Our Women's Circle Dadas (Sisters) project directly addresses the extraordinary obstacles faced by survivors of rape warfare. We focus on health education, reproductive health, and post-traumatic stress support, connections to needed healthcare, as well as space for peer support, and enrollment in vocational training. The Dadas project is the only comprehensive source of HIV/AIDS education, testing, and counseling available for newly arrived refugee women in Atlanta.
Refugee women receive only six-months of basic assistance upon arrival in the United States. The majority of rape warfare survivors have lost their husbands and/or extended families, leaving them to raise children and face their new lives alone. Due to the cultural stigma surrounding rape, these women will often isolate in fear and shame, instead of embracing the opportunities and resources along their five-year track to citizenship. Through this project, 30 Congolese women will beat the odds.
Bringing women together through Dadas provides a lifeline to peer support, counseling, linkages to care, and income generation. Dadas weaves a safe forum and community of sisters, enabling each woman to speak her story, grieve her losses, and reclaim her dignity.
This project establishes a solid foundation for successfully resettling Congolese refugee women, who are fleeing the most horrific conflict since World War II, where an estimated 48 women are raped every hour, of every day (CARE). Healing the wounds of war and grasping their true potential, Dadas participants are empowered to engage fully in their new lives, provide for their families, prepare for citizenship, and support the newly-arrived women who will follow in their footsteps.
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