War Child receives 250.000 euros from a popular Dutch media event

A proportion of the proceeds from the biggest Dutch charity media event of the year are to be donated to War Child’s project that tackles sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo). The big charity media event named Serious Request is an initiative of 3FM, one of the most popular radio stations in the Netherlands.
18 December 2014

Each year the 3FM Serious Request action - that sees three DJs lock themselves inside a glass house for a week, without food - draws large amounts of attention. In partnership with the Red Cross, 3FM uses the action to highlight a wide-spread humanitarian issue. This year the event focuses on sexual violence against girls and women in conflict-affected countries.

Unfortunately, sexual violence is increasingly used as a weapon in conflict and war. It is used as a means to exercise power and to spread fear. This not only has physical and psychological consequences for individuals, but further instills fear in communities and contributes to the displacement of villages and whole communities.

War Child have been active in eastern Congo since 2003, and work to minimise the effects of sexual violence against young people. It is a challenge, besides the physical and psychological effects of sexual violence it remains a taboo subject and therefore is poorly reported and identified. Victims of sexual violence are often rejected by their communities, and even their families.

War Child works together with Panzi hospital in Bukavu, alongside the well-established gynaecologist Denis Mukwege. As well as previously being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, Mr Mukwege recently received the Sacharov-prize. His hospital specialises in treating the victims of sexual violence, and young girls and women travel from all over Congo to receive the specialised treatment. War Child trains hospital staff to handle the psychosocial aspects of patient care. After the recovery period, treated women and girls are transferred to Maison Dorcas where they learn to process their experiences through creative classes and educational training. Due to these creative sessions and tailor-made educational programmes, girls and women are able to return to society and rebuild their futures.

Thanks to this donation from 3FM Serious Request, more children and young women can be helped directly by War Child. They will receive the treatment that they need to ensure that children and young women do not stay victims, and that gives them the opportunity to build an independent life for themselves. 

Read more about our work in DR Congo.
For more information about sexual violence in DR Congo, see the War Child UK report An unwanted truth (april 2013).