Improvement of the situation of raped women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo

In 2000, fifteen nurses founded the project FEPSI ("Femmes Engagées pour la Promotion de la Santé Integral") to alleviate the intolerable situation of raped women and girls in North Kivu in the Eastern Congo.

Since 1994 a civil war devastates the Eastern Congo almost incessantly. Rape is used as a weapon by almost all of the many different war parties. An increasing number of girls and women is raped by neighbors and relatives due to the increasing brutalization of civil society. According to statistics of the United Nations nowhere else in the world there are so many rape victims as in the two provinces of North and South Kivu on the Congolese border to Rwanda and Uganda. The stigmatization of rape victims is so grave that they do not speak of what happened to them and even if they do no prosecution will take place in most cases. The victims are on their own; they are often rejected by their families and cast out of their villages, as well as the children sired by rapists.

In 2003 the women of FEPSI in Butembo, the second largest city in North Kivu, founded the hospital "Centre Hospitalier Fepsi". It is the only place in a catchment area of ​​two million inhabitants, where raped and often cruelly injured women and girls find medical and psychological help. At the time being the FEPSI hospital consists of 65 beds with a team of three doctors, thirty-three nurses, two laboratory assistants, a psychologist and numerous technicians working there. Associated are also a large number of representatives, who distribute information about the support services of FEPSI in the villages. Since 2007 FEPSI collaborates with the German Agro Action (Deutsche Welthungerhilfe).

By its financial support the Tereska Foundation tries to improve the hospital’s options in helping the girls and women and their children.

The Terseka Foundation largely contributed to the purchase of an adjoining property and subsequnetly to the construction of an extension of the clinic comprising a new operating room plus equipment, rooms for training courses and therapy sessions for the women and children, and a cistern. To some extend money is spent for training of doctors, salaries of doctors and midwives and for running costs such as medicines, bandages, and surgical material.

Since the Tereska Foundation has a clear focus on helping children in need, one should perhaps point out that the improvements financed by the Foundation are especially benefiting children: Caesarean sections carried out in the new OR save the lives of children and mothers; mothers are helped to bond with their children conceived in rape. In addition, the women of FEPSI try to reintegrate the raped women in their families and  villages - many of the raped women had children prior to the rape, which they often had to leave because they were rejected by their family. And many of the rape victims are still children themselves.

The FEPSI Hospital
The FEPSI Hospital

Report August 2015

Report February 2016

Pictures 2017

Pictures 2018