City of Joy, a Revolutionary New Center for Women Survivors of Gender Violence, Opened Today in Bukavu, DRC

By V-day, PRNE
Thursday, February 3, 2011

City of Joy Offers New Platform and Vision For Congolese Women to Pursue Peace in The DRC

BUKAVU, Congo, February 4, 2011 - V-Day and the Fondation Panzi (DRC), with support from UNICEF, announce
today the opening of City of Joy, a revolutionary new community for women
survivors of gender violence in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
City of Joy will provide up to 180 Congolese women a year with an opportunity
to benefit from group therapy; self-defense training; comprehensive sexuality
education (covering HIV/AIDS, family planning); economic empowerment;
storytelling; dance; theater; ecology and horticulture. Created from their
vision, Congolese women will run, operate and direct City of Joy themselves.

City of Joy marks the next chapter in V-Day's ongoing campaign, STOP
RAPING OUR GREATEST RESOURCE: Power to the Women and Girls of the DRC. It
will provide a powerful new platform for Congolese women to turn their pain
to power, restore their sense of agency over their lives, and become leaders
who will steer Eastern Congo's destiny towards peace. The community will
invest in the healing and empowerment of survivors of gender violence - who
offer the best hope for a far-reaching and positive impact on the future of
Congolese society.

"The opening of the City of Joy is the moment where women of the Congo
turn their pain to power; where they who have suffered so deeply, so
invisibly will claim their rights, their bodies and their future. It will be
a huge privilege and honor to be present at this momentous occasion," stated
Eve Ensler, playwright and V-Day Founder.

"It has been centuries that Congo has not belonged to the Congolese. The
country was always plundered and occupied by outside forces. City of Joy will
be a place owned by the Congolese where women will be propelled to take their
destinies in hand," said Christine Schuler Deschryver, V-Day Congo and City
of Joy Director.

For full text of this release, please visit:

Susan Celia Swan, V-Day, +1-917-865-6603, press at or Jen Hirsch, Group SJR, +1-646-495-9723, vday at or Christine Schuler Deschryver/V-Day Congo, +243998610946, Christine at or Cornelia Walther/UNICEF DRC, +243-99-100-63-07, cwalther at; wcornelia at NOTE TO EDITORS: ***FOOTAGE AND PHOTOS AVAILABLE***

will not be displayed