Restoring the hope and lives of women and children shattered by sexual violence
There are conflicts taking place today that don't make the news headlines and most of the world is unaware of the terror that is being used in these fights. The conflicts that are happening in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Central Africa, are battles over control of land, natural resources and group power. Terror has become an effective tactic of obtaining that control and “RAPE” is being used as a weapon of war to feed that terror. The Congolese rebels and the Interahamwe, along with others, are among the groups that commit these sort of sexual crimes. One thousand one hundred and fifty two women are raped a day in the Congo, that equates to forty eight women every hour.
Sexual violence is an epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and our hearts are troubled with the brutal terrorism being done to the women and children there. These precious women, mostly young girls, whose ages average between 14-18, are raped violently, often gang raped by 5 or more men, sometimes with broken glass bottles, tree branches, rifles and most require reconstructive surgery afterwards. They are frequently abducted from their villages, trafficked for food weapons and ammunition, used as sex slaves and subjected to hard labor, terror and unimaginable torture.
Additionally, a woman who is a victim of rape is considered a “curse”, therefore they are rejected (cast away) by parents, families, communities and villages. This type of rejection is mostly due to tribal customs, traditions and fear. The outcome of this rejection is abandonment, homelessness and they become wanderers unable to afford food, shelter, medical treatment and education. Often, as a result of rape, these women become pregnant and their babies are labelled “snakes”. They too are rejected by society and face a very difficult harsh life. There is no government assistance program, many believe the problem is too big to fight and few seem to care at all.
2017 Documentary Video
2019 Documentary Video
Haven of Hope's vision is to restore self worth and provide a transition home for the women survivors of these brutal rapes. These girls are in desperate need of a home that will provide them a place to heal and obtain shelter. Women staying at the home will be able to recover from their assaults and surgeries in peace and be protected from the elements. They will receive much needed counseling to cope with their emotional pain which is critical to their physical recovery. They will also be taught a skilled trade so they may earn an income and begin rebuilding their lives. Additional goals for the future include, providing education for them and their children and the opportunity for survivors to work at the home to help other women coming into the program.
Currently we have raised $125,000 of the $190,000 to purchase a 14,700 sq ft building pictured below to become the transition home. This particular property will allow for future expansion to help more women. It is the newest and the largest of the properties for sale that we looked and it requires the least amount of work. The property is only a short distance away from Celpa hospital where most of these women have been treated and continue to visit for their medical needs. The home has a large front roadside space for market sales where the girls may sell the goods they will learn to make as a source of income.
Haven of Hope continues to travel to Bukavu with a team of people each year to love and minister to each of the survivors. We also bring supplies to teach handcrafts such as necklaces and bracelets to sell back in the United States as a supplemental source of income for the girls. One Hundred percent of the money made from these handcrafts will go directly to the survivor who made them.
Please consider partnering with us to accomplish this much needed goal of bringing hope, healing and restoration to the lives of these women and children.
Haven of Hope is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation and all donations are tax deductible.