Caring for women is central to our work.

Centuries of exploitation and decades of conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has wreaked social and economic havoc. Women have been the most acutely affected and, therefore, are a central focus toward ultimate recovery from the damage inflicted. HEAL Africa works with women and their communities to offer the support and the tools needed– medical, spiritual, psychological, educational, training, and economic–to ensure their well being. Our services focus on empowering women through reproductive health, social and economic reintegration and providing resources for victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence.

Reproductive Health 

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The maternal morbidity and mortality rate in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) remains one of the highest in the world. Poor infrastructure and decades of conflict has intensified the poor conditions. HEAL Africa ensures the health and well-being of mothers and children in three vital ways. We offer counseling and assistance with family planning, both at the hospital and during outreach projects, through Safe Motherhood. Screening and education on HIV/AIDS prevention and basic hygiene are included, with a particular focus on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission. Prolapse and fistula care are also available at the hospital to women living with obstetric or traumatic fistula. We also conduct outreach projects to rural areas a few times a year, to treat women with fistula and prolapse.  
 

Sexual & Gender Based Violence 

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Due to continuing conflict in the DRC, rape has reached epidemic proportions. HEAL Africa supplies the immediate treatment women need, medically and emotionally, and follows up with years of counseling, literacy and job training, plus small business financing to help them begin life anew. We also work with their families to gain reacceptance for them or, failing that, provide a new home. All of which creates a sense of dignity and self-worth, and elevates her status in the community.

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Social & Economic Reintegration 

HEAL Africa operates a Healing Arts project that allows women undergoing treatment—particularly those who have been victims of sexual and gender based violence or fistula—to create handicrafts such as bags, aprons, and table mats. It helps pass the time while they heal or wait to have surgery and go through counseling sessions. But it also teaches them a skill that they can take outside of HEAL Africa’s walls to generate income.

Reading and writing, jewelry, soap making, agriculture, animal husbandry, business and financial literacy, are other activities which many of the women take part. The concept has been integrated into projects focused on empowering women. The income-generating project component is part of the healing process—one that will begin to rebuild a woman’s self-esteem and dignity.