Activists challenging the status quo here in the United States frequently put their bodies on the line by risking arrest or police brutality. But around the world, the simple act of speaking up for basic human rights, whether it’s pushing for an end to genocide, fighting impunity for crimes, or supporting the dignity and rights of women, all types of nonviolent resistance can risk death threats, torture, violence, harassment and exile.

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Construction work on the City of Joy continues in Bukavu, with each day bringing progress. Almost all of the ten houses, the administration building, dining room, and class rooms now have a roof and the construction crew have begun laying the floors, putting in the ceilings, as well as the installation for electricity and water. The security wall around City of Joy is almost finished. V-Day’s Congo Director/Director of City of Joy Christine Schuler Deschryver has begun working with local carpenters to start the building of furniture – all of the beds, chairs, etc. will be made by local craftsmen. All of this has taken place amidst an incredibly heavy rainy season and a series of delays with the construction crew and material shortages due to the regional conflict taking place in Eastern Congo. Our Congo team has been ‘moving mountains’ each and every day to actualize our dream, and the City of Joy will soon be a reality!

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