City of Joy
A goal of V-Day’s Congo campaign is to provide necessary resources and support for women to rebuild and transform their lives. The centerpiece of the campaign is to support community reintegration for survivors of rape, specifically those who face extreme challenges in returning home due to community rejection and trauma.
Conceived, created and developed by the women on the ground, the City of Joy in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo supports women survivors of sexual violence to heal and provides them with opportunities to develop their leadership through innovative programming. Through its groundbreaking model, the City of Joy provides up to 180 women a year with an opportunity to benefit from: group therapy; storytelling; dance; theater; self-defense; comprehensive sexuality education (covering HIV/AIDS, family planning); ecology and horticulture; and economic empowerment.
The City of Joy provides women a place to heal emotionally as they rebuild their lives, turn their pain to power, and return back into their communities to lead.
The construction of the City of Joy started in September 2009 and opened its doors in June 2011. Since it’s opening over 200 women and girls have graduated from City of Joy. V-Day has generated significant funding from private foundations and individual donors as well as its vast global network of activists.