Helping communities respond to and prevent gender-based violence and trafficking in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Overcoming SGBV in Eastern DRC
In the DRC’s eastern region, about one in three women report being victims of SGBV. Following on the successes of IMA’s Ushinde Project, Tushindi Ujeuri’s overarching project goals are to strengthen community-based prevention of and response to gender-based violence, or GBV, effectively reduce GBV incidence and improve the quality of and access to holistic care for survivors, particularly among vulnerable groups including LGBTQI and Trafficking in Persons, or TIP, survivors.
In addressing GBV in Eastern DRC, Tushinde works in an integrated manner across three outcomes:
Outcome 1: Target Communities Demonstrate Greater Acceptance of Positive Gender Roles;
Outcome 2: Availability of community-level GBV-related services improved;
Outcome 3: Perceptions of stigma surrounding reintegrated survivors reduced.
November 2017 to November 2022
Strengthening community organizational capacity
Village Savings and Loan Groups are currently being supported
To-date the project has supported a total of 632 VSLA groups, including 231 new VSLA groups in year two.
Youth Clubs formed
The youth club leaders were trained in prevention of sexual and psychosocial violence, peacebuilding, and communication skills for social and behavioral change, as well as sexual and reproductive health.
Tushinde formed 86 Community Health Development Agencies, known locally as CODESA. Members of the core groups were trained on GBV prevention and conducting forums on positive masculinity. These groups served as entry points and champions for community-based messaging around available project services and SGBV prevention.
volunteers and service providers trained
Close to 4,000 volunteers and service providers have been trained with to advance outcomes consistent with gender equality or female empowerment through their roles in public or private sector institutions or organizations.
Reducing community tolerance of gender-based violence.
Reducing community tolerance for gender-based violence involves raising awareness among community leaders and members, including traditional leaders, school leaders, and church leaders, on the harmful effects and negative impacts of existing attitudes concerning GBV.
community members received tailored information on GBV prevention and response and family planning
improving quality and reducing barriers of access to health, psychosocial, and legal services
people were reached via GBV services
Including health, legal, psychosocial, and socio-economic support.
people received medical support
This figure includes people seen for medical consultations, prevention of STIs, HIV, contraceptives, fistula repair, and referrals as needed following report of a GBV incident.
people received a pep kit within 72 hours of rape
Of the 1,721 cases of rape, 1,703 had access to a PEP kit within the 72-hour time limit (99%). This strong performance is due to the availability and supply of PEP kits in all areas and the comprehensive training of service providers.
people received psychosocial support
This support included active listening, GBV-trauma-related counseling, screening for severe symptoms, and referral to and provision of Cognitive Processing Therapy, or CPT.
of treated survivors reported feeling optimistic about rebuilding their lives
people have received legal support
823 people received legal assistance (counseled for sexual violence incident, counseled for another gender-based violence incident, counseled for other human rights abuses, and Trafficking in Persons cases)
52 complaints filed with the police
38 cases undergoing investigation before the prosecutor office
45 cases filed with the courts
60 cases received judgment rendered as of this writing and 49 ended with a conviction of the perpetrator
survivors of trafficking were identified and received medical, psychosocial, and legal services
This year community volunteers were trained to confront negative social norms that perpetuate stigma faced among survivors of GBV and other marginalized people, specifically Trafficking in Persons, or TIP, and LGBTQI survivors. They have been strengthened to identify TIP survivors, and prevent barriers for access to care medical, psychosocial and legal services.
This total includes
14 survivors forced into sexual slavery,
78 survivors forced into prostitution,
8 survivors forced into domestic work,
354 child survivors of sexual abuse 0r exploitation, and
12 survivors forced to pay illegal taxes.
Reducing perceptions of stigma surrounding reintegrated survivors
Number of trauma survivors and other members of the community participating in trauma healing activities
Number of GBV-related disputes resolved through ADR
Number of learners in secondary schools or equivalent non-school based settings reached with education assistance
Number of GBV survivors participating in VSLA
The Tushinde Ujeuri program is implemented in five health zones in the North and South Kivu Provinces of the DRC.
Community-based services in Walikale and Karisimbi health zones in North Kivu Province are implemented by Heal Africa. Panzi Foundation implements services in Nyangezi, Bunyakiri, and Katana health zones in South Kivu Province.
Heal Africa Health Zones
Panzi Foundation Health Zones
“I felt sick and I couldn’t get out of bed”
Mawazo Biteko worked as a housekeeper when another member of the home’s staff raped her. “I felt sick and I couldn’t get out of bed,” she said. Tushinde outreach workers connected with her two days following the assault, ensuring she was screened by a doctor and had access to the post-exposure prophylaxis kit that prevented her from contracting an infection. She and her husband participated in counseling following the attack, while an attorney continues to work to find the perpetrator. She says Tushinde’s comprehensive approach helped her to recover, and to connect. “At the social center, I found five other women who had been attacked like I was,” she said. “I know I am not alone.” .Tushinde is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and implemented by IMA World health.
“At the social center, I found five other women who had been attacked like I was. I know I am not alone.”
Tushinde is managed under the direction of IMA with two local implementing partners: HEAL Africa and Panzi Foundation. To complement implementation by local partners, Additional consortium partners include American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, the University of Washington with Johns Hopkins University, and Search for Common Ground.
Gender & SGBV
Tushinde Ujeuri - Counter Gender-Based Violence Program's HOLISTIC SEXUAL- AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND RESPONSE MODEL (pdf)
PEP Kit Procurement in the DRC - January 2020 (pdf)
Girl Rising, ASSP-ENGAGE Final Report – March 2017 (pdf)
read more about our past work to overcome sexual and gender-based violence in drc through the Ushinde project
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