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Democratic Republic of the Congo: 42 houses for survivors of sexual violence

30 September 2020

An interdisciplinary team of the Luxembourg Red Cross visited Panzi, in the east of the DRC this month, for the inauguration of 42 houses for women who survived sexual violence. This inauguration is part of a wider project of the Luxembourg Red Cross, supported by the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Panzi Foundation.

Each year, more than 1500 women or girls who are victims of sexual violence receive healthcare at the Panzi hospital, to treat physical trauma. The Luxembourg Red Cross supports Dr Denis Mukwege, founder of the hospital and Nobel Peace Prize winner, by renovating some units of the hospital’s departments.

Despite the high quality of medical care and psychological support provided at the hospital, women who have suffered sexual violence are often stigmatised, or even rejected by their communities. The Luxembourg Red Cross helps them to reintegrate into society by building new houses in villages or cities where they will be better accepted. The women are actively involved in building their new homes, which provide them with a safe base from which they can start a new life.

The Luxembourg Red Cross expert teams build houses that blend in with the surrounding environment. with their environment. The volcanic stones used for the foundations and the tin rooftops are typical of the Kivu region.