We have begun our work in Eastern DRC. The team’s focus continues to be on improving the health, economic and social well-being of survivors of rape, their families and community. We are again working with our amazing Congolese colleagues from Rama Levina Foundation, a mobile clinic program that provides care to survivors in the Walungu Territory of South Kivu. This an area that has suffered tremendously during the war. We will be focusing in three main areas (health, stigma reduction and household economic stability) this year and all our research is linked to service. For example: we will be interviewing survivors, community health workers, and village leaders on the need and impact of family mediation for reintegration of survivors and their children to the family and community after the violence.
The interviews will be conducted when we are in the village providing health care through the mobile clinic. Additionally, we have linked our research on clinical care for men who are victims of rape to the services of the mobile clinic. We will be in the rural villages 2 days a week for the next 5 weeks with the clinic. Also, we will be continuing our successful work with PAIDEK microfinance and our project, Pigs for Peace. We will be meeting with project participants in the 14 villages in the project to explore the impact this village-led animal husbandry microfinance project has had on household economic stability, such as payment for school fees and funds for medicine and food. It is so nice to be with friends and colleagues in DR Congo.