Prince Murhula is JHR’s partner in Bukavu, DRCongo and manages the Ecole Technique de Journalisme – where Dr. Mukwege’s Panzi hospital is located. He is also Dr. Mukwege’s former communications director. “That Dr. Mukwege’s work has been recognized in this way helps tell the world that there is hope in the Congo,” says Prince. “This is a chance to invite the rest of the world to understand that there are people there who suffer—but despite their suffering, there is a beautiful hope that things can change. That there are initiatives in the Congo that are not supported by the Congolese government, that deserve recognition and support. It’s a chance to see these people, recognize them and accompany them to help the Congolese people recover from this mass trauma.”
“Dr. Mukwege heals these women’s bodies. Prince Murhula and his wife Sandra Bashengezi work with Journalists for Human Rights to help heal their minds,” says Rachel Pulfer, Executive Director of Journalists for Human Rights. JHR does this by giving these women a platform to tell their own stories and build their own story of hope for the future. One great example: The Prophetess, a docu-drama by Sylvie Weber, Sandra Bashengezi and Margaret Flatley, which, for the first time, helps show what life is now like as these women find a way, through storytelling, to heal from their trauma.
JHR also does this by training journalists to document horrific examples of sexual assault and bring perpetrators to justice. A documentary created by M. Murhula’s trainees Esther Kamwa and Jean-Claude Bisimwa a few years ago tracks a militia that had been perpetrating mass rape on girls as young as two years old in the village of Kavumu. After the documentary aired, the militia was shut down. This year, it’s backer, a powerful deputy in local parliament, was tried, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
“Even though we suffer, even though women suffer, we believe in change and we have hope,” said M. Murhula’s wife Mme. Bashengezi. “So I ask, Canadians, do not be afraid to accompany the Congolese in their journey towards healing, because real change is possible.”
There is a phrase in the DRC: no matter how long the night, the day is sure to come.
It’s a great day for Dr. Mukwege – and for all who believe in a future where the use of rape as a weapon of war is no longer possible.
Our thanks to CNW Group for sponsoring this announcement
Journalists for Human Rights
Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) is Canada’s leading media development organization. We train journalists to report on human rights and governance issues in their communities. When the media puts a spotlight on human rights, people start talking about the issues and demanding change. A strong, independent media is a referee between governments and citizens. When human rights are protected, governments are more accountable and people’s lives improve.
SOURCE Journalists for Human Rights (JHR)
For further information: please contact JHR Executive Director Rachel Pulfer at Rachel @jhr.ca, 416 892-9673 or Janine deVries at 416 413 0240 x 210 or Janine@jhr.ca