Empowerment and Gender Equality


Blessed Aid set up a Program « Gender Protect » to help alievate the communities on the challenges they have been facing.

Women and young girls are, for example, initiated to the culture of solidarity and community savings.

These women and young girls are gathered into different groups composed of 30 women and girls each. They save once a week a little money with the idea of ​​helping each other with small revolving credits and then combat poverty in their families.



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Situation of the children

Due to conflicts (wars, land conflicts, presence of armed groups,…) in eastern DRC, many children have been facing problems of malnutrition, education, protection, etc… because some parents have died and others are internal displaced persons (IDPs).

Empowerment and Gender Equality

People especially children who are the most vulnerable need to be assisted. As malnutrition is one of the leading causes of death in the poor communities, the humanitarian organizations should think of helping in offering healthcare to those suffering peoples.

Women are a keystone in societal development. Indeed, their social, economic, educational, psychological and health empowerment can bring significant change in the communities they live in.
Young boys and girls have potentiality which people would focus on. Since they are the key of any development, young boys and girls should be considered in all our actions.

Blessed Aid throug its program « Gender Protect » has been initiating women and young girls to the culture of solidarity and community savings (Mutual of Solidarity and Village Association for Savings and Credits).

These women and young girls are gathered into different groups composed of 30 women and girls each. They save once a week a little money with the idea of ​​helping each other with small revolving credits.

The aim of « Gender Protect » is :

  • The economic and social empowerment of women and youth both boys and girls affected by the conflicts and the Covid-19 pandemic in East of Democratic Republic of Congo;

  • Granting of refundable or non-refundable credits to these women and girls in order to empower their Income Generating Activities (IGI);

  • Building their capacities on various thematic such as savings management (VASC = Village Association for Savings and Credit), female leadership, etc.

  • Involve men and young boys alongside women and young girls in respect of Gender Equality (positive masculinity) and build their capacities on the Gender-Peace-Conflict program;

  • Combat sexual and gender-based violence,

  • Community awareness on how to fight against sexual and gender-based violation.

Blessed Aid regularly approaches communities to call on them to become aware of the problems plaguing their respective communities and to find lasting solutions themselves.
In various zones with conflicts (land conflicts, ethnic conflicts, wars, etc), local communities have been living in a vary complicated situation. More of them have fled their villages and have therefore become (Refegees or Internal Desplaced Persons, IDPs).

Sustainable peace is required in order to end this type of life. Unfortunately when there are conflicts in a given zones, women and children are the first victims and more affected.

Healthcare

People especially children who are the most vulnerable need to be assisted. As malnutrition is one of the leading causes of death in the poor communities, the humanitarian organizations should think of helping in offering healthcare to those suffering peoples.

Some months or years before, we had noticed that apart from people who die of different diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, Ebola, HIV/AIDS, Cancer, heart attacks, etc … or different conflicts violence such as wars, land conflicts, sexual gender-based violence or gender-based violence in Democratic Republic of Congo and in the rest of the Great Lakes countries, there is also a large number of other people who daily die of suicide in our communities and whose organizations, governments, or any people don’t care about. This is why we have decided in Blessed Aid to set up a programme which we have entitled “Stop suicide in DRC and in the Great Lakes region”. This programme tends on :

• Community awareness on mental health and suicide prevention;

• Providing holistic support to people showing signs which can lead to suicide as well as to the suicide loss survivors;

• Capacity building on mental health and suicide prevention of all the key-actors who will be involved on the implementation of this programme;

• Advocacy and reinforcement of mental health and suicide prevention policy.

(Learn more)

All members of our communities have to play a major role on fighting Sexual and Gender-based violence (SGBV & GBV). This is why Blessed Aid is committed to helping raise community awareness of different categories of people so as everyone should be concerned with this terrible situation. For joining its efforts with other actors in fighting Sexual and Gender-based violence, Blessed Aid organizes some activités among them :

  • Sensibilisation des communautés sur le stigmatisation, rejet des survivants de violences sexuelles
  • Counselling communauté à travers les focus groups (les survivantes de SGBV s’expriment devant l’assistante psycho-social sur les événements subis)
  • Référencement médical (vers les structures médicales les plus proches)
  • Médiations familiales
  • Réinsertion socio-économique
  • Community awareness on to fight against stigma, rejection of survivors of sexual violence;
  • Community counseling through focus groups (SGBV survivors speak to the psychosocial assistant about the events they have suffered);
  • Medical referral (to the nearest medical structures);
  • Family mediations;
  • Social and economic reintegration.

Human rights and Peacebuilding

One of the key-areas Blessed Aid has been working since its foundation in 2002 is human rights. Democratic Republic of Congo has been facing up different conflicts which unfortunately are the source of many human rights violations. Such as killings, sexual violence, recruitment of children in the armed groups, kidnappings, etc.

As for our work, Blessed Aid collects data on various human rights abuses and produces reports that are shared with our different partners. Here are some of the examples of the field work we’ve done in order to promote and defend the human rights of marginalized people:

Blessed Aid has been working on the sensitization of children who were associated in forces and armed groups in Masisi and Walikale territories. These children were forced to become child soldiers but have left thanks to different sensitizations our organization has conducted in collaboration with the local communities.

More than 150 children have been identified and are concerned with our programmes. We’ve been offering different types of training to different child soldiers such as trainings on how to create small Income Generating Activities (IGA), some creative and recreative activities in order to detraumize them and then avoid them think of going back to the armed groups they were before.
From 2014 until November 2020 , Blessed Aid was directly involved in the identification, orientation, sensitization and preparation of victims of mass crimes committed by the warlord Ntabo Ntaberi Alias Sheka and his armed group Nduma Defense of Congo (NDC) in the areas of Pinga (Masisi and Walikale) and in Ruvungi-Kibua (Walikale territory).

Sheka was accused of mass rapes of many womens and girls, recruitment of children, killings, sexual slavery, etc between the years 2010 and 2014 while controlling a large space in Masisi and Walikale territories.

During 2 years of public trials in Goma, Sheka was sentenced to life imprisonment on 23 November 2020. This conviction was a victory for the many victims of his atrocities and was a pedagogic sign for all the warlords who are still committing crimes against civilians in east of Democratic Republic of Congo that one day, they will also respond to their inhuman acts.
The same work of identification, orientation and sensitization of the victims was accomplished by Blessed Aid in Katoy and Ngungu sector, in Masisi territory where in 2011, 2012 and 2013 many international crimes were committed by Marcel Habarugira, a former leader of a brutal armed group named « Nyatura Integré » who was arrested in 2014 by the FARDC.
In the area of Peacebuilding, we notice at Blessed Aid that restoration of peace is still a major challenge people have been facing up in our Democratic Republic of Congo especially in east.

Many organizations have instaured programs of peace reconciliation in the communities even the government of DRC and the International community have also done many efforts to bring peace but the problem remains the same. This is why our organization has also thought of having a program of educating the population in the question regarding pacific cohabitation.

Since 2014, for example, Blessed Aid works on educating the pupils of primary and secondary schools in Goma about sexual gender-based violence (SGBV), gender-based violence (GBV), peace and pacific cohabitation. We also involve in this thematic the authorities of the different schools in Goma where we gather them and talk about the topic of SGBV,

GBV, peace and pacific cohabitation and HIV/AIDS and both pupils and school authorities have been happy with this program. We try to organize some activities with pupils such as football match and offer some donations to a large number of vulnerable children.

Children’s rights

People especially children who are the most vulnerable need to be assisted. As malnutrition is one of the leading causes of death in the poor communities, the humanitarian organizations should think of helping in offering healthcare to those suffering peoples.

Why not letting children feel happier and protected by adults people ?
All the children have the right to be educated in good infrastructures for their well-being. However, there are still some children who have not the chance to study in good conditions !

Blessed Aid has, for a cup years, set up a program of community education. This program consists of spreading awareness in different thematic such the suicide prevention, pacific cohabitation, registration of births and marriages at the registry office (Etat civil) in order to fight against statelessness, etc… Blessed Aid agents working as volunteers always go to different schools (primary and secondary) in Goma, meet with people in the community to speak about these topics.

This program is still going on apart from the formal education we’ve been offering to orphans and other vulnerable children. Despite this assistance, there is still a high number of orphans and other vulnerable children who are in need of help. This is why we hereby call upon other charitable organizations to fund Blessed Aid in order to bring a good response to these children.

Agriculture & Food security

People especially children who are the most vulnerable need to be assisted. As malnutrition is one of the leading causes of death in the poor communities, the humanitarian organizations should think of helping in offering healthcare to those suffering peoples.

Blessed Aid had implemented a project of food security in Pinga, Waliakale territory. This project armed to increase the number of fortified organic seeds in order to fight against malnutrition in the area of Pinga. The implementation of this project was made possible thanks to the funds received in 2014 from our Partner HarvestPlus.

Women and men in Pinga were all involved in the community work because it was for them a big occasion to pull out their zone the food insecurity.

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