In December 2006, V (formerly Eve Ensler) interviewed Dr. Denis Mukwege, head of Panzi Hospital about the issue of sexual violence in the DRC. Upon Dr. Mukwege’s invitation, V traveled to Bukavu and Goma to visit the Panzi Hospital and the HEAL Africa Hospital in May 2007. The violence perpetrated against women there, and scale of damage that V saw firsthand was horrific. In partnership with women survivors, Christine Schuler-Deschryver, and Unicef, V-Day initiated a Congo campaign, of which a main goal was to create the City of Joy, a concept which women survivors conceived. Developed by women on the ground in partnership with V-Day and the Panzi Fondation (DRC), the construction of the City of Joy started in September 2009. Doors opened in June 2011.
Since 2007, a widespread global campaign in support of the women of Congo has been harnessed by V-Day activists, keeping a sustained media focus on the issue and raising much needed funds for the immediate needs of communities on the ground in the Congo.
>> Women Left for Dead – and the Man Who’s Saving Them