Congolese gynaecologist Dr. Denis Mukwege received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on the 10th of December. A week earlier he was in The Hague for the symposium “From Words to Action: Repairing the Wounds of Wartime Sexual Violence.” Several staff and trainers of WarTrauma attended the symposium.
The symposium focused on the need for reparations for survivors of sexual violence. Reparation in the form of proper laws and prosecution of wartime sexual violence and the recognition of rape as torture was the main topic of a panel of survivors and civil society advocates. There was also a panel of high-level officials and special representatives on Sexual Violence in Conflict discussing the role of states to make prosecution a reality.
Dr. Mukwege’s impressive acceptance speech of the Nobel Prize was broadcast on television channels worldwide and was shared countless times through social media. In the speech he recalls with graphic examples how the Panzi Hospital where he works came about. He also looks at the why and how people are so poor in a rich country such as the Democratic Republic of Congo. Much of the violence and corruption that has torn the country apart in the past thirty years has been caused by the mining of minerals needed to power our smart phones and electric cars.
WarTrauma is proud to support Dr. Mukwege’s Panzi Hospital by strengthening their psychological support, providing training to Panzi staff to improve their work with children and adolescents who have been confronted with sexual violence, as a victim, witness or, for example, because they were born out of rape. Early 2019 we will start a project to support the social workers and medical staff themselves, to strengthen their ability to cope with the many horrible stories they hear every day.
If you want to support this project, you can donate through this webpage mentioning “Dr. Mukwege”. We will earmark your gift for this project.