Goma: MONUSCO supports the project " Women Elders and Ambassadors for Peacebuilding


22 Mar 2023

Goma: MONUSCO supports the project " Women Elders and Ambassadors for Peacebuilding

Marylene Seguy

The consortium of women's organizations in North Kivu launched the "Women Elders and Ambassadors for Peacebuilding" project on Friday, March 17 in Goma, North Kivu.

This project consists of setting up, in the 18 neighborhoods of Goma, women's groups tasked with fighting against hate messages and disinformation in the city. 

MONUSCO, which supports this project through its Gender Unit, wants to highlight the work of the women of Goma in building peace. And even more: to encourage them to act, each in her own neighborhood, in collaboration with the grassroots leaders on issues related to peace in their neighborhoods. 

Lydie Feza Biringanine is a member of the core group in the Keshero neighborhood. She has already chosen her work strategy. "We who use the telephone, all that is digital, there is information that comes in. Instead of publishing this information without checking it, it's better to check it beforehand or to send it to the head of the neighborhood," explained the young woman.

According to Folestine Mutsindu, coordinator of the organization "Women United for Social Progress" (FIPROS), the women of North Kivu have a role to play in restoring peace. She encourages them to be aware of their power: "I call on women to get strongly involved because everyone who is on the front line, everyone who is in the rebel groups, was born of a woman. So let's act strongly to bring lasting peace to our country”.   

For her part, the head of the MONUSCO/Goma office, Laila Bourhil, wants to see the contribution of women in the efforts to find peace. 

"Recognizing and capitalizing on the unifying role of women in the different neighborhoods as mothers but also as elders and leaders of peace is essential. We know that when women are mobilized they can be a force for reason and stability," she said.

She continued: "This commitment today in the neighborhoods is a commitment of urgency, awareness raising and education. It is about facilitating dialogue between communities and youth, fighting against hate speech and false information that aim to divide and incite violence. It also means working with local authorities to establish a plan for sustained engagement”.

The project, scheduled to last three months, is being implemented by a group of women, including the Collective of Women's Associations for Development (CAFED), Sauti ya Mama Mkongomani, Synergy of Women for Victims of Sexual Violence, and Women United for Social Progress (FIPROS).