The teenagers of Bunyakiri High School in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have lived their entire lives in a region at the center of one of Africa's most brutal and violent conflicts. Women and girls there also carry enormous burdens in tending farms, carrying water and firewood, and caring for families. In this environment of gender inequality, women and girls are at high risk of multiple forms of gender-based violence (GBV), including rape, domestic violence, and forced marriage.
Through a unique collaboration with the U.S. Agency for International Development, International Medical Corps is educating and sensitizing young people about women's rights, sexual health and the consequences of GBV. It is especially important to reach young people who are still developing their ideas about gender and relationships, which tend to be more ingrained in adults. One of the ways in which we engage young people to promote peace and change attitudes and behaviors about violence is through soccer.
By bringing together groups of girls from different villages across South Kivu province to play soccer, International Medical Corps' GBV experts can reach a wide audience to educate young people about their rights under the law, such as their protection from forced marriage under the age of 18, as well as information about where survivors of sexual violence can find help our health centers. The games also build connections between communities that have been kept isolated in recent years because of violence and insecurity. As a result, young people are reached directly and also made champions within their families and communities for a more promising and peaceful future.
One female 10th grade Bunyakiri High School student told us, “Because of the [girls' soccer] matches we play, I have met many new friends from areas outside my village. I say to my family that I am the example of gender equality because I go to play matches all over Bunyakiri."
International Medical Corps has worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since 1999, providing more than one million people with health care, health sector training, gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and treatment, nutrition, food security, and water and sanitation services. Our complementary USAID-funded Care, Access, Safety & Empowerment and Behavior Change Communications projects in DRC take a comprehensive approach to addressing the needs of GBV survivors, while also preventing future cases by changing community attitudes around gender and violence.
We’re halfway through GlobalGiving’s Japan Matching Campaign and we still need your help to reach our goal. Through November 15, GlobalGiving is matching donations to our Japan projects 100%—doubling the impact of your contribution!
Consider this: To express his gratitude for International Medical Corps' work in Japan, the Mayor of Minami-Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture recently presented us with a letter of appreciation. The Mayor’s thanks came for our help in renovating a government-owned community center, which is currently being used as a vocational training center for the disabled. We installed new bathrooms and ramps to make the center handicap-accessible.
And this represents just one of the most recent examples of International Medical Corps’ community-building activities in the aftermath of Japan’s devastating tsunami and earthquake. We’ve been on the ground helping Japan rebuild since 48 hours after the disaster last year. All of our current projects focus on Fukushima, where the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was damaged and people remain evacuated from their homes.
To help you support our work, GlobalGiving will match your donations to our Japan projects dollar for dollar between November 1 and 15.
So make sure to give before November 15 to make your gift count twice.
Thank you for your invaluable support for the people of Japan!
GlobalGiving’s “Tohoku Recovery Matching Campaign” will provide $100,000 in matching funds to projects that are related to earthquake and tsunami recovery activities in Tohoku, Japan. All (online ONLY) donations through Global Giving will be matched 100%, up to $1,000 per donor and $25,000 per organization. The campaign runs from 12:01am on November 1 to midnight on November 15, 2012.
We are only $24,307 away from reaching our campaign goal of $185,000! And thanks to an exciting campaign through Global Giving, this is our chance to reach it.
Between November 1 and 15, Global Giving will match your donations to our Japan projects dollar for dollar. If you donate $50, it becomes $100. If you donate $250, it becomes $500. You get the picture. Here’s why it matters:
As you well know, International Medical Corps was on the ground 48 hours after Japan’s tsunami and earthquake. We delivered essential items and health services to thousands of displaced families and evacuees—everything from food to household items to heaters and stoves for the cold winter months. And we stayed—because healing hearts and minds doesn’t happen overnight.
In the past several months, International Medical Corps has focused on addressing the trauma of Japanese citizens by providing vital mental health services and training local health providers. For example, we trained 86 staff members of the Tokyo English Life Line and 93 other frontline workers in psychological first aid and held 8 workshops for 300 parents and teachers on how to create a supportive environment for children.
International Medical Corps has also created several safe community spaces and forged long-term partnerships with local NGOs to link evacuees with critically-needed social services and support networks. For example, we run a daycare facility, in partnership with the International Volunteer Center of Yamagata, for the children of Fukushima evacuees and maintain several community spaces where all persons affected by the disaster can interact with one another and obtain essential information regarding relevant services.
Through these efforts and many more, we are helping to bring host and evacuee communities together to engage in community-building activities and support each other through Japan’s rebuilding process.
But we need your help to keep going.
Making a donation between November 1 and November 15 doubles your impact and ensures that International Medical Corps can continue to provide critical services to the Japanese people.
This means that we can reach our goal and, together, we can help heal Japan.
So make your donation today to make your donation count twice!
The three main areas of Tohoku that were affected by the March 2011 earthquake/tsunami include Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima, where the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was damaged and people remain evacuated from their homes. All of International Medical Corps’ current projects focus on Fukushima.
Global Giving’s “Tohoku Recovery Matching Campaign” will provide $100,000 in matching funds to projects that are related to earthquake and tsunami recovery activities in Tohoku, Japan. All (online ONLY) donations through Global Giving will be matched 100%, up to $1,000 per donor and $25,000 per organization. The campaign runs from 12:01am on November 1 to midnight on November 15, 2012.