"Those people who help us are very good; they don’t know us, but now they help. God bless them... this is unity and good collaboration. Outsiders are helping us and our government is just keeping silent. We thank you; God bless you all." Mushagalusa Ezéchiel
“COFAPRI gave me a second chance,”says Francine proudly.
“Thanks to them I learnt that even if I have a permanent scar on my heart, the rape was not the end of my life. I was a victim once, but I won’t be a victim forever.
COFAPRI is committed to helping women and girls survivors of rape and domestic violence that is rampant in the DRC due to repetitive wars...
Co-founder Bahati has taken some sewing courses and shares her skills with members in the villages.
"The way you see me here is the way I am every day: no shoes, no food, nothing.
I see other children going to school, but me – not. My mother is poor. But I heard you are helping people around here; I will tell my mother to come and me, too, I will come, ok?"
'You are my fathers and I am your son... Think of how to arrest those who rape these women we are serving and not us who serve them.' - COFAPRI coordinator tells police.
"We have to be sure the sun will rise tomorrow...
We must unite and stand as one strong team to say no to violence to women and girls here and everywhere in the world.”
"Pigs, rabbits and guinea pigs can give dung to use to increase the production on our land. They are changing our livelihoods in these mountains. I have been using the dung of the rabbits COFAPRI gave me. This has changed my life and that of my six children..."
DRC has been living through cyclic wars for more than 15 years. Women and girls have been raped, gang-raped once or repetitively. Some were infected with HIV/AIDS, others got unwanted pregnancies that produced fatherless children. COFAPRI helps with the education of such children...
People are living great fear of the war that is ravaging North Kivu province.
Our coordinators travel long distances, on foot, in the mountainous villages of the DRC, to be with COFAPRI members, helping to empower women and girls, and end the cycle of violence.
"We know how to make peace, but our leaders never ask us.
We suffer more than men and yet, we did not start the war and we do not even know why it is there and who brought it."
Update from COFAPRI - Safeworld Field Partner in DR Congo:
The boys expressed their feeling of joy when they help their mothers:
"Our mothers suffer a lot in the home; they seek wood, fetch water and cook food for us. Now we must help them in this activity so that they can get time to do house activities."
On International Women's Day (IWD), COFAPRI members join the women of the whole world in celebrating this great event, as part of the Join Women on the Bridge campaign.
As there was no bridge around in the area, the women and men members of COFAPRI stood in a circle hand-in-hand, as a sign of peace, unity, and breaking discrimination that is often directed to women and their daughters.