Eastern Congo the rape capital of the world.
According to the latest United Nations report, the DRC heads the list in the category of rape in conflict situations. In eastern Congo, 1,100 rapes are reported each month, averaging 36 women and girls per day. “It is believed that over 200,000 rapes have occurred since the conflict began.” From the UN Violence Against Women. Note: many (if not most) cases go unreported.
Woman Cradle of Abundance helps to support a home in Bukavu for young girls who are pregnant by rape, and contributes to medical and financial aid for other victims, particularly in the Uvira area through our partner CENEDI. Hundreds of women and girls – some as young as 8 years old – have been raped, usually not far from their homes, as they sought firewood in the nearby forests. A significant number have had to be hospitalized with severe physical injuries, and all must deal with not only the pyschic trauma but also the social and economic consequences. Often those who have been raped are rejected by husbands and families, and all lose an important part of their income because they are afraid to return to gathering wood to sell at market. Our partner CENEDI has played a vital role in helping reintegrate these girls and women into their villages. One measure of that success is the community’s participation in the celebration of International Women’s Day as led by these courageous victims who refuse to be broken.
Although Kinshasa is not actually a war zone, rape is common for girls with nowhere to live but the streets, and forced prostitution is even more prevalent.
A young orphan “Ndaya” was left in the care of her uncle... and he ordered her to become a prostitute. She refused. So he threw her out of the house. Living on the street, she took refuge wherever she could; one place was in churches which were open. Unfortunately, others also came there, and the girl was raped again and again; she had no defense. Broken in body, she ended up at a hospital which members of Woman, Cradle of Abundance visited. They were bringing food to patients (hospitals provide no meals: families must feed the patients). Ndaya had no family, but these generous visitors fed her, and when she could leave the hospital they paid her bill and brought her back to Maman Monique and Woman, Cradle of Abundance, where she was enrolled in the sewing school. Now Ndaya has a future, a safe and respected way to support herself.