Supporting sexual violence survivors in the DRC

Refugees from the conflict in The Democratic Republic of Congo Refugees from the conflict in The Democratic Republic of Congo © CARE / Kate Holt

'Our Future’ supports an approach that focuses on the holistic wellbeing of sexual violence survivors, sensitively targeting women, men, and children survivors of sexual violence in densely populated areas. The three types of activities to care for and empower survivors of sexual violence:

  • Enhancing treatment services for HIV prevention and reproductive Health CARE is focusing on providing training to health workers, emphasising the importance of gender-sensitivity and confidentiality. The project also provides support to health centres through the distribution of medicines and materials and strengthening of referral systems. There is a further focus on building the long-term capacity of the Ministry of Health.
  • Mobilising advocacy and communication campaigns to reduce stigma and boost reporting Working with two local organisations, CARE is implementing a behaviour change communication programme. Partner organisations are trained in using a holistic approach with multiple activities to affect behaviour change, with a focus on promoting services for survivors of sexual violence and reducing stigma to increase the number of referrals.
  • Creating socio-economic groups to empower and reintegrate survivors in their communities Engaging in income generating activities (IGAs) and Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) gives vulnerable individuals a sense of economic empowerment and helps to combat marginalisation through participation in the labour market. As well as survivors of sexual violence, the groups include other vulnerable women and community members, helping to preserve confidentiality and promote integration and acceptance in the community. CARE is providing extensive training to the groups, as well as start-up kits to support members in their chosen activity. The groups also provide a forum for discussion, while trained community members are able to provide psychosocial counselling to survivors and their families.
  • Area: North Kivu: Goma, Karisimbi, Kayna
  • Start Date: June 2011
  • End Date: May 2013
  • Donor: Positive Action for Children Fund (PACF)/ Viiv Healthcare
  • Funding Total: £500,000

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