The village of Victims - PhMuseum

The village of Victims

Annibale Greco

2011 - Ongoing

The DR Congo is widely considered to be the richest country in the world in terms of natural resources and raw minerals such as diamond, gold, coltan, cassiterite. But these resources also fuel most of the conflicts in the country. Violences and a falied state make the DR Congo to the world's deadliest country. The prevalence of rape and other sexual violence is described as the worst in the world. UN agencies cite 10.000 known cases of women who have become victims of sexual violence over the past fifteen years. Despite the signed peace agreements, the presence of NGOs on Congolese territory and the supervision by MONUSCO, sexual violence continues unabated since 1996, the beginning of the first Congo war. Sexual abuse is commonly used as a “weapon of war” in DR Congo by both rebels and Congolese armed forces (FARDC). In the village of Buganga, South Kivu province, hundreds of Congolese women, victims of sexual violence, have taken refuge. Madame Masika, herself a victim of sexual violence, started helping all other women since 2000, in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). She started bringing victims to the village of Buganga giving them all necessary assistance since in most cases victims after violence lose their home and their family. In the village these women start a new life. Accompanied by their children born from the rape they are trying to forget the past with their personal commitment and the work of Madame Masika. The recovery program includes private dialogues and group work. They use to work in the community camps for the production of agricultural products that sometimes are sold in the surrounding villages. Masika founded the APDUD association (Association de Personnes Desheritees Unies pour le Developpment).

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  • A woman and her daughter both victims of sexual violence in their home in Buganga, South Kivu province, DRC, 12 November 2011.

  • A woman victim of sexual violence in her house in Buganga, South Kivu province, DRC, 9 November 2011. In the village of Buganga of 578 inhabitants, 200 women are victims of sexual violence and 24 are orphans of women who have been victims of sexual violence. This abuse is commonly used as a weapon of war since the first Congo war. UN agencies talk about 10.000 of known cases of women that have become victims of sexual violence over the past fifteen years.

  • Women victims of sexual violence are working in the community camps nearby the village of Buganga in South Kivu province, DRC, 19 November 2011. Working in community camps is a part of the APDUD association programme. APDUD (Association de Personnes Desheritees Unies pour le Developpment) is the association founded by Mama Masika in Buganga.

  • A woman works in the fields of Buganga wih the village in the background, South Kivu province, DRC, 10 November 2011.

  • Most of the women victims of sexual violence in the village of Buganga work in the fields and sell the products on the streets, South Kivu province, DRC, 26 November 2011.

  • A girl and a woman in the village of Buganga, South Kivu province, DRC, 18 November 2011 . In the village of Buganga of 578 inhabitants, 200 women are victims of sexual violence and 24 are orphans of women victims of the same atrocities. This abuse is commonly used as a weapon of war since the first Congo war. UN agencies cite 10.000 known cases of women that have become victims of sexual violence over the past fifteen years.

  • Women victims of sexual violence in Buganga, South Kivu province, DRC, 23 November 2011.

  • Masika foundress of APDUD association (Association de Personnes Desheritees Unies pour le Developpment), interviewing a woman victim of sexual violence in Buganga, South Kivu province, DRC, 17 November 2011.

  • A woman walks into the fields near Buganga, the village with the highest number of women victims of sexual violence, South Kivu province, DRC, 23 November 2011.

  • A woman in Buganga come back from the forest with a heavy load of firewood on her back, South Kivu province, DRC, 23 November 2011.

  • Cynthia, a raped victim in the village of Buganga, South Kivu province, DRC, 09 November 2011. She tells during the assault they set fire to her house and burned her hand.

  • A woman victim of sexual violence with her son at home in Buganga, South Kivu province, DRC, 14 November 2011 . Many of the women victims of sexual violence have children from these rapes.


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