By Kara Eberle
IMA World Health
MA World Health and the U.S. Agency for International Development celebrated the official launch of a new comprehensive program that will work to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Events to mark the occasion were held in Bukavu in the South Kivu Province and Goma in the North Kivu Province.
IMA is the lead implementer of USAID’s new project, titled Tushinde Ujeuri: Comprehensive Services to Address GBV Project in Eastern Congo, in the DRC, where years of insecurity and conflict alongside deeply rooted gender inequities and harmful cultural practices have contributed to high rates of sexual and gender-based violence. Tushinde Ujeuri is a five-year comprehensive program designed to help communities respond to and prevent SGBV. In Swahili, its name means “We Overcome Violence.”
Tushinde Ujeuri builds on the highly successful USAID Ushindi Project, through which IMA provided SGBV prevention and response activities in highest risk areas of Eastern Congo. Ushindi directly assisted nearly 30,000 survivors of SGBV from 2010 to 2017.
USAID sent a delegation of five people to the kickoff in Bukavu, including Deputy Director Scott Hocklander, who gave the welcome address. Four provincial ministers from the DRC’s Government also attended.
IMA World Health implements the Tushinde Ujeuri: Comprehensive Services to Address GBV Project in Eastern Congo program in partnership with a consortium of technical and implementing partners. HEAL Africa leads implementation in two health zones in North Kivu (Walikale and Karisimbi) while Panzi Foundation leads implementation in three health zones in South Kivu (Bunyakari, Katana, and Nyangezi). The American Bar Association-Rule of Law Initiative (ABA-ROLI), Search for Common Ground, University of Washington, Johns Hopkins University, and Overseas Strategic Consulting, Ltd. provide specialized technical assistance. The program is made possible by the generosity of the American people.
Founded in 1960, IMA World Health is a global, faith-based nonprofit that works with communities to overcome their public health challenges.