In the framework of the awareness-raising programmes on global and gender justice, AHEAD supports the project "Listening Houses in the Democratic Republic of Congo" coordinated by the League of Peoples' Rights with the support of the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation.
Through this project, three Congolese associations in the city of Butembo, in the province of North Kivu, work to ensure legal, medical and psychological care for women sexually assaulted both by militiamen of the armed groups that sow terror in the region and by the men of the same communities.
La Lliga dels Drets dels Pobles is the coordinating entity of this cooperation project and AHEAD is in charge of raising awareness of global justice and gender issues in Catalonia.
The main objective of the project in Catalonia is to raise awareness and reflect on the situation in North Kivu, the responsibility of the Global North in the violence linked to the exploitation of mineral resources, as well as the gender violence also present in our community.
Through various awareness-raising activities carried out in different areas of Catalonia, the context of violence and how to address the causes are made known. We look at examples such as Cathy Furaha, and other activists who work in the region and who participate in the construction of a Congolese society free of violence.
The aim of the project includes the development of gender equality skills to identify and reflect on the different forms of violence and to promote knowledge of mechanisms and protocols for action in situations of gender-based violence.
Violence against women, young people and children is widespread throughout the world. No country is excluded from this scourge, and it is particularly intense in war and conflict zones.
The Democratic Republic of Congo, and especially the east of the country, where the League of Peoples' Rights is supporting a project to support women victims of violence, has a key factor in terms of gender-based violence: the presence of armed groups who live from illegal exploitation and the smuggling of minerals used in high-tech equipment and who spread terror among the population and rape women. It is also a country where relationships are structured by male domination over women, who, as a result, often become victims of violence from the men around them.
The task of ensuring that sexually assaulted women have access to quality medical, psychological, legal and social care is done through the empowerment of Congolese social entities that try to respond to the devastating effects of gender-based violence.
These entities are: Femmes Juristes pour la Défense des Droits de la Femme (FJDF), Femmes Engagées pour la Promotion de la Santé Intégrale /FEPSI) and Association de Défense des Droits de la Femme (ADDF).
The project supports four Maisons de Ecoute (Personalised Care Centres) where women who have suffered violence are first received for diagnosis and appropriate follow-up care, using the three specialisations of the partner associations: legal, psychological and hospital care.
AHEAD, with the support of the League of Peoples' Rights and the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation, has developed a series of workshops that we have carried out together with a visit to the exhibition "Shared Scars". These activities have been and will be carried out in different civic centres throughout Catalonia with the intention of raising awareness and sensitising the people who participate.
Dynamic exhibition: providing an authentic insight into the conditions faced by communities in North Kivu.
Docu-Forum: we immersed ourselves in the viewing of two documentaries made in North Kivu. These documentaries not only document reality, but also highlight the human stories behind the data. We seek not only to inform, but also to project the action taken in DR Congo.
Workshops on gender and migro-environmental justice: We offer a platform for reflection and training on human rights. Discover how gender equality and environmental awareness are fundamental to forge a sustainable future.
Dialogues on Global and Gender Justice: Through the creation of meeting and dialogue spaces, work experiences are shared and synergies are created between cooperation entities, local agents and public administration.
This training workshop on the mineral crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo in relation to gender-based violence aims to provide educational information and empower participants to become agents of change in terms of global justice and human rights.
The sensitisation activities are aimed at anyone interested in learning about the conflict, its impacts on the local population and developing a critical awareness of global and gender justice.
The various proposals are adapted to the target group to be worked with in educational centres, civil sector organisations, cultural centres or civic centres.
This declaration sets out the ethical considerations that will guide us in all activities related to the project of awareness-raising and prevention of gender-based violence.
The initiative, co-financed by the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation, seeks to ensure that all actions and events will be carried out with respect and responsibility for the ethical principles detailed in the following points.
1. Respect for the victims
All activities and actions carried out within this initiative are committed to show respect for women victims of gender-based violence, both in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in all other countries of the world. This implies a sensitive, responsible and honest representation of their experiences.
2. Portrayal that dignifies women defenders
Representations of women defenders, such as local women activists, are treated with dignity. Care will be taken to combat the commercialisation of the case to avoid the case becoming insensitive, ensuring that clear information about the seriousness of the issue is always included.
3. Clear position against gender-based violence:
The awareness-raising project takes an unconditional stand against gender-based violence and any stigma. All members are committed to combating the structural roots of machismo and oppression that contribute to the perpetuation of this scourge. It rejects any attempt to deny, manipulate or distort the facts, whether in North Kivu or in any other region.
4. Prevention of Harm and Trauma:
Everyone involved in the project and the implementation of the ensuing activities receives specialised information and training to understand not only the issues but also the emotional impact they generate. That is why no material created by us will show graphic images that may cause traumatic situations to the participants of the activities. However, they will be made aware of the importance and seriousness of the situations presented.
This statement serves as a compass to ensure that the ethical values that both the project intermediaries and the AHEAD association have stipulated as necessary are guaranteed.
Amb el suport de l'Agència Catalana de Cooperació al Desenvolupament