Empowered to Protect (E2P)

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. E2P is a community-based methodology that provides, youth, parents, community meembers and leaders with knowledge, skills and the right attitude to increase their coping mechanisms and fight SGBV together. Through facilitating E2P community sessions, all stakeholders where involved in building a culture where SGBV is rejected and equality is embraced by the local community. Rasearch during the project was done by l’Université Évangélique Afrique and funded by the Dutch Relief Alliance for humanitarian Innovations. The program with a length of 18 months was finalized in August 2020.

End results E2P

936

Bracelets distributed

95,0%

Community members aware of their role against SGBV

3

Sexual assaults prevented

  • In total, 864 people, (70% female, 30% male) joined the Empowered2Protect and/or teach a friend sessions and were introduced in the use of the Invi bracelet, as well as reflected on SGBV and dealing with emotions.
  • 96% of the female and 93% of the male community members stated that they can play a role in the protection of SGBV.
  • According to the beneficiaries, E2P awareness sessions have brought a change in their lifestyles, especially with regard to management of their emotions.
  • 94% of respondents indicated that the bracelet contributes to feelings of safety.
  • During the pilot period, Help a Child received 3 official reports of women who escaped a sexual assault by making use of the bracelet.

Facilitator Ronsard

32 years old Ronsard from Kavumu (South Kivu, DRC) is very motivated to fight sexual and gender based violence in his community. As a facilitator of the Empowered to Protect program, he led sessions for women and men to talk about SGBV and introduced the Invi bracelet among th E2P participants. “We hope that through the awareness sessions combined with the bracelet, we can build a community and a future without violence.” (3 min. 43 sec.).

"Overall, the training methodology was good because of its interactive and participatory nature, and it was possible to speak freely. The training component was the driving force behind the project given its content and good communication through a good selection of protection officials and community facilitators".

E2P Research team leader

“This bracelet helped us a lot because like me who often travels to remote areas where there is a lot of insecurity, and I don’t have anyone who can help me there, the bracelet is my only recourse to protect myself. I am not afraid even when I go to the field and return without any problem”.

E2P participant from Karanda