V-Day Annual Report 2016 - ONE BILLION RISING: RISE FOR REVOLUTION 1 - Page 35

Conceived, owned, and run by local Congolese, the City of Joy has flourished since it first opened its doors, healing women from their past trauma through therapy and life skills programming while providing them with the essential ingredients needed to move forward in life – love and community. Serving 90 survivors of gender violence aged 18 to 30 at a time, in five years the City of Joy has graduated 759 women leaders through 9 classes. This past year, we emphasized mindfulness and relaxation, integrating the concept into all our programming. Reaching the 5 year mark did not always seem possible – insecurity due to the ongoing conflict in the region, lack of roads, unreliable electricity, heavy rain, and fluctuating costs have made the day to day operations of the center a challenge; yet, we have made it through and stand beyond proud of what we have accomplished.