Thérèse Mema Mapenzi successfully completed the qualification course at the Academy for Conflict Transformation in autumn 2013. She now works as a project manager for the Justice and Peace Commission in the Democratic Republic of Congo where she campaigns for victims of violence and sexual abuse. She also sets up trauma centres – so-called Listening Rooms – which offer people safe spaces and give them a voice in spite of all the taboos.

One of her tasks involves visiting villages and speaking to the inhabitants about their rights, which many are not even aware that they have. "The victims of this violence are not interested in high-level politics – what they need is someone to listen to them," explains Thérèse Mema Mapenzi. Which is why she established the Listening Rooms. She also conducts seminars to inform women of their rights and to help boost their self-esteem.

In 2014, Thérèse Mema Mapenzi was awarded the Coventry International Prize for Peace and Reconciliation. This prize has been awarded for many years now to honour initiatives, organisations and people for their extraordinary dedication to peace and reconciliation.

Thérèse Mema Mapenzi
© Dave Warren

»Thanks to the training course at the Academy, I was given new job opportunities. I also received the Shalom Prize in 2015. Today, I am working as a trainer for conflict transformation in DR Congo myself.«

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Thérèse Mema Mapenzi Participant of the qualification course at the Academy for Conflict Transformation, 2013