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Dignity and Hope for Victims of Violent Abuse

Throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), millions of girls and young women have suffered rampant sexual and gender-based violence: perhaps the ugliest consequence of a decades-long civil war that has further escalated existing inequalities, discrimination and harmful cultural attitudes.

As a result, girls who should be dreaming of a happy future instead describe their circumstances as a fate worse than death. Abducted, abused, enslaved and traumatized, many discover themselves alone, pregnant and utterly rejected by society.

You can help us transform their lives.

For more than 100 years, in wartime and in peace, our Salesian missionaries have served the country’s most vulnerable youth. For these female victims, residential programs such as Maison Marguerite offer the psychological counseling, life-skills training, parenting classes and educational opportunities they need to overcome their traumas, and reclaim their human dignity and hope.

“I am nervous,” says 17-year-old Gentille, a Maison Marguerite participant about to begin a new career as a tailor: a job that will provide the income necessary to support herself and her young son. “I am so grateful to the Salesians who are helping me and my baby start a new life.”

This is why our Salesian missionaries offer programs and services to educate and empower women in more than 130 countries in which they serve. For it is when mothers are free of the suffocating effects of poverty, that they are fully able to make sound decisions for themselves, and for their children.

Thank you in advance for your generous support — which makes this work possible!

News & Updates

“There, they Help”

In 2014, Salesian missionaries first opened the Don Bosco Center in Bukavu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) — and word quickly spread among the local population that “there, they help.”

Read More »

A Safe Haven for Vulnerable Girls

They are called “vidomegon” — young girls sold into slavery by their desperately impoverished parents. By day, they toil in private homes and public markets; at night, they endure physical exploitation and violence, psychological abuse and despair.

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Help us empower girls & young women by providing dignity and #hope for victims of violent abuse in the Democratic Republic of #Congo (DRC) & elsewhere around the world.