Meet the People of City of Joy

Tatiana Basemake

Tatiana is an artist who works with sewing techniques. Through her teachings, City of Joy women are able to make income with simple products and skills they can easily promote in their communities.

Pascal Bisimwa

Pascal has been a driver for over 15 years. He is reserved, calm, patient, and serious. He loves his work and he is always on time.

Gustave Chira

Gustave is an experienced secretary and cashier. He is serious and rigorous with customers, although he often smiles!

Christine Schuler Deschryver

Christine Schuler Deschryver

Christine has called Bukavu her home all her life. She oversees all aspects of V-Day’s work on the ground in the DRC, including the City of Joy and coordinating campaign activities on the local, provincial, and national levels. She is an internationally renowned human rights activist who has worked as a teacher, an administrator for CARE CANADA, and, for 13 years, as an administrator for the German Technical Cooperation, where she oversaw a staff of over 100. She travels widely advocating for Congolese women’s rights. Watch a video interview with Christine.

Jean Paul Azanga Ebya

Jean Paul is one of our City of Joy drivers. He has a great sense of humor.

Betty Kajuru

Betty Kajuru

Betty is the City of Joy’s store keeper, ensuring that we never run out of anything we need.

Jeanette Kambaza

In loving memory of Jeanette, who served as a social worker at City of Joy from 2011 to 2019. We miss her.

Aline Magal Kiriza

Aline is a successful caseworker and nurse. She can constructively deal with the many challenging situations women arrive with. She also has a strong working knowledge of the symptoms associated with stress and anxiety. She finds it more satisfying to give than receive.

Patrick Lwaboshi

Patrick brings his strong critical thinking, project management, monitoring and evaluation skills to his role as Program Assistant. He is a devoted worker who is always ready to roll up his sleeves when necessary.

Photo of Florence Masumbuko Malungu

Florence Masumbuko Malungu

Florence has been working holistically with people and families in complex social circumstances throughout her career.. She is a valued member of the social work team.

Photo of Marceline Namali Muheha

Marceline Namali Muheha

Marceline staffs the women’s residences during the night. She makes women feel they are loved and cared for.

Photo of Jane Mukuninwa


Jane Mukuninwa is a Congolese women’s rights activist.  A survivor who was instrumental in envisioning V-Day’s City of Joy project in Bukavu, Jane graduated from the first class and is now part of the City of Joy staff.

Thomas Murhandikire

Thomas oversees security. He is always keeping the staff up to date on needed security measures and takes the necessary steps to keep the women and staff at the City of Joy safe.

Jean Michel Mwambusa

Jean Michel is teacher, an advisor and agriculturist who wants women to protect and know the value of Mother Nature. He teaches agricultural techniques that help improve the productivity of women’s land when they reach their villages.

Photo of Georgine Baganda Nsimire

Georgine Baganda Nsimire

Georgine is a devoted and courageous literacy trainer who has the skills to empower illiterate women to read. She is also the City of Joy babysitter.

Angelique Nsimire Ntububa

Angleique is a devoted professional social worker who is always ready to help women improve the quality of their lives and the wellbeing of their respective communities

Photo of Marie Jeanne M’bachu Bahati Nyenyezi

Marie-Jeanne Bachu Bahati Nyenyezi

Marie is a mother, educator, and feminist. Her experience as an MP, Leader of Women’s Conditions Platform, in South Kivu, and a staff in international NGOs has given her first hand experience in the fight for the rights of Congolese women. Watch a video interview with Marie on our blog.

Photo of Regine Kabichi Shamamba

Regine Kabichi Shamamba

Regine always smiles, even after listening to the heartbreaking stories of women. As a case manager, she lives by the motto, “career is a lifelong process”. She always learns from the others.

Friends of V-Day

Friends of V-Day is local group of women worked on the construction of City of Joy. The group cares for women and devotes time and energy to them by cooking delicious meals and helping with the upkeep of the buildings at City of Joy. As they are over 30 women in the group, members rotate in with each new session at the City of Joy.

Eugenie Saleh Yohali

Eugenie Saleh Yohali

Eugenie’s well-balanced technical accounting, risk management and leadership skills make her an ideal financial and administrative manager.