Sexually abused girls in the DRC

Rune Edvardsen, the founder and head of The Dina Foundation retrieves raped girls of Congo's forests.

Sexually abused girls in the DRC

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the worst countries in the world for children to grow up in. War, corruption and hopelessness rule. Sexual violence against women and children are among the brutalities of the war.

Seldom the world has seen wars where sexual violence against women has been so severe as in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 1.100 women and girls, even infants, are being raped in the Democratic Republic of the Congo each day. (American Journal of Public Health 2010). Many of the girl’s genitals are being destroyed caused by physical objects that the assailants have pushed into their victims.

270 girls are being helped by The Dina Foundation

For more than 10 years Dina Foundation has worked to help sexually abused victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the most war-ravaged areas The Dina Foundation has established two centers for girls who have been sexually abused. In these two places 270 girls have their home and they receive protection, medical supervision and help to process the traumas they have survived. The girls get to live together with other girls who share the same destiny and there are employees who care for them. With psychologist and lawyers at hand these girls receive the help they need in order to process their situation properly. Every girl in need for surgical treatment will also receive this at a hospital.

From age five these girls start a 12-year education providing them with knowledge so they can avoid poverty, stay healthy, and know that there is hope for their future. During the six years of elementary school and six years of secondary school these girls receive lessons in subjects as; French, English, mathematics, science, geography, history, and social studies. The Dina Foundation has started schools and we also use local schools to educate the girls. In addition to the ordinary schooling all the girls are being trained in using both computers and sowing machines, giving them a benefit when applying for jobs in the future.

As the girls are old enough to manage by themselves they move out of our center and The Dina Foundation has the opportunity to help new girls.

 

Help the girls!

At present moment there is very many Congolese girls in need of help and care. These girls have suffered immensely. We are their only chance of receiving help!

Donate →

The Dina Foundation partners with the world-known Dr. Denis Mukwege

The Dina Foundation partners with the world-known Dr. Denis Mukwege, the founder of Panzi hospital in Bukavu and also a doctor there. He is now among the world’s leading experts on how to heal the inner, physical injuries caused by gang rape and he has also received several awards for his work. In the city of Bukavu the Panzi hospital is located only 1,2 miles from the center of The Dina Foundation. As we partner together we offer the best possible treatment to our girls.

Dr. Denis Mukwege was among the guests on a Scandinavian renowned talk-show named Skavlan in October 2014. – See the interview here.

Expansion of the center in Bukavu so that even more girls can receive help, care and a new start

The capacity at our center in Bukavu has reached its limits. Therefore our desire is to increase the capacity from 70 to 120 girls. Sad to say we still witness new conflicts leading to new waves of sexual violence. And now an increasing number of civilians part-take in this massive gang raps that was predominantly executed by soldiers earlier. Many of our girls tell about teenagers and relatives being their assaulters.

32 of the new girls we will house at our center suffered gang-rape in Kavumu. In this village that is situated 21 miles from our center in Bukavu a gang abused 32 girls. These were very young girls were lured in to a house this gang had occupied. The girls were allegedly drugged prior to the abuses and abused in the most unthinkable ways. In addition to sexualized violence they were also maimed severely. The fieldworkers of The Dina Foundation have described this as the worst they have ever seen. Emergency help has been provided to these girls from the foundation, yet the goal is to house them all at the center in Bukavu. Here these girls will get better treatment and a safe sanctuary. Meanwhile these girls and their families live in a house being rented by the foundation.

The expansion of our center in Bukavu is estimated to cost $ 120.000. In order to initiate the building process we need $ 60.000.

Photos of the project:

Click on the images for larger photos and description:

  • The Dina center in Bukavu. Photographer: Nathalie Edvardsen.
  • Raped teenage girl with her daughter. Photographer: Sol Nodeland.
  • Raped girl receiving treatment at hospital. Photographer: Sol Nodeland.
  • Dina-girls at school in Goma. Photographer: Rune Edvardsen.
  • Desperate mother and her two daughters. Photographer: David Darg.
  • The Dina center in Goma. Photopgrapher: Sol Nodeland.
  • Girls are eating lunch. Photographer: Geir Egeland.
  • Girls receive training in the use of sewing machines. Photographer: Sol Nodeland.
  • Dina girls together with Rune Edvardsen, head of The Dina Foundation. Photographer: David Darg.