Maison Dorcas is a transit and safety house for survivors of violence or those under long-or medium-term care for fistula and incontinence healing. Established in 2003, it is a unique facility that currently provides extended post-acute care for women survivors and their children who otherwise have no place to go. Women receive training in literacy and numeracy, small business management and other skills aimed at improving livelihood. In addition, women benefit from continuous psychosocial and medical care, including group and individual therapy.
Such services are crucial as 40% to 60% of women treated at Panzi Hospital are unable to return to their homes after treatment. Most women are abandoned by their husbands and rejected by their families and villages due to the stigma associated with rape. Many are displaced due to the destruction of their homes or villages and some have no surviving family members. Others may be unable to live independently due to injuries or illness such as HIV/AIDS. With no place to go, the majority of these women attempt to live somewhere in the vicinity of the hospital.
The Panzi Foundation is currently establishing three other houses in zones highly affected by conflicts. These will be focussed on areas with high numbers of survivors and near hospitals still receiving large numbers of recent survivors. These transit-safe houses provide women with a safe environment in order to heal and learn new skills for their eventual community and/or family reintegration.
Financial Support: PMU, UNICEF, NCA, and Stephen Lewis Foundation
Project Implementation: NCA, PMU, Panzi Foundation USA, Panzi Foundation DRC