Solidarité Féminine pour la Paix et le Développement Intégral (SOFEPADI) was founded in 2000 by a group of everyday women who were outraged by the high rates of sexual violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. SOFEPADI works to promote and defend the rights of Congolese women and girls—both in the context of the ongoing conflict and in their daily lives. Its holistic approach to ending gender-based violence and empowering women and girls begins with the delivery of comprehensive medical, psychosocial, legal, and economic support to survivors of rape and sexual assault, but it does not stop there. Recognizing that gender-based violence is a product of larger societal factors—including the ongoing armed conflict, gender inequality, and the lack of access to educational, legal, and protective services that inequality drives—SOFEPADI also conducts community-level outreach and education in the war-torn regions of North Kivu and Ituri. Through this outreach, it aims to prevent and reduce rates of gender-based violence, and to clear a path for women’s involvement in the community more broadly. SOFEPADI also encourages women to become involved in civic life and local politics, as well as to advocate with local, national, and international actors to promote and defend laws and policies that protect women and girls. Its vision is of a world where women and girls in DRC have the same opportunities and rights as men.
A 2018 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported the schooling of thirty girls, including child victims of sexual violence and orphans whose parents were recently massacred in North Kivu.