This is Joy: City of Joy’s 11th Class Graduates,
89 Women Join 849 Others
Read the graduation recap from Christine Schuler Deschryver, Director of City of Joy and V-Day Congo.
On June 15th, the 11th class graduated 89 women from the City of Joy. They have joined 849 other women who were educated, nurtured, fed, and empowered. Since the beginning of the program 938 women have released massive trauma and horrific memories. 938 women have danced, sung, learned their rights, performed plays, developed agricultural skills, and come to love their bodies. 938 women are leaders in their communities, no longer stigmatized for being raped but instead are acting as forces of energy and determination, entrepreneurs of small business, initiators of collectives, restaurants owners, farmers with new land, educators. They also advocate on sexual violence, and volunteer in a self-created recruiting network for new women at City of Joy. Some are journalists, immigration workers, tailors, students, herbalists, and teachers. 45 graduates are employed in the V-World Farm.
From the first month to the last, each woman had enough time to assess and share how she was moving from a survivor to a leader. She was able to tell how strong she had become so that she could go back to her community and make change, beginning with her nuclear family. For example, some women took up space and shared how they will denounce early marriage and any case of rape (and other unpunished offences) which many people – especially local authorities – deny and minimize in their communities.
The graduation day was the celebration of victory over past trauma. It was a day during which each woman declared being healed and transformed. It was a day of femininity. It was a day of happiness and fierce brilliance organized by the graduates themselves.
SEE THE CITY OF JOY FILM IN YOUR COMMUNITY!
CITY OF JOY continues to move audiences on the festival circuit, with screenings coming up in Newfoundland, Boston and Woods Hole. We hope to see you there!
Nickel Independent Film Festival
TONIGHT! Wed, June 21 @ 7:00 PM
LSPU Hall, Newfoundland, Canada
Roxbury International Film Festival
Wed, June 28 @ 3:00 PM
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA
Woods Hole Film Festival
Sunday, July 30 @ 7:00 PM
Falmouth Academy, Massachusetts, USA
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