(Reposted from cityofjoycongo.org)

Just yesterday, City of Joy celebrated its 20th graduation! It was joyous. Filled with laughter. Brimming with hope.

1734 survivors graduated to date. They are change makers, turning pain to power.

Watch this video from graduation»

Congratulations to V-Day Congo Director and Co-founder/Director of City of Joy Christine Schuler Deschryver and the team at City of Joy and to all of the graduates!

Ten years since it first opened, the City of Joy is thriving, with a network of over 1734 graduates who are transforming the very fabric of Congolese society and inspiring women everywhere. Designed by Congolese survivors, it is 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 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.

City of Joy 2021 graduation

A woman who comes through the City of Joy is forever changed by it. She laughs more, she leads more, she gives more. 10 years of joy and counting… With gratitude for everyone who made the vision of City of Joy a reality, who have been the wind at our backs. It means the world to us.

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City of Joy is a revolutionary leadership center for women survivors of gender violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, co-founded by Christine Schuler Deschryver (City of Joy Director and Director of V-Day Congo), Dr. Denis Mukwege (Nobel Laureate and Founder of the Panzi Hospital), and V (formerly Eve Ensler, Founder of V-Day and One Billion Rising, playwright and activist).