CAR. Regaining woman's dignity
30-09-2021 | di COOPI

CAR. Regaining woman's dignity

In Alindao, Bangassou, Zemio and Obo (Central African Republic), the UNHCR-funded project "Protection Monitoring, Border Monitoring, Response and Coordination activities in Internally Displaced Persons' (IDP) sites" continues to support women victims of violence with the introduction of the "Ma Mbi Si" listening network. Thanks to a psychological helpline able to reach long distances and with a wide telephone network coverage, this tool allows women victims of violence to be listened to, understood and supported.

So "Ma Mbi Si" is a free listening line that, in addition to the services provided in the listening centers, gives a psychosocial support and help to survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) at distance. In addition, this helpline will serve as a means of providing psychosocial support and guidance to GBV survivors in remote areas where there are no actors present. Thanks to this structure, GBV survivors will be able to call and receive online counselling from psychosocial support specialists and be addressed to the listening centers for support or for other services as needed.

One of the beneficiaries of the programs at the Calvary center in Alindao said:

"Personally, I thank COOPI for having thought about me, a woman who is always a victim of gender-based violence by men. Now we have seen a big change thanks to the project led by COOPI within the framework of the free calls on the green line 4006. By the "Ma Mbi Si" line you can call and find a person who will guide you about cases of violence against women in order to get guidance and obtain an appropriate response. This is just a first step towards reconstruction, but I ask COOPI to think about setting up income-generating activities and training us on its activities so that we, victims of GBV, can restore our value as women by reintegrating ourselves socio-economically.”.

A beneficiary of the Paqui 1 center confirms:

"With the crackling of bullets, it was not easy to go back home to look for the household items you needed. Thanks to COOPI for its support through the hygiene kit such as soap, jerrycans, plastic buckets and also the dignity kits composed of a pagne, body cream, shoes, towel, pads, etc., which allows me to regain my dignity as a woman. This contribution from COOPI is, in my eyes, a gesture of relief".

From a group perspective, the beneficiaries of the project, who have moved to different towns, are satisfied: "In general, we really thank the NGO COOPI for its work, because we never imagined that we would regain our dignity during the crisis that has plunged the country into darkness. Because during this crisis everyone was looking for a place where they could feel safe. So, we lost all our belongings. Today, thanks to COOPI, we are beginning to regain our rights through the dignity kits and other assistance we receive through COOPI's activities.”.

The work carried out by COOPI in these territories is not new. Since April 2017, COOPI has been a member of the Strategic Reflection Groups of the Protection and Education clusters and the GBV sub-cluster. It regularly supports and assists community-based child protection mechanisms. Working with locally and internationally raised funds and engaging through the cluster system, COOPI provides technical assistance to the government to better coordinate education and protection at the national level and supports the most affected sub-prefectures with community-based education and child protection programs.