Mweso, 8 March 2014 – Fuelled by competition for rich minerals, war, violence and instability have ravaged the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo for nearly two decades. With the devastation of the economy and infrastructure, impunity has reigned. Sexual and other forms of violence against women, particularly displaced women, are commonplace. Mapendo is just one of the survivors; this is her story.
Mapendo (meaning love) comes from Mihara, a small village in the North Kivu province of eastern Congo. Having fled the violence of the FDLR rebels, she now lives in Mweso camp.