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Current total of donations (22/01/2013):

 

£21, 559.46 / USD 34,163.12

 

Thank you for your generosity

About

The east of the Democratic Republic of Congo has been engulfed in a brutal war since 1996. This is a war against women, where the most unimaginable violence is being perpetrated against women of all ages.

Masika is a survivor of this unimaginable violence and violation, but despite facing ongoing danger, she is tirelessly working to help others. She has set up a centre where other survivors can come for sanctuary. They have no where else to go, the majority of them have been rejected by their husbands, community, and even their own families.

“Many think that when they’re raped their lives are shattered, but we’d like them to know it’s not the end of the world”

- Masika

WHAT MASIKA IS DOING

Finding Survivors

  • Masika has built up and is continuing to grow a network of volunteers who search and rescue people who have been subjected to sexual violence.
  • She has 14 volunteers from 14 village localities, who also inform and educate villagers, and find orphaned children.
  • When found, these survivors and children are brought to Masika’s centre.

Counselling

  • Survivors are first taken to a Listening House, where Masika or another member of her team will give counselling and suggest ways of moving forward.
  • During this time both the councillor and survivor share experiences.
  • Masika keeps official records of each case.

Basic Provision

  • Some survivors come to the centre with nothing, so their immediate needs are met with clothes and other basic necessities.

Medical Treatment

  • Survivors are taken to a local hospital for treatment, which can include drugs to counteract AIDS, and care for injuries from the violence.
  • More serious cases will go to either the Heal Africa hospital in Goma, or Panzi in Bukavu.

A Place to Live

  • After they are given immediate attention, Masika finds survivors a place to recuperate before she tries to help them return to their original home.

Mamma Masika

  • Some survivors are so traumatised that Masika takes them into her own house until they are emotionally stronger.
  • She has also adopted a number of orphans and children born of rape.

Education

  • Masika is passionate about education and tries to find ways of getting all the children at the centre to school.
  • She pays for the education of a number of those orphaned or abandoned.

Reconciliation

  • Masika talks with the survivor’s family and their local chief to try and get them back to their original home.
  • She also has a small team to help with these negotiations, which can be successful.
  • She’s managed to persuade some husbands to take their wives back.

New Life

  • For some survivors, returning home is not an option because negotiations fail.
  • In these cases Masika will find them somewhere to live in the community.

The Field

  • Once a week all the women from her group, those at the centre, and those in the community, whoare strong enough, get together to work on a plot of land.
  • The crops that are produced from this work are eaten by those at the centre, and also sold atmarket.
  • The main crops are beans and maize.
  • It’s a chance for everyone with shared experiences to get together, work as a team, have a chat, and a laugh.

BACKGROUND

Her project was started with a tiny grant from Oxfam, just $250. With that she bought a field for everyone to work on, cultivating crops.  With the profits they made, she has been able to build 47 houses with grass roofs (i.e. simple houses). She is hoping to find some more grants so they can rent another field. She has recently (2010) bought one with the help of an Amnesty Award and other donors.

THIS BLOG

This blog will tell the stories from Masika’s centre and the people she is helping.

Due to the nature of the subject, some may find the content of this site distressing.

43 Comments leave one →
  1. October 7, 2011 12:11 am

    This is a great project! We support Masika and other true Congolese leaders!

  2. October 12, 2011 3:45 pm

    Outstanding project, incredibly inspiring, humanitarian work at its best.

  3. October 12, 2011 4:12 pm

    This project is such a constructive response to a problem that seems like it has no solution. While the world works out how to deal with the cause of appalling and ongoing rapes in eastern DRC Masika is doing something truly amazing to rebuild these shattered lives. I was really moved by this and just wish there was more we could do to prevent this in the first place.
    Societies need to punish rapists not the victims but until this is universally accepted we need more support for women like Masika.

  4. Louise permalink
    October 15, 2011 9:01 am

    Wow. Masika is a true inspiration. Such strong, brave women in the face of such brutality. May the garden and the whole project go from strength to strength. Beautifully shot film too. Will forward it to everyone i know.

  5. Federico permalink
    October 18, 2011 3:15 pm

    I have met Masika, and she is indeed an exceptional person, doing all this work quietly, without seeking the spotlight (though the spotlight somehow found her, because of her work).

    Good luck to her, and congratulations to those who contribute to making her work known to the rest of the world.

  6. sam permalink
    October 19, 2011 3:59 pm

    Through Pain a Heroine is born – beyond explanation she has suffered at the hands of such darkness and is a women that shines beyond them all – unafraid bold and brilliant – she has paved the way for us to follow in the footsteps – Women unite – she is the kind of woman that even NGOs are afraid of because she is doing it alone uninjured by what is crippling – we need to make sure her platform is protected and she has a chance to be heard loud and clear

  7. November 3, 2011 12:38 pm

    On behalf of the Congolese Family Centre, the lead organisation of the RED LIGHT, RED CARD IN ACTION project to raise fund and the awareness around the world about this awful and appalling gender based violence in DRC, I would like to express my sincere thanks for the job that you are going to help the victims of this appalling issue affecting our country in this century and the International community still paying a lips service about these atrocities, which is unbearable.
    We are together and our project will 100% support you and I would like to let you know that a song has been written to honour the work that you’re doing “GOD BLESS YOU MAMA MAKIKA, MAMA AFRICA! MAMA BOBOTO! MAMA NA BONA!

  8. November 4, 2011 10:27 am

    Excellent work.

  9. November 15, 2011 7:22 am

    Masika’s story is something we all need to know of – an inspiration for women everywhere. And the work that filmmaker Fiona Lloyd-Davies has been doing to tell that story needs all our support. Lynne Franks

  10. christamone permalink
    November 26, 2011 5:03 pm

    How can I contact Masika or the farm that she has set up? I don’t see an email address anywhere on the site. Thank you for your help!

  11. Ema Vidak Gojkovic permalink
    November 26, 2011 6:43 pm

    I am amazed by her work. Good luck Masika, and I hope as many people as possible will be able to support your work with donations and direct involvement!

  12. Paul Krane permalink
    November 27, 2011 7:49 pm

    Wow, what an Inspiration she is. Amazing woman.

  13. Lynn permalink
    November 27, 2011 11:32 pm

    God bless you and all whom you are reaching out your heart and hands to! May you find all the help and support you need to end this horror. Where are our governments in these situations where there are more than enough ligament reasons to step in and end this.

  14. Jon permalink
    November 28, 2011 7:13 am

    Your story is truly inspiring! Please try to get PayPal set up so we can help out!

  15. RoseMarie Cowham permalink
    November 28, 2011 1:19 pm

    Masika deserves to be the CNN hero for 2012. What she is doing is amazing. She has such energy and devotion to those who suffered as she has suffered.

  16. Sheila permalink
    December 3, 2011 4:13 pm

    How can I donate money to Masika’s work? I live in the US – where can I send a check ?

  17. michelle permalink
    December 6, 2011 12:53 am

    Masika, you are a courageous and inspirational woman. I too would like to help you. Can you provide an email address on your web page? Truly, Michelle

  18. December 13, 2011 1:51 pm

    I would love to donate to Masika and the work she is doing. However, I live in the US and I am not sure I can send money through your bank account. I am anxious to see paypal set up, so that I can donate directly.

  19. Amaya permalink
    December 20, 2011 7:13 pm

    I would love to help Masika in any way. Her story has changed my life profoundly. Since I saw the documentary Field of Hope I have her in my prayers every single day, but I wish I could do more.
    Is there any way we can contact Masika directly?
    Thanks a lot!

  20. Stacey Dooley permalink
    December 29, 2011 12:54 pm

    What an outstanding and inspirational website and woman!

    Such an important issue, this website makes it clear to understand.

    Massive congratulations on the amazing work already done so far, and good luck for everything in the future.

    Will certainly be following and supporting in 2012…

  21. Satellite permalink
    February 12, 2012 6:18 pm

    I’m sorry for such a silly question, but still…Is it possible to contact Masika? To write her an e-mail, or maybe a snail-mail? Thank you, Masika, for everything that you’re doing and ever done!

  22. SHEKINAH permalink
    March 13, 2012 9:33 am

    i would like to talk personnaly with Mrs Masika my number is 00447853253151 Rev. Moley from uk please

    • September 20, 2012 3:25 pm

      Dear Rev Moley
      it is difficult and dangerous for Masika to have a lot of visitors. If you would like more inform please get in touch with me.
      If you are serious about helping Masika please give a donation or do a fund raising event. All the bank details are on the blog
      With thanks for your interest
      Fiona
      fiona@studio9films.co.uk

  23. Red permalink
    May 3, 2012 3:10 pm

    Love you Mama Masika, you are in our hearts. Please help her set up Paypal soon, we know every little thing counts. May God bless you and all victims and whoever else is helping out there!

  24. May 4, 2012 8:50 pm

    I hope Masika gets utmost international recognition fast, and that the abominable acts being perpetrated in Congo and elsewhere in Africa are exposed the world over. I guess few people living today deserve to be celebrities as much as Masika does. Very well done for this webspace!

  25. anastasia permalink
    May 8, 2012 8:03 pm

    How can I contact Masika or the farm that she has set up? I don’t see an email address anywhere on the site. Thank you for your help!

    • September 20, 2012 3:20 pm

      Hi Anastasia
      Masika does not have access to electricity or the internet – Congo is very under developed. Also she doesnt speak English, only Swahili and a bit of French. I can pass a message onto her if you would like.
      If you are serious about helping her please make a donation. All the bank details are on the blog
      with thanks for your interest and best wishes
      Fiona

      • Adair Kleinpeter-Ross permalink
        November 20, 2012 8:32 pm

        Hi Fiona,

        I am a student and I am applying to the Davis Projects for Peace, which would provide $10,000. If I receive the grant, I would love to work with Masika and her organization. I saw in your article for CNN that Masika hopes she will one day be able to provide skills training beyond farming, such as sewing classes. This seems like something that I could feasibly help her implement with the funding provided. I would love to communicate with you more about what Masika would dream of as the next level for her organization, be it career training, better counseling, or other programs, and how that can be implemented.

        Best,
        Adair

      • November 26, 2012 5:49 pm

        Hi Adair
        thanks for getting in touch – sorry not to have replied before now – do get in touch with me fiona@studio9films.co.uk
        best wishes
        Fiona

  26. susie cho permalink
    August 8, 2012 9:26 am

    I hear about you and your activity at NAVER that web portal in S.korea. I send to you lots of respect and cheer. God loves you a lot. So much Thanks for your amazing works bring back to me the mission. Bless and pray for you and kids even also your country.

  27. August 10, 2012 6:06 pm

    Femme incroyable j’ai suivi ton reportage avec larmres aux yeux sur euronews ma prière est celle ci:A DIEU la vangeance et la rétribution!

  28. Lourenço Makumbi permalink
    August 11, 2012 7:43 pm

    masika i have very happy to see what you do, god bleses you. i need the email or the phone number of your center. may be i can help to enough i get, i leave in angola. or may be in the way of western union i think use this way. but i need the adress complet, name of locality, city and if is possible your full name. more one again god bleses your job, we hope for better for all of women of rdc. Lourenço Makumbi – Angola

  29. August 23, 2012 5:04 pm

    Thanks God for nice people in USA ! please It is good to allow congolese women to live as human being. I beg Rwanda’s president (kagame) to have mercy on RDC citizen. too much blood has been shed in DRC due to minerals !!!!

  30. November 14, 2012 4:56 am

    Besides donations, is there anything else we can in the West do to try and put an end to the brutality? Maybe petition our government…I don’t know

    • November 26, 2012 5:51 pm

      Hi
      yes petition UK government to sanction Rwanda – good idea
      but also you could raise money for Masika and her centre – she needs it now more than ever. One US student did a danceothon at his college and raised $4,500
      best wishesiona

      • CongoGirl permalink
        December 30, 2012 3:04 am

        Hi,

        I am a Congolese woman who was in Kivu (east DRC) this summer and visited Panzi hospital in Bukavu as well as the Congolese refugee camps in Byumba (Rwanda). I have to say that the situation in the region is very complex and misunderstood by many people, particularly Westerners.

        I urge you to know our story AND history before pointing fingers and blaming Rwanda or any other country for that matter. Unfortunately the narrative, in western media and so-called “Human Rights” organizations and NGOs, has been to vilify Rwanda, making them responsible for the crisis. I say, NO.

        Before M23 rebels, there were others wreaking havoc in the region: FDLR, MAI-MAI, RAIA MUTOMBOKI, MUNDUNDU 40, PARECO etc. And they still are to this day.

        There is a security vacuum in easter DRCCongo; no responsible leadership, poor governance, weak/poorly trained/equipped and underpaid army, rampant corruption, the list is endless.
        And guess what? we have the largest UN peace-keeping force in the world (MONUSCO) in our territory for over 10 years with an annual budget of $1.5 billion US, but the region has known everything BUT peace. And now to over-simply the problem, they (UN with their GoE groups of experts report) want to cover up for their TOTAL FAILURE in bringing peace in the region, now want to find a scape-goat: Rwanda. Furthermore, the MONUSCO’s mandate will be renewed!

        When are Westerners going to start looking at the real issue here? when are they going to hold, Kabila (DRC president) accountable? when there is a crisis in your countries (US, France, UK etc.) you look at your leaders for answers, are you not? you hold your presidents/government officials accountable, don’t you? so why should it be any different in DRC???

    • CongoGirl permalink
      December 30, 2012 3:24 am

      Browngirl,

      unlike what “Hope For Congolese Women” said, petitioning the UK government to sanction Rwanda is no answer. This is a humanitarian crisis that is a direct result of a political crisis IN THE DRCONGO. No country should bear the brunt of this crisis more than the Congolese government.
      Us, Africans, have been taught that our problems AND solutions come from the west! we’ve been taught to blames european colonizers who divided our continent and placed borders without considering kingdoms/people and ethnic groups; and now we must also come to you (west) to help us poor Africans in our problems. How untrue!

      This is a Congolese problem and the answer will come from DRCongo, not outsiders. Now, we always welcome people who want to help.

  31. Mojisola Olayemi permalink
    December 5, 2012 4:24 am

    Dear Fiona, I watched Masika tonight on Aljazeera with a very very heavy heart. I’ll love to help via the blog and write letters to her and the women for encouragement, even if they are delivered months late. I will also love to sponsor a child in school and recruit my friends here in the US to do so too. How can we help in this regard? I am a publisher by profession, and I grew up in a tiny and poor village in Africa. It is hard enough without a war, so I feel their pain!. Thank you for putting this out here. It will be well.

    • December 5, 2012 6:32 am

      Dear Mojisola
      Thank you very much for your email and for such a generous offer. The need is so great at the moment anything you can do to raise funds as well as awareness would be fantastic. I have just started a new project that will keep me busy for the next 2 weeks. Could u give me a bit of time to think how best to do this and I will get back to you. In the meantime if you know of anyone who would feel able to donate funds please encourage them and forward the link to the blog to people.
      Thank you for your response
      Best wishes
      Fiona

  32. Jun permalink
    December 10, 2012 4:06 pm

    Just watched your video and i felt so sad about stevie, i almost cried when i heard your story about him.. how can i help him?

    • December 10, 2012 8:43 pm

      Dear jun
      Thank you for your email. The best way to help Stevie is to donate something, however small.
      With best wishes
      Fiona

  33. January 23, 2013 12:37 am

    “MASIKA” was in fact a wonderful blog post and also
    I really ended up being extremely pleased to discover it.

    I appreciate it,Salvatore

  34. joseph grech permalink
    June 21, 2013 3:29 pm

    Hi Fiona

    What about an update about the situation in Congo, particularly as regards to Masika and her work? Would be great to know that things are improving somewhat through the various contributions of all those who have been touched by Masika’s story. Keep up the excellent work!!!

    jo

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