Sexual and gender-based violence in the Congo
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, political insecurity and economic instability prevail, and the levels of sexual and gender-based violence are high. Because this is a conflict area, it’s hard for people to defend themselves.
This issue is intrinsic in Congolese society, affecting not only women but also men. To create any meaningful impact in a community, both men and women need to be involved in SGBV work, which a lot of organizations working on this issue have failed to do.
The Solution: jewellery with a twist
In this complex reality, the Empowered 2 Protect (E2P) project has sprung up. It’s a community-based method that provides children, youth, parents, and leaders with knowledge, skills and the right attitude to increase their coping mechanisms; and ultimately, fight SGBV. This was done by hosting sessions with the whole community - and building a culture where SGBV is rejected and equality is embraced.
The most innovative part of the project is the Invi bracelet. Help a Child partnered with Invi who has created a nonviolent self-defense device, which uses disgusting scents to ward off perpetrators and alarm others. This helps people walk around with newfound confidence: as they now can defend themselves.
The results were strong: during the development of the programme, 95% of the community became aware of their role against sexual and gender-based violence, 936 Ivi bracelets were distributed, and 3 sexual assaults were prevented.
Help a Child is a non-profit organization that provides a future for children in need, their family, and their entire community. They supported over 250 thousand children and adults in 2019. With levels of sexual and gender-based violence remaining high, they still have a lot of work to do.
You can support Help A Child and the Empowered to Protect programme by donating to them below.