"I want you to know how much your support means to us. It saves lives, helping us pay for medicine and medical equipment to treat women who come to Panzi Hospital physically destroyed after they have been raped."
Dr. Denis Mukwege
One woman's story
Every part hurts--feet, trudging weeks from her village now stinking of corpses, burnt huts, and surviving kinfolk who drove her out. Neck cramping from the sack with her few belongings balanced on her head. Arms aching from the weight of a child butting her chest to nuzzle the dried breasts, his hunger howls joined by the newborn slung in a basket across her sore back. Read more.
For more than two decades, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has
suffered conflict, with soldiers and armed rebels both using rape as a weapon,
though recent studies also find an increase in rapes by civilians. A 2011 study
published in The American Journal of Public Health reported 1,100 rapes daily;
more than 400,000 women and girls age 15 to 49 were raped during one 12-month
period in 2006-2007—revealing that sexual violence against women is 26 times
more common in DRC than UN reports had shown.
The Panzi Foundation supports the work of Panzi Hospital and expands outreach to rural clinics and communities. The hospital, built in 1999 under the supervision of Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder and medical director, promotes basic, quality medical care—especially maternal and reproductive health care--for Congo’s marginalized populations. It also promotes women’s rights, advocates for preventing violence against women and children, and helps survivors of sexual violence rebuild traumatized lives—including providing a school for their children, frequently the offspring of rape.
From 1999 to June 2010, the hospital treated more than 25,000 women for gynecological conditions, many severe sexual-violence cases—not only mass rape but penetration by guns and other objects; the Hospital also treats survivors infected with HIV/AIDS.
Additional foundation initiatives:
Maison Dorcas is a transit and safety house for survivors under long- or medium-term
care for such conditions as fistula and incontinence from repeated sexual assault.
Three other transit/safe houses being established by The Foundation will provide
women with a protected environment in which to heal via psychosocial and medical
care, while learning skills for reintegration into family and community--literacy,
numeracy, small-business skills—and accessing family mediation and micro-credit.
The USHINDI Project (in the remote areas of Mwenga, Kitutu, and Shabunda)
will serve survivors of violence and children born of rap through a holistic
approach: literacy training plus medical, psychosocial, legal, and economic
support. USHINDI (“victory” in Swahili) will also train community leaders,
health-care providers, police, and paralegals.
The City of Joy, in the Kivus’ region, is supported by V-DAY, and focuses on leadership training for women activists.
Dr. Denis Mukwege--practicing physician, founder and leader of Panzi Hospital, its projects, and Panzi Foundation--has received many global honors, including the King Baudouin International Development Prize, and the Clinton Global Citizen Award.
To date, Donor Direct Action has raised $246,168.94 for Panzi Foundation. News
Panzi Hospital releases 2012 Annual ReportSee the report here (pdf, 2.5MB)
Recent BBC Interview with Dr Denis MukwegeRead the interview at BBC News
Dr Mukwege Returns to Panzi HospitalRead report of his arrival New York Times
Dr Mukwege speaks out after assassination attempt nearly takes his life.Read his statement New York Times.
NEWS FLASH: On oct 26 Dr Denis Mukwege and his family were attacked in their home. His security guard was killed protecting him. We are working to help ensure Dr Mukwege's safety.Read more in the UN News Centre or in the New York Times.
Dr Denis Mukwege addresses UN on sexual violence in DRCRead the full speech in French / English
Dr. Denis Mukwege discusses his work at Panzi Hospital Watch an interview with Dr. Mukwege, and learn how much your contribution means to women and girls in the Congo.
Dr. Denis Mukwege honored by Clinton
Global Initiative "The civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been raging for over 10 years and has left in its wake a horrific trail of human destruction, with women as the primary targets. Mass rapes and sexual warfare are daily occurrences, and women of all ages are killed, broken or scarred for life. In response to these atrocities, Dr. Denis Mukwege in 1999 founded The Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, where he has since treated over 20,000 women." Read more of Rebecca Carroll's interview with Dr. Mukwege in the Huffington Post.