Empowered to Protect

Project duration: 01 January 2019 – 01 August 2020
Location: South-Kivu, DRC

As part of an inclusive community program in Kabare, focusing on spreading knowledge and awareness on SGBV, Help a Child and Invi have introduced the Invi bracelet. The Invi bracelet is a nonviolent self-defense device, using a disgusting smell to keep off perpetrators and enables people to walk around with confidence by knowing they can defend themselves. By facilitating community sessions with boys and girls, teachers, parents and community leaders through the What’s Up?! approach, we include all stakeholders in building a culture where SGBV is rejected and equality is embraced by the local community. The program is developed in collaboration with l’Université Évangélique Afrique and is funded by the Dutch Relief Alliance for humanitarian Innovations. The program has a length of 18 months and will be finalized in August 2020.

Prelimenary results E2P


Bracelets being introduced


Participants feeling more safe


Sexual assaults prevented

  • So far, 428 people, (75% female, 25% male) joined the Empowered2Protect sessions and were introduced in the use of the Invi bracelet, as well as reflected on SGBV and dealing with emotions.
  • During the pilot period, Help a Child received 2 official reports of women who escaped a sexual assault by making use of the bracelet.
  • 75% of respondents indicated to have improved feelings of safety and confidence.
  • 80,6 % of the respondents actually wear the bracelet.
  • According to the beneficiaries, E2P awareness sessions have brought a change in their lifestyles, especially with regard to management of their emotions.

“As a humanizing tool against GBSV in humanitarian field and the transition settings, the project proved to be very relevant for the south Kivu province. The E2P sessions were of great use for the beneficiaries mostly regarding social and cognitive empowerment which is important for the paradigm change and thus attitudinal transformation. The content of the E2P pack modules conferred the necessary practical knowledge to transform beneficiaries’ perception of themselves, their culture and collective history, their socially ascribed roles and constitutive responsibilities for positive change.”

(Key observations from UEA Research Report, first period).