Promising practices: Coming out of the shadows
SCIAF has been helping communities ravaged by conflict and political unrest in the Great Lakes Region of Africa since 1994.
Turmoil in the region has resulted in the death and displacement of millions of people, destroying communities and livelihoods, exacerbating poverty and increasing the marginalisation of the most vulnerable. Of most concern, rape has become a weapon of war with devastating consequences, humiliating women and girls, destroying families, and destabilising communities. It has also become more prevalent in civil society.
Our response has included a three-year programme which helped around 23,000 survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (South Kivu Province), Burundi (Bubanza Province) and Rwanda (nationally) regain their physical and emotional health, access justice and rejoin their families and communities.
The programme, implemented with financial support from the European Union, was designed using a comprehensive model of care and treatment particularly appropriate to SGBV in such a fragile environment. As well as supporting survivors, we and our partners have been a voice for justice, challenging the prevailing societal norms, practices, behaviours and the culture of impunity. The programme was delivered by the local Church and many volunteers.
This report explores the best practice evident in our programme and identifies key learning which has improved our ongoing programming work on SGBV in the region.