On Monday June 5, 2023 in Bukavu, Panzi Foundation hosted the launch ceremony of the United for Gender Equality (UPEG) project. Implemented in the Democratic Republic of Congo by the Belgian Development Agency Enabel, and carried out in the province of South Kivu by its delegated operators Panzi Foundation and Swisscontact, this 4-year project is financed by the European Union. It will operate in South Kivu in the Ibanda, Walungu, and Minova health zones.
With the main aim of contributing to the eradication of gender-based violence, in particular by strengthening the socio-economic empowerment and political leadership of Congolese women, this project will benefit over 2,800 people in the three targeted health zones, including survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, women suffering from complex gynecological pathologies, and women and girls engaged in a process of socio-economic reintegration and empowerment.
To date, Panzi Foundation has cared for more than 70,000 women and girl survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, and has carried out interventions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Ukraine, and Guinea, developing unique expertise in the field.
Within the framework of the UPEG project, Panzi Foundation will work on the appropriation and implementation of the fight against gender-based violence by communities, the operationalization of a rapid and effective response mechanism to cases of violence, the improvement of survivors’ access to care and holistic management, and the strengthening of public services in their coordinating role in the field of prevention, awareness-raising, and care for survivors.
In implementing this intervention, Panzi Foundation will work in close collaboration with the Panzi Hospital, which is a center of excellence for the care of survivors of gender-based violence. These two sister institutions are the brainchild of Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Denis Mukwege.