NEW City of Joy Website Launches!

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V-Day is proud to announce the launch of the new City of Joy website!

“The opening of the City of Joy is the moment where women of the Congo turn their pain to power. Where they who have suffered so deeply, so invisibly will claim their rights, their bodies and their future. It will be a huge privilege and honor to be present at this momentous occasion,” stated Eve Ensler, playwright and V-Day Founder.

A revolutionary new community for women survivors of gender violence in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), City of Joy will provide up to 180 Congolese women a year with an opportunity to benefit from group therapy; self-defense training; comprehensive sexuality education (covering HIV/AIDS, family planning); economic empowerment; storytelling; dance; theater; ecology and horticulture. Created from their vision, Congolese women will run, operate and direct City of Joy themselves.

Join us as drc.vday.org where you will meet the people of City of Joy; hear voices from Bukavu and beyond; visit the V-World Farm through incredible images by Paula Allen; explore the history of City of Joy and V-Day’s work in Congo; learn the 10 guiding principals, and more.

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“When the girls arrive here they don’t know their value, they don’t know that they can do the work, but time after time they always discover that they are the most beautiful flowers.” – Christine Schuler Deschryver, V-Day Congo Director & Director of City of Joy

City of Joy is a Vision of Congolese Women
October 28th, 2013

At the dawn of the end of the fourth training session in leadership which will take place on Thursday 31, 2013, I am overwhelmed with fierce, pride, happiness, but also sadness. The sadness is due to the separation after the six full months we have stayed together with the graduates who came like flowers which had faded for centuries but which have come back to life and become fresh. Some were hopeless, depressed, but have turned into astounding leaders in the course of their training.

With determination, courage, love, and skills of the staff in six months, we have attained the first objective of City of Joy: to transform pain to power. We have daily watered the flowers with boundless love and patience. This mechanism has triggered the radical change that we see now.

It is so amazing to see them walk at a round pace because, as our national anthem states, they have “stood up with their foreheads which bent a long time ago”.

Our team of social workers and the program assistant have just come from the field (villages of women survivors of Gender Violence) to recruit the next training session women and girls. They have worked in difficult conditions with grassroots associations. We are starting the fifth session on November 11, 2013.

VDAY RDC thanks all those who believed in its vision.

When people ask us why our program is running well and why we are the pride of the South Kivu province in DRC (see Marcelin Cishambo , South Kivu governor’s speech), I always retort that City of Joy is a vision of Congolese women who are accompanied by VDAY which has always privileged to work with grassroots women.

The nice smiles we see in all the faces of women make us to transcend ourselves, feel helpful and find our dignity and satisfaction to serve.
Deep love and gratitude.
From City of Joy,
Bukavu DRC

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