ENGLISH FRENCH SWAHILI
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WHAT WE OFFER

Sofibef offers a good range of activities to meet the target group needs and wants. These activities are divided into programmes. In total we run five programmes:

  1. Research,
  2. Documentation - information and publication,
  3. Training and Education,
  4. Children,
  5. Internships and Networking.

To learn more about these programmes, please go to the link on "Our Programmes".


WHAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED SO FAR

Since its inception, SOFIBEF has accomplished the following specific actions:

  1. Creation of a documentation centre for rural area women (a training and information centre, e.g. for legal literacy, training of women Para-legals, etc.). This had never existed before.
  2. Public awareness sessions through a good number of conference-debates, reflection days on women's human rights, reproductive rights and other radical health care issues like family planning programs including family life education and more educational activities to promote the health and well being of mothers and children.
  3. Establishment of a network of local small groups of women's human rights in 9 main villages of Fizi.
  4. Increase of contacts with politico-administrative authorities to make them more aware of women's human rights.
  5. Deal with children in the area, that is to say, to pay special emphasis on the promotion and protection of the rights of the child in armed conflicts.

We do believe that the work of our group has furthered women's empowerment in our community as thanks to our intervention, good number of marginalised, oppressed, violated and cramped women have found help. We have received appreciation and encouragement from many victims on a case by case basis. We have succeeded to co-opt and integrate an active pro-women's rights group of women (network) already involved in the transformation of the community. Women now air their views on the cultural sector of women's emancipation, women's rights recognition, and equality.

Women can now take initiatives to be heard by the before extremist men. Many of the women are being involved in solution finding processes; they are now seen as consultable partners and can negotiate with men. Women can make decision on their own destiny. This had been a nightmare in the last five years.

In building these strategies and actions, we focus our efforts, mainly at the level of:

  1. The Promotion of Women's Human Rights
  2. The Promotion of Mental Health of women Victim of women's human rights violation
  3. The Promotion of Children's Human Rights
  4. The Promotion of Women/Children Health

HOW OUR GROUP'S AIMS, STAFF, PROGRAM AND ADMINISTRATION EVOLVED SINCE ITS FORMATION

According to the principle of organisation life cycle, any organisation will never remain static. In most cases, the change in aims, staff, program and administration in Sofibef has been greatly influenced by the needs/wants of the beneficiaries of the group's activities and of course, also by circumstances occurring at particular times. This means that our group is in continual mutation trying to adapt its program to events in order to perform a high quality service to the community it is servicing. In the best possible scenario, a strange experience in any field of life forces us to do something new. We are forced by life to do " a new thing ".


LONG TERM PLANS FOR THE GROWTH AND INSTITUTIONALISATION OF OUR GROUP

Our organisation's regulations state that all programs and plans for its growth have to be planned and set up by the General Assembly. In December 2000, an external evaluation of the overall organisation took place. This evaluation has shaped our routine processes. The organisation's goals have been revised and the administration has been restructured to give more autonomy to grassroots organisations being supported by Sofibef.
          Our plans for diversification and sustainability of funding will now rely on our self-traditional sources of funding, and indeed, by also exploring other external sources like loans and funding applications to international donors agencies.


RELEVANCE OF OUR WORK:

The day to day increase of the gender-based violence in this part of the DRC as it was researched, can not let us remain indifferent. Time has come now to act and to work to raise awareness and to inform people of the rights of women in rural areas.
          The relevance of our work is worthy quoting in terms of our educational and advocacy values in favour of the international Convention of women's human rights and by bringing it in villages. This Convention had never been heard in remote areas like Fizi. Sofibef work is to bring up the dynamics of relevant players in such violence as investigated and examined in the research in order to turn fear into hope and transform violence into mutual share and understanding.


AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF OUR WORK:

  • To share with the regional policy makers the results of local community efforts in order to contribute to the wider understanding of women's human rights, and to the promotion of methods, skills and strategies to reduce violence against women
  • To channel information and share experience between people in local communities and policy makers.
  • To provide easy access to more and better information for women in simple language: "information is power". By disseminating this information we would hope to encourage better, more professional and less biased personal advice and counselling. This information is to be channelled through booklets, pamphlets, leaflets and local radio programme (FM) with clear suggestions or instructions as to what can be done to reverse or curtail the process of escalating violence against women in local areas.

METHODOLOGY

We popularise the information on women's human rights in one way:

" Mass Education and empowerment ". SOFIBEF's trained agents interact closely with small groups of men and women, in order to facilitate a 'mental awakening' or awareness raising within the group members in connection with human rights work and tools. This process involves on-going dialogue between SOFIBEF team and the group members and between the members themselves (workshops, discussions networking, and discussions). Through this process, people are encouraged to question Sofibef campaign and its level of achievability. They are given opportunity to try to understand the problems raised in its campaigns, analyse them with independent thinking and find ways to change the stereotyped attitudes and perceptions towards women. With group members' participation in this kind of activities, participants in seminars and people in the area help to modify and adapt the work materials and methods according to needs. S+FIBEF team assists in formulating conclusions using simple language to explain to the public the challenge and probable solutions to the problems raised in the action- pack so that everyone understands them and work to promote them. The best way to popularise them is through street theatre, booklets and pamphlets production used as guide to the research work, explaining how it can be used in easy to read steps.