Violence Against Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Tree of Life Foundation International and the Hear Congo Foundation visited Africa on October 13, 2010. Since the devastating conflict in the DRC began in 1998, rape sometimes by groups as large as twenty men, have become hallmark of the conflict, with armed factions often using it as part of a calculated strategy to destabilize opposition groups, undermine fundamental communities values, humiliate the victims and witnesses, and secure control through fear and intimidation. It is not unusual for mothers and daughters to be raped in front of their families and villages. Young girls are also regularly abducted and held captive for years to be used as sexual slaves by combatants and their leaders.
Dr. Joseph Mibi from the Medical Center St.Vincent-Bukavu, says that rape of girls as young as three and women over 70 have been reported. Medical Center St. Vicente has reported 400 cases of rape per year, where 48 of the women get pregnant and 168 are infected with HIV virus.
Dr. Joseph Muyumba from Dom Bosco Medical Center- Goma, accommodates victims of sexual abuse and gives access to medical care for HIV positive patients children and adults. Victims are frequently left with serious physical injuries, which can go untreated due to a lack of access to medical care. Dom Bosco provides access to medical care for all community needs, and also provides school and educational programs to teach individual skills for all types of labor.
We visited few villages where we found widows, abused women and children being helped by few humanitarian Congolese that were also victims of the violence. The humanitarians Congolese take care of 750 women, helping them with psychological problems, human rights, food, medical supplies, etc. Tree of Life Foundation International provided the villages, Heal Africa, Dom Bosco and Medical Center St. Vincent with medical supplies, including antibiotics and HIV medications, baby formulas, hygiene kits and monetary donations.
After visiting a few villages, we had one of the women describe for us what ?happened to her. She says: “They attacked at night, locked people in their houses?and burned them inside their homes. No one in my family survived. They found me while I was trying to hide and took me into the forest to rape me. I was raped by four of them at least, but then I lost consciousness and couldn’t count anymore. I was in the bush with them for one week and became pregnant because of the rape.
Amanda Schumacher participated on the third World March of Women, which is a world movement organized by women to fight inequalities and gender based discriminations, more particularly those suffered by women. Its objective is to make a better world in which quality, freedom, solidarity, justice and peace would prevail.
Tree of Life Foundation International is partnering with Heal Africa along with First Lady of Congo and DRC Minister of Gender, Ms. Marie-Ange Lukiana to fight violence against women and eradicate poverty among them and the improvement in women’s condition in DRC.
It is estimated that in the last 6 years, more than 4.0 million people have died and millions have been displaced due to the violence, starvation and diseases. We are hopeful because of the resilience of these survivors and their determination to speak out to stop these crimes.
2011 World March of Women
St. Vincent Medical Center – Bukavu
Kaleiba Ngoie, First Lady of Congo, Amanda Schumacher & DRC Minister of Gender
RECIPIENTS OF THE 2008 AND 2011 GLOBAL HEART AWARDS
WOMEN’S FAITH FORUM LUNCHEON
Held at the Kravis Center on Thursday, January 28, 2010
Singer Performing will be Melky Jean (Wyclef sister)
Luncheon raised gifts, talents and resources; all money raised 100% went back to the organizations including the Shitowa Foundation
Founder: Kaleiba Ngoie
Beautiful Congo, once a peaceful nation where women and girls freely worked their fields, where people fished, planted and hunted in the forest, where children joyfully walked to school without fear, is now the war-torn heart of Africa where over six millions lives have been lost, where tens of thousands of women and girls are sexually violated and critically wounded, where children die of preventable diseases and are unschooled, where men are humiliated and defenseless. Meanwhile, hope, courage and integrity thrive amidst the chaos. Please join us as we dare to hope for Congolese men, women and children, one life at a time. Please join us to bring peace and freedom to the Congo.
In Congo DRC, thousands of women die of cancer, without ever knowing what disease they have and without ever having the chance to get treatment.
Mission: Our commitment to the women of the Democratic Republic of Congo is to provide medical assistance, training and outreach programs to empower themselves socially and economically.
MISSION TO DRC/AFRICA
Puresa Humanitarian is a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization dedicated to providing rescue, hope, and a way out of slavery for children and women, victims and survivors of human trafficking and sexual slavery. Puresa Humanitarian was born from a God-given vision with passion to reach and help those suffering victims to receive rescue, hope, and become restored with dignity and opportunity for a new life of freedom. Puresa Humanitarian’s mission is to save lives, reach, rescue, and restore children and women from the horrors of human trafficking and sexual servitude by creating new pathways and a way out from slavery, that these innocent victims and survivors may now have hope and a future to live the life that God intended for them.
Puresa Humanitarian’s work is based in India, reaching Indian and Nepali children and women who are trapped in trafficking situations throughout the city, remote villages, and the borders of neighboring Nepal, through which 15,000 + young girls are sold and lost into India yearly, and the brothels. Puresa has established work in this region where so many children, teens, and young women are easy targets for human traffickers. Puresa Humanitarian goes where few dare to tread to rescue victims and survivors, give healing support, and create new pathways in life for them.