Dr. Denis Mukwege of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, eastern Congo, has been named “African of the Year” by the Daily Trust newspaper of Nigeria. Dr. Mukwege is the founding director of Panzi Hospital, an extraordinary non-profit organization that, along with other Congolese organizations such as HEAL Africa (a partner of Enough’s RAISE Hope for Congo campaign), are leading the charge to enable the survivors of horrific acts of sexual violence—which are occurring in the context of Congo’s ongoing deadly crisis—to recover and rebuild their lives.
When he accepted the award in Abuja, Nigeria, Dr. Mukwege said that “I am pleased to accept this award if it will highlight the situation of women in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.” Indeed, the women of Congo need strong advocates such as Dr. Mukwege and Justine Masika Bihamba in order to emphasize the need for the international community to work together to shape a comprehensive strategy to end the cycle of conflict and violence against women that has plagued Congo for over a decade.
Dr. Mukwege’s Panzi Hospital colleague, Dr. Roger Luhiriri, is a key advocate for RAISE Hope for Congo, and he has participated in a number of Enough’s recent events, including several stops on RAISE Hope’s speakers’ tour. Please continue to check the RAISE Hope for Congo site frequently, as the speakers’ tour may be coming soon to a college or university near you.