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.”