22 Dec City of Joy Celebrates 24th Graduation; Give a V-Card, Give the Gift of V-Day
WHEN THEY LEFT CITY OF JOY,
EACH WOMAN LEFT WITH HER KEY,
THE KEY TO HER LIFE:
2069 WOMEN HAVE GRADUATED FROM THE CITY OF JOY TO DATE
Update from Christine Schuler Deschryver, Director of V-Day Congo and Co-Founder/Director of City of Joy Director:
This week in Bukavu, 82 women graduated from the City of Joy. The six months of leadership training and healing from post-traumatic stress disorder served as a headlight that shone through the darkness created in each woman’s life. After her physical and mental destruction from an environment haunted by discrimination, subordination, patriarchy, religion, and culture, everything seemed hopeless. In our communities, when women are raped or violated, most of the time, they are chased from their families and villages and repudiated as wives. This is the reason most of them decide to keep the silence that slowly kills them, they are ashamed and even feel guilty. Now that they know their rights, how to break the silence, how to get justice, and to communicate, it completely changes their lives. They are ready to share what they’ve learned with their communities and help their sisters and mothers break the cycle of violence.
In the context of elections, we really insist on the importance of voting, and teach how and why to choose their leaders. They are now true citizens who will cast a useful vote, especially since they will choose their first president and deputies in the upcoming election.
They also understand why we have to protect and save our mother Earth which is destroyed the same way we as women are destroyed. They know how urgent it is to plant trees, recycle, nourish the soil, and spread the word in all communities as an emergency for humanity. Global warming is a fact and we all live in the same house.
82 women are now graduated and ready to transform and revolutionize their communities. Their blossoming was triggered by the tenets of City of Joy – to transform all of their pain to superpowers. 82 women will return to their communities in more than 60 villages in the provinces of South and North Kivu. They will bring with them a vision to revolutionize mentalities and end violence, deforestation, sexism, and patriarchy. They will create spaces where women and girls will be free and safe.
City of Joy is proud to have planted 82 more seeds of revolution in the DRC. These seeds symbolize the power and leadership of these young women; they symbolize victory. These women will play a critical role in their communities. They have all the tools, and trust me, they will use them.
DEEPEST GRATITUDE to all our donors and supporters and to Mama V, our V-Day team in the US and all over the world. It wasn’t an easy session due to ongoing wars and many obstacles in the different regions from where our girls came but the work is done and our mission has been accomplished successfully.
Photos: Carlos Schuler and Christine Schuler Deschryver
YOUR SOLIDARITY AND SUPPORT MAKE THIS MOVEMENT POSSIBLE
This giving season, support V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against all women, gender expansive people, girls and the Earth. V-Day works at the intersection of art and activism to shatter taboos, create space for women and the most marginalized, and initiate community-led culture and system change. V-Day is a movement of everyday grassroots leaders demanding change for their communities. Join us, support the work of City of Joy, VOICES, the Beyond Incarceration Project, and the V-Day Safe House For The Girls.
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V-Day is a California 501(c)(3) public charity and is one of the Top-Rated organizations on both Charity Navigator and Guidestar. 31 December is the last day to make charitable donations in order to claim them on your 2023 tax return.