As our W4 field project coordinator was thrilled to inform us, the atmosphere was exceptionally festive in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, on Friday August 14th. To celebrate the launch of our new #WhatIf campaign, participants in our DRC field program gathered to share a joyful meal, sing and dance together, and receive their “What If” T-shirts, designed by our ambassador, the actress and model Clémence Poésy.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, where many people still face high levels of danger every day, W4’s field team works to reintegrate — socially and economically — female survivors of sexual abuse who have received treatment at Dr. Mukwege’s famous Panzi hospital. Most of these women, severely injured and traumatized by the atrocities perpetrated against them by armed militias, end up rejected by their husbands and ostracized by their communities. Adding to their trauma and physical difficulties, some of them find that they have been made pregnant by their attackers. Alone, distraught and lacking resources, these women struggle to meet their families’ needs.
W4’s field program offers these brave and resilient women literacy classes and entrepreneurship training, and helps them to develop their own income-generating activities. The women become enabled to start their own businesses and establish sustainable livelihoods to support their families, thus breaking the cycle of poverty in their communities.
Proudly wearing their What If T-shirts at the event, these amazing women honored our campaign with their most powerful smiles, uplifting everyone at the Paris office and all those who have since seen the photographs!
We invite you to learn more about our DR Congo program and see how you can get involved.
“What if” violence against women became an element of the past? “What if” every girl and woman could thrive and be safe, wherever she lives?
And what if you haven’t yet joined our #WhatIf campaign? Send us your selfie and “What if …?” quote at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together, let’s spread the word and turn the What If dream of a better and safer world for girls and women into reality!