By Lauren Wolfe/Director — February 17, 2016
Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo—The mountains of Itombwe are home to some of the rare gorillas of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. An area about the size of Rwanda and Burundi put together, the Itombwe Plateau is one of the poorest parts of one of the poorest countries in the world. It is also home to 23,785 adolescent girls, according to Maman Shujaa, a women’s empowerment organization based in the South Kivu capital of Bukavu. And 85 percent of these girls, who are under 20 years old, says the organization, have children—up to five children each.
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