We must work to stem the tide of survivors arriving at our doorsteps each day by healing not only individual bodies, spirits, and lives, but the families, communities, and nation in which they live.
Civil society in Congo has grown into a powerful and inspiring force, capable of creating significant and positive change. Our Panzi team works to strengthen civil society further and address the root issues driving violence and conflict in Congo.
Panzi’s innovative Badilika (Change) Program works to increase the accountability of the Congolese government and local authorities to protect human rights, reduce women’s vulnerability, and practice good governance. By making critical investments in local, Congolese civil society organizations and providing technical support and trainings, our Badilika staff is working to ensure that all Congolese citizens are aware of their rights, their responsibilities, and the accountability they should be able to expect from their leaders. Our team has worked with more than 750 grassroots civil society organizations in the provinces of South Kivu, North Kivu, and Maniema. Building and supporting coalitions, Panzi is building civil society’s capacity to address the root causes of violence and rebuild Congolese communities on principles of human rights and gender equality.
Organizations supported through Badilika are making real advances in their own communities. One has shut down brothels complicit in the recruitment of young girls in to prostitution, and is launching a class-action lawsuit to win restitution for vulnerable families whose homes were demolished without due compensation.
Dr. Mukwege is committed to using his international platform to bring the voices of women, vulnerable communities, and civil society leaders to the halls of international power. We hold high-level meetings with dignitaries such as US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and members of the US National Security Council at the White House. These meetings allow us to ensure that Congolese voices are at the forefront of the policy conversation.