If you’re passionate about fighting gender inequity and would like to raise awareness in your community, these she matters programs will help advocate on behalf of marginalized girls and women. Currently, there are four active programs that you can support through the She Matters: Justice Campaign.

Assisting Victims of Sexual Violence

The war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) between 1998 and 2003 involving several African countries and armed militia groups was one of the greatest humanitarian crises in the world. Yet, it received little international media attention even during the height of the conflict.

The violence has continued intermittently since then due to the remaining presence of armed militias groups and ethnic conflict.CBM and its church partner are working to minister to the spiritual, physical and psychological needs of some of those who have suffered the most in this conflict. Among them are women who have been victims of sexual violence. It is well documented that rape was employed as a weapon of war by the Congolese army as well as militia groups. In some areas, as many as 50% of women reported being raped in some communities. An increasing number of civilian men also started committing this crime against women.

Through this project, we provide care for women recovering from traumatic experiences. Support groups have been formed for these courageous women who have been subjected to sexual violence and have been stigmatized by their communities. Some of these women and girls became pregnant after being raped and are now struggling to support their children with little assistance. Through She Matters, you can help provide access to health care and counselling services, reintegrating them back into their families, and providing the means for skills training so they can support themselves and their children.

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Women’s Literacy

Although the literacy rate among young women in Rwanda has improved over the last decade, a large percentage of women in certain communities are still illiterate. Many are in this situation because of limited ability of families to send their children to school due to poverty. For girls in struggling families, they are expected to care for siblings, earn money as domestic workers, or do chores around the home while their parents look for work. For these girls, going to school is a luxury the family simply cannot afford.

Subsequently, uneducated girls grow into illiterate women who often feel isolated, self-conscious and helpless to support the education of their own children. Their lack of literacy skills also affects their ability to be fully trained in economic initiatives, which are key to breaking the cycle of poverty between generations.

Since 2010, CBM has worked alongside our church partner in Rwanda to provide literacy classes for illiterate women. The majority of these women live on less than a dollar a day, mainly earned through subsistence agriculture. Many of them dream of learning a trade, getting a better job, even reading the Bible and teaching others to read as well. There is great potential for them to take leadership roles in their churches and communities. Upon the successful completion of their literacy classes, each student receives a Bible and a mentor helps them to realize the plans God has for them. This initiative enables women to get closer to achieving their dreams.

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Prison Kids

The Prison Kids project meets the needs of 140 children whose parent is in prison in Cochabamba through the Casa de la Amistad. There is still tremendous stigma attached to being a prisoner’s kid. Many children feel shame when they attend school and it is known that their parent is in prison.

The Casa offers a community of belonging for these children where they are unconditionally loved and accepted. They are encouraged to develop their God-given skills and gifts and Casa staff ensure that children and adolescents receive dental, medical, psychosocial care and nutritious meals.

One of the most important parts of the Prison Kids ministry is the educational support that is given to the beneficiaries. After school tutoring and homework is provided for all the children. The encouragement and support they receive to finish their studies lead to a much higher chance that they will stay in school and graduate.

Volunteers who are former Casa students provide healthy models of faith, lifestyles, and careers. Their continued participation at Casa is a testament to the positive long-term effect the program has had on their lives.

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Women and Children’s Development

Kurada village, located in the East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh of India, is an impoverished community where many live below the poverty line. It is one of the most in-need villages in the area. Women and children have been identified as the top two vulnerable groups who require assistance.

Women in Kurada village struggle with high rates of unemployment. CBM and its church partner started this project in 2018 to help women acquire skills and vocational training to start their own businesses or engage in other profitable work. Participating in income generating activities is desperately needed so that many of these women who are struggling to simply feed their families will be able to provide for them.

Not only will women receive what they need for a chance at a better future for themselves and their family, they are also able to live life with dignity.

In addition to assisting women, children will receive educational support through tutoring classes. This will encourage children to stay in school and eventually pursue higher studies, paving the way for more opportunities.

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The She Matters Justice Campaign has seen five years of success and we want to see that success continue. If you’re passionate about fighting gender inequity and would like to raise awareness in your community, you can use these resources to help bring your She Matters event to life.

Assisting Victims of Sexual Violence (Preview)
Women’s Literacy (Preview)
Prison Kids (Preview)
Women and Children’s Development (Preview)

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