Over the past few decades, armies of men have been fighting in East Africa’s wars, taking millions of lives and displacing millions more. Rape has now also become a weapon of war. Many victims find themselves infected with AIDS or pregnant, carrying offspring of the “enemy.” Married victims are cast off by their husbands. Unmarried victims are marked and spurned for life. All find themselves rejected by their families and local communities, casualties of war. The brutality has become so epidemic that Eastern Congo has been labeled the “rape capital of the world” by a U.N. Special Representative.
In 2014, Heaven’s Family continued a work, begun two years earlier, serving the victims in the war zone surrounding Goma, DR Congo’s capital. By partnering with the Women of Wellness (WoW) Center, we helped care for 45 women and their children on a daily basis last year, providing nutritional food (often the only meal they have for the day), medical care, biblical trauma counseling, and literacy and vocational training.
Beyond meeting the monthly needs of the WoW Center, Heaven’s Family’s Victims of Sexual Violence Fund provided over 20 sewing machines, a serger, and an embroidery machine, all of which are being used by the WoW women to create artistic, marketable goods. We also provided shoes for the women and their children, as well as a rugged (but used) vehicle, indispensable to the center’s work.
2014 also marked the beginning of our partnership with Cindi’s Hope, a Kenyan ministry that rescues sexually-abused children from the slums of Nairobi and provides them with shelter, food, as well as Christian nurture and education. We’ve helped renovate and furnish dorm rooms, rebuild a kitchen, buy two new cook stoves, plus provide tuition, books and uniforms for three of the rescued girls. In all, the Victims of Sexual Violence Fund received $30,690 and disbursed $40,702.
Thank you to all who loved wounded women and abused children with your generous contributions.