Crisis in the Congo:

War Against Women

As Featured on 60 Minutes

You Have the Power to Help the Women of the DR Congo Today. As Seen on the Emmy Nominated, 60 Minutes, There is an Epidemic of Rape in the DR Congo that has Reached Epic Proportions.

Today in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), people are still struggling after one of the deadliest wars in all history. Millions died and new conflicts threaten peace every day. Perhaps worse than the loss of life is the staggering numbers of human rights violations.

This is why women like Lucienne, pictured here, line up each day outside the Women for Women International offices hoping for the opportunity to rebuild their lives.

"My husband was on a business trip when Hutu soldiers broke into our home. I had my baby in my arms. They pulled it away from me and threw [her] aside. They pulled me and tied my arms behind my back with a rope together with my sister-in-law. They dragged us out..." Lucienne was then brutally raped in front of her own brother – whom they killed because he wouldn't watch. Her sister-in- law was also killed because two men couldn't decide who should have her as a wife – so they killed her to "solve their problem." Read the rest of Lucienne's Story

Sponsor a Woman Now

Women for Women International's Program Helps Women Survivors of War like Lucienne not Just to Live, but to Thrive.

"Joining the program has been a salvation... my life has changed and my children are healthy. I recovered confidence through the [Women for Women International] training."

Lucienne's life changed for the better the moment Deborah Nicholson decided to become a Women for Women International Sponsor. For just $30 a month, Deborah provided Lucienne with everything from food and training programs to help her start a new life.

"I feel blessed to be able to help you — and I am very proud that I am your sister!"

There are Thousands of Women in the DR Congo, Just Like Lucienne, Who Desperately Need Your Help Today

The sexual violence in the Congo is the worst in the world." But right now you can sponsor a Congolese woman like Lucienne, and help physically and emotionally save her through our sponsorship program.

Your generosity will help her provide for her family and get important rights awareness training to help ensure that she won't ever be a victim again. Women for Women International will teach her the skills needed to start a business to help her end the cycle of poverty and suffering."

With Your Help Today Women for Women International Can Continue Our Success in the DR Congo

In the last two years, we have expanded our program to reach remote villages and have now served over 15,000 women since our start. One woman told us:

"It is Monday morning, November 5, 2007. Since I arrived here, we have, on all fronts, been working hard to capture this story for CBS news 60 minutes ... on the rape epidemic in the Eastern Congo."

Make a generous $50 donation today and you'll help provide a woman in the DR Congo or other war torn nations around the world with:

  • Important rights awareness training
  • Health and literacy training
  • Job skills training
  • Money for food, clothes and schooling
  • A support system to help her go from victim to survivor to active citizen
Sponsor a Woman Now

Take An Inspiring Behind the Scenes Tour

DR Congo with Anderson Cooper and the 60 Minutes Crew

In early November:
Women for Women International received a call from CBS’s 60 Minutes notifying them that they would like to do a piece on the epidemic and effect of rape on women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They specifically wanted to visit the Program Office and speak to the some of the participants for first hand accounts of what they had seen and endured as women living in the DRC.

Saturday, November 10th:
Upon landing at Kavumu airport in Bukavu from Goma; the 60 Minutes Crew came directly to the Women for Women Program office to start filming. They shot inside the ceramic studio where participants were actively making tiles, as well as participants in rights awareness groups, literacy, cooking class, sponsorship payment, letter writing, etc.

They interviewed several participants in the program and heard them read letters from their sponsors. They talked with Judithe Registre with Women for Women International, about what life is like for the women in the program, and what Women for Women International is doing to help.

Sunday November 11th:
The crew arrives in Walungu at 7:00 am. The road is slippery as it is another rainy morning followed by a rainy night. They begin to interview women, one in particular stood out – her name was Lucienne. She spoke to Anderson Cooper about her life in the DR Congo and about her participation in the Women for Women program. She also spoke about her sponsor, Deborah Nicholson, and the letters they exchanged.

That night Judithe has dinner with the crew, including Anderson Cooper. She recalls that “It was light and interesting; Anderson tells some funny stories about his travels and work. Also, she enjoyed hearing one of the cameramen describe how amazing it was to see "…Lucienne light up when she joined her group.”

Monday November 12th:
The producer, Michael and Anderson Cooper leave in the morning, after filming last minute scenes in the morning at Panzi hospital with Dr. Mukwege. The associate producer is also following up with the letter translation process; from the writing/translation of the letters, to the packaging and shipment to Headquarters in order to get a sense of how the Sponsorship program works.

"We are overwhelmed with the sincerity and interest the crew took on our DR Congo Program and with the women and men who participate in it. We look forward to having our story told."

Judithe Registre, Women for Women International