International Symposium to End Sexual Violence in the DRC
Every November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is an opportunity for us to reflect upon the pandemic of violence that is still very much in force today, as well as to honour the achievements of the men and women who dedicate their lives to help those who suffer.
On Nov. 28, S.A.F.E.R. is honoured to host Dr. Denis Mukwege, director of the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, DRC at a public symposium in Toronto. For the first time, Canadians will hear the inspiring words of a true visionary, an African hero fuelled by his desire to heal and his commitment to human rights.
We are also honoured that Stephen Lewis, former UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, will speak at the event. Lewis' commitment to social justice and international health is an inspiration for all who witness his example. In a timely move, The Stephen Lewis Foundation recently announced funding for the Panzi Hospital for the creation of a safe house where survivors can receive educational training and counselling.
This unique event will celebrate the powerful agency of change represented by the Panzi Hospital, establishing a model for health care centres across the DRC and elsewhere where the trauma of sexual violence is acute. Through the example of the Panzi Hospital, we will show that violence against women has no place in society, and can be eliminated with the support of men and women in the community.