Helping rape survivors in the DRC | DocFilm | DW | 25.11.2020
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Helping rape survivors in the DRC

The Democratic Republic of Congo has been described as the ‘rape capital of the world.’ Gynecologist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Denis Mukwege has been fighting for years to help rape survivors. German doctor Gisela Schneider goes to visit him.

Watch video 42:36

German doctor Gisela Schneider and Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege have been friends for many years. They share a passion for medicine and a deep faith in God. Schneider is Head of the German Institute for Medical Mission (DIFAEM), and regularly invites Denis Mukwege to Germany to raise awareness of the situation facing women in the DRC. Mukwege is known as "Doctor Miracle" for his skill in treating the horrific injuries inflicted on women who have been raped. He has helped tens of thousands of rape survivors in the Panzi Hospital, which he founded. In 2018, when Mukwege was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work, it sparked new hope in the war-torn country. Around a year later, Schneider travels to the DRC to see whether the situation has improves. She learns about new conflicts fuelled by a greed for resources. In the east of the DRC armed groups are terrorizing the population, burning houses, and continuing to treat women’s bodies as weapons of war. Even children are not being spared. Schneider visits refugees with no access to medical treatment. Together with Mukwege, she does what she can to help the Congolese population. Their work is valued. But it comes at considerable personal cost. Denis Mukwege is exhausted and requires protection 24/7. Theirs is a story of courage, unbreakable hope, and faith in the future.