnerable populations throughout South Kivu

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, girls lacking in educational opportunities are at risk of early marriage and pregnancy, which is reinforcing cycles of poverty and hindering the country’s development. The International Rescue Committee is mounting a systematic effort to ensure girls are enrolled and succeeding in Congo’s classrooms, so they can take control of their futures through education, and contribute toward the development of their communities.

Growing up in rural Bandundu Province in western Democratic Republic of Congo, Belbiche had lost both of her parents to malaria by the time she was eight years old.

“I dropped out of school and started working in the fields,” she says. “When I saved money from selling my produce, the boys would be sent to school." 

Belbiche’s story is common across the country. When parents can afford school fees, they favour sending their boys to school over girls. The financial gains their parents might get in the short term – by saving money on school fees or by receiving a dowry through marrying off their girls – are lost in the long term. Girls who marry early, become pregnant at a young age, and struggle to raise their own families in areas where there is limited access to health care and education – and the cycle of poverty is often reinforced.

"The Lost Gorillas of the Virunga" Nature Documentary 

Belgium Elects Nation's First Black Mayor, a Congolese Immigrant 

Belgian voters elected their first black mayor in history - Pierre Kompany, who immigrated in 1975. His election foretells a promising future for Belgium's progress in integration 

Interview with Adam Hochschild, author of "King Leopold's Ghost" 

Hochschild's famous book helped bring to light the atrocities committed by colonialism in the Congo 

"We all have the power to change history when the beliefs we are fighting for are right."

-Dr. Denis Mukwege  

Photo by Hugh Kinsella Cunningham 

Yes One Must Think" by Chéri Samba"

Photo courtesy of Lannan Foundation 

Photo courtesy of Pierre Komapny, Twitter