Family Radio CHRI


Glimpses of Good in Congo

In a heart wrenching article in today's Toronto Star, they discuss what do women do when they have been shunned by their society?


In the Democratic Republic of Congo sexual violence is used as a weapon of war.  Soldiers from all armed groups have used sexual violence as a weapon of war to intimidate men and women, to empty villages, and recruit children for their armies.

"[victims are] Erased as wives and daughters for a crime done to them, they've been cast out from their homes, expelled from their hamlets, reviled by husbands and fathers and brothers, ostracized by neighbours."

In the past 15 years sexual violence has become common place in the DRC and is reaching endemic proportions. Through decades of war and centuries of exploitation, traditional social and community structures have been broken down to the point where the majority of the population of Congo does not even know that they have rights.


Even in darkness light dawns ...

"It was through the assistance of a local "listening house'' — a network of counselling shelters that functions also as an underground railroad for disenfranchised victims — that Ushindi made her way to the central Heal Africa establishment in the North Kivu capital.  Heal Africa has 28 safe houses in the province and in the past seven years has trained about 470 village women as counsellors."


HEAL Africa is not only providing safe houses and care but also works to combat gender and justice issues that are ultimately at the core of the mistreatment of the Congolese women.


"HEAL Africa's hospital and community development work address the root causes of illness and poverty for the people of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The hospital and the 28 women's houses in Maniema and North Kivu have provided a safe place for many victims of the war, and have been a motor for combating poverty and promoting community cohesion over the past 14 years."


Read the full article here.

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