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Compassion In Kenya

Compassion-CBO

Compassion CBO

Compassion CBO, was formed to eradicate poverty through education and sustainable development among women living in the slums and rural areas of Kenya and to rehabilitate orphans and vulnerable children.

Survivors In DR Congo

Bahati-with-group

COFAPRI

COFAPRI is based in Bukavu in the eastern Democratic Rupublic of Congo The organisation empowers women through encouraging income-generating activities such as the rearing of livestock.

Grassroots News

Safe World Field Partner, work directly with issues such as poverty, health-care, marginalisation, FGM, child marriage, and education.

Asha Leresh

How Asha Survived the Unnecessary Cut

Asha’s luck came when Samuel Siriria Leadismo, the Director of Pastoralist Child Foundation and his team visited her village, creating awareness about female genital mutilation (FGM) and sexual reproductive health....
Handwashing

Washing Hands to Improve Health in Rural DR Congo

COFAPRI organised handwashing sessions for school children and mothers in rural villages, with the aid of educational DVDs kindly supplied by Thare Machi Education. The word has begun to spread as neighbours are now prompting each other to wash their hands.
Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces Crucial for Women's Self-Reliance in Rural DR Congo

Increased security helps women become self-reliant and less financially dependent on their husbands. This improves the situation for the whole family and also means the women are less vulnerable to abuse.
Towards womens empowerment

DR Congo: Men's Inclusion in Women's Empowerment Benefits Everyone

It remains very important within communities for men and boys to be educated regarding the rights of women and girls, including their proper, fair and respectful treatment. When the women and girls become empowered, it is the whole community that benefits.
Margaret from Kiambu Support Group

Nairobi cancer survivor has hope at last

Margaret is among many women Compassion CBO trained in 2015. She has survived breast Cancer 2 times.

New Womens Magazine for Cameroon

The first edition of the Women for a Change Magazine is now available.

News, Interviews and Blogs

Under-reported issues affecting women and children. Exclusive interviews, articles and blogs by Safe World Correspondents and Content Partners

Compensation Claims Board 2

The Need for Victim Compensation Programmes - Pakistan and Globally

Globally, victim compensation programmes play a significant role in providing assistance to the victims of violence... however, in Pakistan we are lacking any such programme. It is high time to take serious note of the issue and develop a strong referral…
Lizzy and Victoria

Peace, Dialogue & the Ripple Effect: #RISING16 Global Peace Forum

Perhaps the most inspiring session for me came towards the end of the two days and was entitled ‘Bring back our girls – the forgotten victims of conflict’... We heard the CEO of International Alert, Harriet Lamb, and Victoria Nyanjura - who was kidnapped by…
Olutosin 2

Olutosin Adebowale: To America With Love

Once upon a time in my country, Nigeria, there was a ruler who was dreaded by many... We resisted and said No to every oppressive action or word to any weak or voiceless Nigerian... This is the time to stand firm on what has held the world together - Love.
Berlyne Ngwalem Ngwentah

Berlyne Ngwentah: 'The Biggest Cheerleaders of Women are Women'

All the most prominent, biggest community and feminist movements to alleviate the sufferings of women and girls and support women’s involvement in education and leadership have been championed mostly by women...
Jen 9

Promoting Misogyny, Zenophobia, and Bullying... is.... Nasty

I cannot ever vote for anyone who promotes misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, zenophobia, homophobia... It would be a mockery of my life... dishonoring my elders who have endured the many injustices of racial animosity, my friends who've experienced the same...
Women united

Women United for a Better Community in High Andean of Peru

“Women United for a Better Community” is a new group of grassroots women in the Ayacucho Region at the South High Andean of Peru, recently created by Estrategia, a National Grassroots women's organization. The grassroots women require to be heard and get the…

COFAPRI-children-4Born from rape. These children are under COFAPRI school sponsorship programme; on holiday, they go to cultivate. Photo: Bahati Valérie, August 2012

Giving a Voice to Children Born of Rape

By Bahati Valerie, COFAPRI Co-founder & Executive Secretary

COFAPRI brings you a message from the children of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

These children, boys and girls, are totally helpless. Desperate, because they are born to raped mothers, they have no fathers and society discriminates against them, as well as their mothers.

They are culturally discriminated against and cannot go to school. Their words are truly heavy –  meaningful and heavy; these words are from the bottom of these children’s hearts.

- - - -

We, the children of the DRC have been suffering tremendously and this, since ages ago, because we were born to raped mothers.

Our mothers are not socially and culturally valued, and neither ourselves, in the community.

They got pregnant by rape, and today, here we are.

This has hurt them morally and physically; others did not wait to deliver; many died of these wounds as nobody took care of them.

We never knew our fathers and some of us do not even know our mothers; so, no mother and no father and no society is caring for us. Our mothers live in acute poverty – this is the reason why they live in remote villages where they are repeatedly raped, gang raped, and taken as sex slaves.

Raped, our mothers did not choose our fathers.

We only hear about stories that break our hearts –  and yours, of course, about the rapist. Nothing bad like being fatherless; moreover, we have a nation, but it never cares about us.

Today, our mothers and ourselves suffer and suffer discrimination and lack of support.

Our mothers suffer the wounds they got physically and morally by being raped. Some of them were raped by several men, on several occasions and in several locations, others were held sex slaves. They also suffer from the unwanted pregnancies they got –  sometimes at gunpoint.

This causes them loss of self-confidence as they have become without hope. Their morale has disappeared.

Let the world listen to us as fatherless children of the DRC.

We and our mothers have become without hope, due to wars, due to rape.

Who will restore our hope?

As we are in this world, with no fathers, no care, where are we going today?

Society has neglected us; this will push some of us to take refuge in the streets as we are discriminated against, just like our mothers. Streets never educate us, but we have no other alternative. No choice, because we have no home, no shelter, no fathers.

This will push us to become a social load and threat whereas society should protect us.

This again will make others of us join fighters like those who raped our mothers. We do not want to become supporters of new wars, but the community is pushing us to do so.

Such a situation will cause our sisters to become involved in untimely sexual activities, though this causes lots of risks like HIV/AIDS infection and untimely and unwanted pregnancies.

We do not want all this to happen to us, not even to any other child in the world.

In addition to the wounds we have, we have no support at all due to discrimination and extreme poverty.

Being socially ill-treated darkens our future and that of the society. Society hates us, but we still love it. Our hearts are bleeding inside today because of this. Our hearts are heavy and this causes tears to shed, not from our eyes but inside us.

We are at risk.

At danger because we are hopeless; no one calls us their son or daughter. We have become the shame of our mothers as we have no father, no family that protects us.

We do not want to pour onto streets or in forests to damage our community although society is forcing us to do so.

Our words are heavy, sometimes hurting some hearts, but we feel it necessary to speak this out. Keeping them untold will make us worse.

We are children who have no protection, no society to plead for our case. So, we have to speak for ourselves. We are discriminated against because of being born to raped mothers.

The cultures of this society of ours send boys to the right and girls to the left, yet we are all children. This is the impartiality of the cultures and traditions here. We want to be on the same pace and walk abreast.

We, with fathers or not, born to raped mothers, are all children and we need fair care and support.

Send us to school like other children worldwide.

There we will get educated for a better future.

Educate us and our mothers in order to mend our broken hearts. Today, we are children, but tomorrow will never exist if we are still neglected.

Give us a chance to be called children of our country.

Let us grow clean and smart via education.

We beg with two hands, we kneel down with tears shedding off our eyes to get protection for our future and that of our country.

We insistently ask the world to look at us as part of it.

We did not choose to be called fatherless children. If you have a human heart, a heart of a good and caring person, you can listen to us, and understand our worries and plights that tear apart our souls and those of our mothers.

We truly feel abandoned to our fate. We are abandoned by the society and by the nation.

Only sending us to school can relieve our internal pain, rebuild our minds, and soothe our emotions and those of our raped mothers.

Give us chance to go to school, to get education for a better future of ours and that of our nation.

Thank you for listening to us.