Welcome to City of Joy! The new class of young women is now arriving in Bukavu at the City of Joy.
The City of Joy is a revolutionary leadership center for women survivors of gender violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is a place where women turn their pain into power, 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.
Over 1472 women have graduated to date. A woman who comes through the City of Joy is forever changed by it. She laughs more, she leads more, she gives more.
Join us in welcoming the 18th Class!
The team at City of Joy are using every tool to ensure safety. They are skilled in public health measures including Ebola and now Covid. Everyone has been tested prior to entry and they will also quarantine for two weeks at City of Joy with essential staff.
Ready to Netflix and Joy?
WATCH the feature length documentary CITY OF JOY
The story of City of Joy is the story of love and community. It is the story of what happens when women who are sexual survivors live together in community, heal themselves and each other, and create their destiny on their own terms. The transformation that is seen at City of Joy is profound – the most abused become the most powerful who turn poison into medicine, isolation into community, shame into self-love, silence into story. This is the story of what happens when women have time to heal and truly release and transform trauma, when women are loved and held and nurtured and treated with deepest kindness, dignity and intention.
CITY OF JOY follows the first class of women at revolutionary leadership center City of Joy, from which the film derives its title, and weaves their journey as burgeoning leaders with that of the center’s founders (Dr. Denis Mukwege, 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, women’s rights activist Christine Schuler-Deschryver and V (formerly Eve Ensler), founder of V-Day and One Billion Rising) – three individuals who imagined a place where women who have suffered horrific rape and abuse can heal and become powerful voices of change for their country.
“How does one find joy amid unspeakable tragedy? Madeleine Gavin’s documentary City of Joy, about a community built around women who have survived horrific violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), gives us a glimpse at both an incredible injustice still occurring today, and how Congolese women are combating it with their own grassroots movement.” – Clara Mae in The Guardian
During this Covid-19 pandemic, gather friends and community virtually and safely, watch CITY OF JOY and make use of the screening guide for small discussion groups via Zoom, Whatsapp, or Facetime.
Trigger Warning: Prepare to Support Survivors and Audience Members
Be sure to make your audience aware of the content of the film prior to screening. Stories about sexual assault, rape and sexual and physical torture are relayed in the film.