Mama Jeanne and Mama Jeannette

Mama Jeanne and Mama Jeannette

Mama Jeanne and Jeanette Mama has from 2004 been key fieldworkers in JOINs aid work in the eastern Congo. In 2015they where both nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize along with dr Denis Mukwege.

Mama Jeanne (Jeanne Nacatche Banyere) started to fill up her own childhood home far up in the mountains in Masisi with women and children who needed care and protection. When she married her husband Prosper had to agree on her condition that she could continue this work. Their home became an orphanage and a reception center for raped women. In 1994 Mama Jeanne was given the responsibility for children from Mama Christina's orphanage (which was located in Kigali, Rwanda). These children fled to Goma during the genoside. JOIN (formerly CRN) supported her even then. Today there are over 300 children divided in two orphanages in Goma. But it does not stop there. Mama Jeanne was elected president of the women's network at CEPAC in 2004. At the same time she was responsible for JOINs work among raped women and children in eastern Congo. Mama Jeanne are today the leader of one team of female field workers and are in charge of the axis Goma - Kitchanga - Beni.

Mama Jeanette (Jeannette Kahindo Bindu) came on board in 2004 to help Mama Jeanne. She has primarily concentrated on efforts to help raped women and children. She leads the team of female field workers and are i charge of the axis from Goma to Minova and Masisi.

Both Mama Jeanne and Mama Jeannettte came early with the network which today constitutes Hope in Action (HIA). HiA was established in 2008 on the initiative of the Christian Relief Network (today JOIN good forces). JOIN started the work in the easten Congo during the crisis in 1994 when Goma was the salvation for 1.3 million refugees from the genocide in Rwanda.

In total, Mama Jeanne and Mama Jeannette operates 12 "Listening houses" for raped women. (Listening houses are simple huts near the villages where women can gather and talk about what they have experienced.) In addition, the driver 4 larger reception centers for the women in Masisi, Kitchanga and Goma.

45 female field workers are stationed in various villages. These have contact via mobile and notify each other when there have been attacks on villages or they have received notification of rapes. Mama Jeannette and Jeanne spends several days each month at the centers in the mountains together with the victims. The victims who need medical treatment beyond what the local health centers can provide the victim are transported to the Kyshero Hospital in Goma, a specialized woman hospital buit by JOIN in 2012.

All field workers, Jeanne and Jeannette have been trained in counseling therapy by trauma experts from Modum Bad in Norway. Modum Bad are one of Norway leading hospitals in for treatment of people with mental disorders. This helps to raise the quality of work to include the victims' mental health after brutal assault.

In total, about 27 000 raped women and children (per 2015) received medical assistance and help to process trauma through the work of these two brave women.

Part of the work is to arbitrate where victims are not wanted back to husbands or families. After the Fatherhood program, a violence prevention, were established, they have also received assistance in this effort from the team that operates courses for men.

Jeanne has eight children, several of whom are currently in work. Jeannette has six boys and got a little girl in 2015. The little one is named after her mother and is now with mom at work.

JOIN collaborated with Dr. Denis Mukwege for many years. It is JOIN who built the fistula clinic where he is the leader today - with DFID funding from England, in addition JOIN educated several doctors who currently work at the Panzi Hospital and the Kyeshero Hospital (built by JOIN with the support of the MFA and Norad).