Democratic Republic of Congo
DR Congo has suffered under dictatorship and civil war for many years. Democracy has started in the last ten to fifteen years. In the east, armed groups continue to act and spread terror among the population. They regularly clash with the Congolese army and soldiers of the UN peacekeeping force in Congo (MONUSCO). State institutions are weak, corruption is widespread and human rights are often not respected.
The DRC is a poor country. Most of the population lives below the poverty line. Basic services are hardly provided to the population by the government. Education and health care are mainly provided by churches and non-governmental organizations.
(source: Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Especially in the east of the DRC, multiple conflicts affect the communities living there tremendously. One of the main concerns is the degree of sexual violence taking place against women, but also against men and children, affecting families physically and mentally, and tearing apart communities.
ARQ International, the Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation and Panzi Hospital in DRC aim to strengthen the mental health and psychosocial support for these women and their families, as well as to the staff of the hospital supporting them.