Kavumu is an extremely poor village in one of the poorest countries on earth – the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With such extreme poverty, there is little education, a high birth rate and a high mortality rate. To make matters worse, in Kavumu rape of women and children – even babies – is a rampant problem. The reason is that many men in the area believe that raping young children will give them power to defeat their enemies, and magically cure them from diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
To counter this horrifying false narrative, JWW is partnering with New Hope for Congo to launch a mass education campaign in and around Kavumu. This includes strategically placed billboards as well as radio messages to raise awareness throughout the community and encourage leaders to stand up against sexual and gender based violence.
We are also funding a solar powered blood bank, so that New Hope Hospital can have blood available without having to rely on direct transfusions, thus decreasing the mortality rate of patients, who are mostly women and children. The hospital estimates the blood bank beneficiaries to break down as follows: 60% children under five, 30% pregnant women and 10% others.
New Hope Hospital was created by Dr. Pascal Namegabe in response to the horror of child rape in Kavumu. Over the last two years, the hospital has performed 550 surgeries, with an average of 90 birth deliveries per month, and an average of 5 blood transfusions per day.
Left: JWW Board Chair Diana Buckhantz stands with Dr. Pascal Namegabe and other staff at New Hope Hospital. At far right is JWW Directory of Advocacy and Programs Mike Brand.
Education Campaign Photos: