The East of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been suffering for nearly 25 years, from violence and conflicts linked to the trafficking of minerals (gold, copper, cobalt...) used for the manufacturing of our mobile phones, computers and other technological devises. During this ongoing conflict a weapon of war has emerged: rape.
Women, children, babies and sometimes even men are raped, mutilated in a systemic way. In 1999, Dr. Mukwege, Nobel Peace Prize co-laureat 2018, founded the Hospital of Panzi. Since, more than 55.000 patients have been operated for deep physical wounds by the gynecological surgeon and his teams.
In October 2020, a team of podcast specialists will train a group of survivors members of the Mouvement national des Survivant.es. de Violences Sexuelles en RDCongo.
The training for the podcast "Voices of Panzi" aims at helping the survivors to share their stories, make their voices resonate nationally and internationally and to acquire technical and digital skills. The creation of their own podcast "Voices of Panzi": from the concept to the recording, editing and broadcasting. A way to use this new digital media for therapeutic, educational and practical way.
Dr. Denis Mukwege
Three years after been saved from a murder attempt in his hospital of Lemara, South Kivu, Dr. Mukwege founded the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu. It was destined to be a maternity and treat obstetrical pathologies in a region where the women's moratality rate giving birth was high. But as soon as the first patient arrived, he was appalled by what he discovered: the women have not only been raper, they have been mutilated with various weapons.
Since 1999 and the first victim of rape he met, it has been more than 55.000 patients that have been treated in his hospital.
Laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize 2018, alongside the Yazidi activist Nadia Murad, Denis Mukwege reminded us in his poignant speech during the Nobel Prize ceremony that the fight was far from being over. He dedicated his prize to all the women victims of extremely violent rape in wartimes zones all over the world, hoping that his prize will contribute to the shed the light on those atrocities and that one day, the tragedy will stop.
1. Participation to the liberation of the survivors voices
"When a woman is afraid to speak what has happened to her because she considers it a taboo, she protects her persecutor. Her silence multiplies the risks of others being raped. But if she manages to break her silence, shame will change sides and the rapist will know that his crime did not go unnoticed and that he will be judged and condemned. This will completely change the situation."
- Dr. Denis Mukwege
Carry on breaking the silence and the taboos, help the survivors to develop their ways of expression, so that they can share themselves, amongst themselves, is the first mission of Voice of Panzi. To talk about the trauma in order to reduce their impact so that they can start to build themselves back up is a work that they are already doing, and that together with can carry on. Just like in the podcast "Elle m'inspire", the survivors will be able to share their story to a person of their choice in the format of an hour long interview. Other that the therapeutic act of storytelling, the podcast will allow them to share their voices in their own country and internationally.
, to allow survivors to express themselves, to share amongst themselves is the first mission of this project. To talk about their trauma in order to reduce their effect and to be able to rebuild. As in the original podcast Elle m'inspire, the survivors will be able to share their stories to one another in an interview format of an hour or how long is needed.
2. Keep on breaking the silence and taboos.
Voices of Panzi: a podcast like no other
Voices of Panzi will be accessible to the whole world. Thanks to our many distribution partenaires, we will make sure that theirs voices are being heard from Kinshasa to Washington D.C. , from Haïti to Brussels. The fact that they will be able to share their stories themselves and not via a third party is the strength of the project. Their stories are their own, the training team are only there to give them the means to share them. Just as the survivors and Dr. Mukwege wished for, their voices will be heard over the borders, in order to bring awareness to the international community that needs to face its responsibility with regards to the conflict linked to the minerals.
3. Breaking the digital gap
“Don’t let success stories fool you: the worldwide digital divide is still increasing and Africa remains the biggest victim.”
- Soumitra Dutta, Global Future Council on Innovation Ecosystems, World Economic Forum
We are living in the digital age, its practically impossible to avoid the use of the internet whether it would be for professional or personal use. Nonetheless, on the African continent, only 28% of men have access the internet and this rate drops to 22% for women. That gap is even wider between urban and rural area where only 2% of villages have access to the internet.
With this project, the survivors of rape as a weapon of war will be trained and will develop precious skills to be able to use the internet in an intelligent way. Navigation, publication, communication and diffusion; from uploading their podcast on all the appropriate platforms to how to effectively communication on social media. They will come out of that workshop armed for the digital adventure.
More over, we hope to help them develop digital skills that will be useful in other professions and lead to acquire paid jobs within local NGOs, local radios, startups and to the monetization of their podcast.
What's a podcast?
A podcast is a recorded program available on the internet. It can be easily created and relatively cheap and free of access (in most cases) for its subscribers.
Priscilla Adade's podcast "ELLE M'INSPIRE" was the inspiration for this project. Priscilla meets an inspiring woman for an hour where her guest shares, with no taboo, her trials and tribulations that have led her to be where she is right now. ELLE M'INSPIRE is a good reminder that every paths will encounter hurdles but that success, resilience and joy is accessible and can be created on a daily basis.
VOICES OF PANZI aims to bring another tool expression in order to free the voices of the survivors in DRC. Their journey deserves to be heard all over the world, not only as silent victims but as inspirational and resilient role models.
The survivors will learn how to create their own podcast in 4 stages:
How to use a microphone and software to record their interviews. How to conduct an interesting interview, ask pertinent questions and structure an episode.
In pairs, the survivors will record their interviews. They will learn how to sharpen the sound and adapt it to different environment.
Mixing and the basis of editing: from using the software, edit, paste, adding background sound and save their recorded podcast.
A podcast doesn't have much use without its audience. How to distribute their podcast on the internet and promote it on various platforms and social media.
In order to ensure that their podcast is independently sustainable , the participants will learn how to monetize their podcast.
Independence: where freedom begins.
It's important for the survivors to be able to carry on producing their podcast after the training.
We will bring and leave all the material that they need.
Impossible to properly record, edit and distribute a podcast without laptops. The MacBook Air is light and can be transported everywhere. User friendly and efficient.
The second basics
A good mic makes a great podcast. It's essential that the survivors are able to record with a great, versatile and easy to use microphone. The Yeti Blue Microphone is the mic of all podcaster, simple to use, multidimensional recording options, its the #1 mic for beginners.
The best way to hear yourself
La crème de la crème of headphones, to be able to hear during the recording and for editing without having the outside world disturbing us, the Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro are the headphones for all sound professionals.
Because without the internet, there is no podcast.
In order to able the participants to distribute their podcast during at lease three years: modem and 4G will be provided.
Podcasters, storytellers & communication specialists
Actress, teacher, producer and podcaster, founder of PRYSM: the organisation that sheds lights on women via various projects and media.
Host of the podcast ELLE M'INSPIRE, she will bring her experience to the training from how to produce the podcast to its distribution.
Journalist, podcaster and feminist. Lauren has been for 10 years, reporter then editor in chief of the ELLE France magazine before changing to Le Grand Journal of Canal +. Co-founder of the Nouvelles Ecoutes studio, she is also the host of the famous feminist podcast La Poudre. She will bring her experience to the project whether in the establishment of the training program as well as for the production in Panzi. Nouvelles Ecoutes is also a sponsor and media partner.
Wina Su BONDEKWE
Having grown up in the socio-cultural spheres of the DRC, Wine Su wishes to help and support women in her native country. Organized and thorough, Wine Su will brings these qualities to assist the team on all levels and especially around the crowdfunding and the communication strategy.
Estelle lives in Brussels, she is Belgo-Congolese. Congolese-Belgian. Intersectional activist, Estelle communicates on social media to inform and bring awareness with regards to socials struggles via her podcast Sans Blanc de Rien.
Estelle will assist the team on all levels and more specifically she will be in charge of the social media as a community manager.
Get to know the story of Tatiana Mukanire:
Coordinator of the Mouvement National des Survivant.e.s de Violences Sexuelles en RDC.
H.R.H. the Great Duchess of Luxembourg
We are extremely grateful to Her Royal Highness the Great Duchess of Luxembourg who has accepted to support the project by becoming our official sponsor.
Very active to fight sexual violence against women during war times, she is the founder of the international conference and organisation Stand, Speak, Rise Up Against Sexual Violence in Fragile Environments.