Why Democratic Republic of the Congo?

Some of the most frequent questions we get are about the programs we are supporting and funding. What are they? Who runs them? How are they helping women? Why Syria/Iraq, DRC and South Sudan? 

Over the next week, we will be posting some answers to these questions. As always, you are welcome to contact us with any and all questions at info@onemillionthumbprints.org

Click to read about the Syria/Iraq programs, and South Sudan programs

 

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (DRC) - World Relief programs facilitated in the DRC.

WHAT

Sexual and gender based violence.

Peace building. 

Savings for Life.

WHO

Men, women, children are affected by the violence of war. Women, especially, are the human targets of sexual violence as an act of war. Entire communities are vulnerable to exploitation and demise when the men are killed and the women are assaulted and dehumanized. Children are lost in the process, or at the very least more vulnerable to exploitation. These communities need programs helping them survive the violence and trauma, stabilize the community post violence, and long-term sustainable economic and educational support to thrive. 

HOW

Village Peace Committees are groups of about ten people of diverse gender, age, political, tribal and church backgrounds who’ve been trained to resolve conflict and build peace at a grassroots level. A wide range of community members are chosen for the committees so that they represent the viewpoints and interests of their villages. The men and women are equipped to mediate and prevent marital, business, land ownership and other types of conflicts in their communities before they escalate into violence.  

World Relief’s Savings for Life groups are designed to create pathways to economic opportunity. A vast majority of the participants and leaders are women. In regular meetings, groups of 10-25 members save, lend and borrow small amounts of money over the course of several months. They gradually empower one another to start businesses, make essential home repairs or invest in new farming tools or livestock. In close community, women find the purchasing power to cover medical insurance, regularly feed their children protein-rich meals and pay their school tuition.

In eastern DRC, World Relief responds to sexual violence through advocacy, counseling and medical support for women and girls impacted by sexual and gender based violence (SGBV).World Relief offers counseling, medical care and community reintegration for survivors while equipping churches and communities to confront harmful stigmas that negatively impact women who’ve experienced SGBV. 

WHY

The "why" is always anchored in the story and face of an individual, a family. When we only talk about numbers and statistics or theoretical and philosophical reasoning, we miss the point of it all.

photo: Sean Sheridan/World Relief

photo: Sean Sheridan/World Relief

Early in the morning, the armed men spotted her. Cecile was alone. 

On the isolated road in the Democratic Republic of Congo, she had nowhere to run—and no one to call for help. After the men attacked, Cecile’s husband found her. He forced her out of their home. 

When Cecile was alone, the local church opened its doors—and its people went out to love her. Church-trained volunteers took Cecile to receive medical care. They walked with her through her trauma—and worked to transform the heart of her husband. Slowly, he welcomed Cecile back into their home.

Today, Cecile’s family is restored—and now she lives in freedom. 

“I praise the Lord for the presence of the church of God that brings hope to people who are suffering and have no assistance. God be blessed!” Cecile said.

In the DR Congo, local churches offer trauma counseling, establish grassroots peace committees, and facilitate access to medical care for survivors of sexual violence. No one can fight injustice alone, and that is why One Million Thumbprints is partnering with these local churches to bring hope and healing to war-torn nations. 

JOIN US as we seek to fund more programs likes these, programs that ensure survival, promote stability and eventually provide sustainable development for the displaced. 

DONATE to 1MT today!


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