BUKAVU, Congo, Feb. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- V-Day and the Fondation Panzi (DRC), with support from UNICEF, announce today the opening of City of Joy, a revolutionary new community for women survivors of gender violence in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). City of Joy will provide up to 180 Congolese women a year with an opportunity to benefit from group therapy; self-defense training; comprehensive sexuality education (covering HIV/AIDS, family planning); economic empowerment; storytelling; dance; theater; ecology and horticulture. Created from their vision, Congolese women will run, operate and direct City of Joy themselves.
City of Joy marks the next chapter in V-Day's ongoing campaign, STOP RAPING OUR GREATEST RESOURCE: Power to the Women and Girls of the DRC. It will provide a powerful new platform for Congolese women to turn their pain to power, restore their sense of agency over their lives, and become leaders who will steer Eastern Congo's destiny towards peace. The community will invest in the healing and empowerment of survivors of gender violence — who offer the best hope for a far-reaching and positive impact on the future of Congolese society.
"The opening of the City of Joy is the moment where women of the Congo turn their pain to power; where they who have suffered so deeply, so invisibly will claim their rights, their bodies and their future. It will be a huge privilege and honor to be present at this momentous occasion," stated Eve Ensler, playwright and V-Day Founder.
"It has been centuries that Congo has not belonged to the Congolese. The country was always plundered and occupied by outside forces. City of Joy will be a place owned by the Congolese where women will be propelled to take their destinies in hand," said Christine Schuler Deschryver, V-Day Congo and City of Joy Director.
For full text of this release, please visit: http://drc.vday.org/news-020411