City of Joy

When 2016 came to a close, there was a lot of public discourse around what a difficult and disheartening year it was. With the presidential inauguration south of the border tomorrow, it doesn’t seem like 2017 is offering a reprieve any time soon.
 With this in mind, we thought we would share with you 10 guidelines for living with love and resilience in unstable times. These guidelines were formed by tenacious leaders from one of our long term partners, City of Joy, who have been working to build a better world in an environment of conflict for a very long time.

 

City of Joy, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was inspired by the work at Panzi Hospital, where medical treatment and psychosocial rehabilitation is provided for survivors of sexual and gender based violence, which is used as a strategy of war in the DRC. Their country has been locked in a brutal conflict that has been raging for over 30 years with no end in sight and the numbers of women in need of treatment are staggering. 
 
A beacon of hope for women across the DRC, City of Joy’s extraordinary work begins once a woman’s physical wounds have been healed.  It offers a 6-month residential leadership program where 90 women live together and gain the tools and support they need to transform their pain into power. The houses are built in traditional style and arranged like a village, with an orchard, an area to tend livestock and many communal areas. The women live ten women to a house and participate in a range of programmes from self-defence courses, literacy, fine arts, women’s rights, computer, advocacy and media training, accounting, income generation, and storytelling. Along with these activities, the women are actively engaged in community-building, and they developed the guiding principles for their life together. This is what they came up with:

In an environment of perpetual instability, division and violence – these women choose to re-write the rules. They insist it can be different, that it must be different.
 
This New Year we want to thank the women of the City of Joy - for their courage, their leadership, and their willingness, after all they have endured, to fearlessly rebuild their lives on a foundation of truth and love. They are fueling a revolution. Our 2017 resolution is to be a part of it.
 
Join them!

News

Include women-led organizations in Canada’s reproductive health projects July 20, 2017

MUSIMBI KANYORO and THEO SOWA, The Globe and Mail

Dare To Wear Love Gala to Introduce Launch of Urgent Stephen Lewis Foundation LGBTQ Initiative May 5, 2017

Kim Hughes, SAMARITANMAG

Upcoming Events

Guelph Gogo Grandmothers' Fabric & Fibre Frenzy October 21, 2017

Guelph, ON

The Slocan Valley Grassroots Grammas African Dinner October 21, 2017

Winlaw, BC