Blog: Dispatches from Bukavu and Beyond

City of Joy Opening Ceremony 10 Year Anniversary

Ten years ago, hundreds of people – local Congolese, dignitaries, activists and supporters from across the globe – gathered in #Bukavu to celebrate the opening of the #CityOfJoy, a revolutionary leadership center for women survivors of gender violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It was joyous. Filled with laughter. Brimming with hope.

Ten years later, the City of Joy is thriving, with a network of over 1500 women graduates who are transforming the very fabric of Congolese society and inspiring women everywhere.  Designed by Congolese survivors, it is a place where women turn their pain into power. A place that restores women’s sense of agency over their lives as they learn real, practical life skills to feed their futures, and connects them to the global #VDay movement, one billion strong. From the return of warmth and joy into women’s lives, to a reconnection to their bodies, to the feeling of empowerment each woman feels when she masters a new skill or acquires life-changing knowledge, the City of Joy gives women a platform to transform their pasts into fuel for a revolution of the mind, body, and community.

A woman who comes through the City of Joy is forever changed by it. She laughs more, she leads more, she gives more. 10 years of joy and counting… With gratitude for everyone who made the vision of City of Joy a reality, who have been the wind at our backs. It means the world to us.

Join us. Support us. Follow us.

#VDay #1BillionRising #RiseResistUnite #RiseInSolidarity #UntilTheViolenceStops #TurningPainToPower