Give Joy

Published: 20 November 2018

As we enter the holiday season, abundance abounds. Women’s leadership is celebrated in the news and is more necessary than ever. Over 1100 graduates of the City of Joy are leading in their communities, shaping the future of Congo with their vision, while our beloved Dr. Denis Mukwege has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his path-making work with survivors of sexual violence in the Congo, including co-founding the City of Joy.

There is so much to celebrate and now, more than ever, we invite you to Give Joy.

Join us.


The City of Joy is a place where women turn their pain into power. A place where inner and outer evolution is evident. A place that restores women’s sense of agency over their lives as they learn real, practical life skills to feed their futures, and connects them to the global V-Day movement, one billion strong. From the return of warmth and joy into women’s lives, to a reconnection to their bodies, to the feeling of empowerment each woman feels when she masters a new skill or acquires life-changing knowledge, the City of Joy gives women a platform to transform their pasts into fuel for a revolution of the mind, body, and community.

A woman who comes through the City of Joy is forever changed by it. She laughs more, she leads more, she gives more. Give Joy, donate today.

City of Joy is V-Day’s philosophy in action – a project in constant motion, born from the vision of local women survivors, run by Congolese, and grounded in the central tenet that community and love can be transformational, especially for those who have seemingly lost everything.

“Love is the most precious and contagious thing we see in the life of every person who lives and works at City of Joy. It is that thing and secret which triggers change at City of Joy.” – Christine Schuler Deschryver (Co-founder/Directer of City of Joy and Director of V-Day Congo)

Over 1100 women have graduated to date, with the next graduation scheduled for late December. Over 1100 women who have been educated, healed, and nurtured. Since the beginning of the program these women have released massive trauma and horrific memories. And they have experienced pure joy – dancing, singing, learning and leading in community, no longer stigmatized for being raped but instead acting as forces of energy and determination.

They are teachers, journalists, business entrepreneurs, initiators of collectives, restaurants owners, and farmers, They advocate on sexual violence, volunteer in a self-created recruiting network for new candidates at City of Joy. Some are students, immigration workers, tailors, and herbalists. And other graduates are employed in the V-World Farm. The list goes on.

These are women who will not only shape the destiny of Congo’s future, but will play a pivotal role in the global movement to end gender violence.

Photo Credit: Paula Allen for V-Day


The City of Joy and V-Day’s Congo related work would not be possible without the generosity and love of countless individuals around the world.

Your generous donation is the wind at their backs, helping young Congolese women transform their pain into power. Women leaving the City of Joy have had the opportunity to heal from their emotional wounds, live in community, recognize their leadership potential and gain valuable skills they can apply to their lives, future ventures and engagement in civic life. The transformation is breathtaking.

GIVE JOY today. JOIN the Circle of Joy, a group of committed donors who give monthly on an ongoing basis. Consider making a donation in honor of a loved one. Give what you can.

Support the urgent work to end violence against women and girls in the Congo. Your trust, generosity and vision make our movement possible.

Donate today, Give Joy.

Want to learn more about the City of Joy?
WATCH the Documentary Film on Netflix
DOWNLOAD the Screening Guide, Plan a House Party or Screening
SPREAD THE WORD on Social Media, SHARE The Trailer
DONATE to the City of Joy in DR Congo, Support Women in Congo