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.
Over the past few months, we have learned from our volunteers in the field that our members are growing in number.
Now, COFAPRI is working with more than 200 members. The majority of them are women and girls, and currently their residence covers 15 villages.
We are really motivated with such a progress, which shows COFAPRI members are committed to change their future into a bright one, where they will be able to educate their children.
Safe World Field Partner, COFAPRI, continues to expand its outreach work into new areas of DR Congo.
Founder, Mugisho Theophile, explains that the NGO's success is do to the interest that women and girls are expressing toward our activities of supporting women victims of domestic violence and those who were victims of war violence.
Many of these women were raped and physically and emotionally injured...
“I will do everything I can to offer you my confidence and willingness to promote this project -- and help you spread the word throughout my friends; but this is not an easy task because we men are the ones who discriminate these women,”
Report by Safeworld's correspondent on the ground in DR Congo, Mugisho Theophile.
"Recently, I heard that our women's group had been looted, my old school in Mulende Village had been ransacked and that a man had been kidnapped.
The bandits carried guns and hid their faces. One thing for sure was their brutality..."
Bahati was told that two of COFAPRI’s older members were admitted in Nyangezi hospital, suffering from malaria.
She visited these two members in the hospital and paid for half of their medical expenses as she could not afford to pay the full amount.
If the women were not helped with the payments for medical assistance, they would not be allowed to leave the hospital even if they had recovered; this is the norm in most DRC hospitals.
Safe World Field Partner - COFAPRI - has got a lot stories to tell to the world...
One awful story was of a woman member who was recently battered by her husband:
"He was already drunk, but I tried to tell him that from the swamp to home, it is a long distance (and as I know the area, one can walk almost 2 hours to reach that swamp)...
He could not listen to me and he jumped on me. He beat me badly that I was hurt on the arm, you see now how it is...
... if you can help me get some medicine, that could be fine. I could not tell anybody [about] this sad event because he could kill me this time..."
One woman of our community, Nshobole Furaha, from the village of Kalango, was seriously battered by her husband.
She received an injury on her face from him. Nshobole went to her husband’s home, as this is what the Congolese customs dictate.
COFAPRI helped her reach the hospital where she got treatment...
Members of Safe World Field Partner, COFAPRI, in DR Congo, gathered at Munya village, in a primary school. In this safe space, the women were able to discuss the difficult moments that they and their daughters have been – and are still going through, regarding the violence caused by wars and also domestic violence...