Blog: Dispatches from Bukavu and Beyond

UPDATE from City of Joy – Third Class Graduates!

V-Day Congo & City of Joy Director Christine Schuler Deschryver shares with us news from City of Joy and the third class of graduates:

It is hard to put into words what the graduation yesterday was like – it is just beyond words, the transformation of the girls and the children is so radical. Many people attended, most of them from civil society. Dr. Mukwege also came with lots of his visitors and I don’t remember seeing him so proud and happy. He did an amazing speech glorifying our work, and the girls.

Girls were radiant and extremely proud to show everything they learned at City of Joy. Theatre and songs were used. Some of my favorite Congolese actors here surprised me by coming and played the role of a wife coming back home after being raped, healed at Panzi hospital and trained at City of Joy. It was just excellent.

Let me thank all of you for your support to make this happen. As I told Eve, my strength here is my friendship with her and all your love. It is more and more difficult to work here – problems coming from everywhere, challenges everyday. We have to go on knowing we are doing our best, trying to bring brighter days in the darkness of DR Congo. You cannot change the world without love.

Social workers left this morning for new recruitment and we will start our new session on May 2nd. A lot of preparation work to do before the new group arrives.

Blessings and gratitude to all of you,

Christine Schuler Deschryver

V-Day Congo & City of Joy Director