Great Lakes Restoration's Projects    
  Bukavu Action Team | Six Million Pennies | Pigs for Peace | NCH | Hospital Rehabilitation
Orphans of War | Workshop Schools | Women's Empowerment | Buildings for Peace | AICR
HIV Infected Children | Stadium for Peace Building

Nursing Center for Healthcare (NCH) at Catholic University of Bukavu (UCB)

A multidisciplinary approach characterizes this project’s response to the multiple interrelated problems resulting from the warfare spawned by genocide in Rwanda coupled with the collapse of the Mobutu regime in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).  Occurring in the already poverty stricken Great Lakes region of eastern Africa, this warfare has increased the impact of diseases endemic in the region, such as malaria, as well as the health problems associated with malnutrition, poor sanitation and HIV/AIDS.  Nowhere is the HIV/AIDS pandemic more widespread than in the Great Lakes region.  In addition, the last decade has seen the use of extremely violent rape as a “weapon” of war in the region.  Beyond the severe physical and psychological trauma inflicted on the victims, this almost unique feature of this continuing warfare contributes to the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and other sexually transmitted diseases and has created a community of cursed outcasts in a culture that ostracizes both the victims or rape and their children.

To meet the diverse challenged posed by this situation and to promote the fragile peace in the region is the ultimate goal of this project.  To do so we will undertake an interdisciplinary health team approach led by skilled forensically trained nurses that focus on the victims of conflict, more particularly on the victims of violence and, most particularly on healing the physical and psychological wounds of the victims of sexual violence.  The hub of the project will be a NURSING CENTER FOR HEALTHCARE to be developed at UCB.  The overriding concern here is to achieve a sustainable solution for the victims of conflict, as opposed to the often incomplete, emergency intervention characteristic of past efforts, which will also result in an improvement in the availability of health and trauma service as well as living conditions in Bukavu and South-Kivu Province in general.  Our hub is defined functionally in the project goals below.

Project Goals


  • A safe place where the victims of conflict can live with adequate food and water while receiving treatment for injury and/or disease and during the process of physical and psychological rehabilitation and reintegration into society; and,
  • A residence for students (nursing, medical and social work) and other trainees in the programs of NCH.
  • For those requiring surgical intervention to correct or repair injuries, maintenance treatment  and medicine during the pre- and post-operative periods;
  • Preventive care, treatment, aftercare and medication for diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis;
  • Preventive care, treatment, aftercare and medication for sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS;
  • Pre-natal, natal and post-natal care and medication for mothers and the new born;
  • Intervention, therapy and/or counseling as necessary for treatment of the psychological traumas (for example, post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) resulting from violence and especially sexual violence; and
  • Provide the necessary staffing, equipment (including prosthetic devices), supplies and medicines to achieve the healthcare objectives of NCH.
  • Develop a Forensic Nursing, Social Work and Community Health Worker curriculum and program within the NCH to train professionals able to provide the assessment, physical and/or psychological treatment, and documentation required by victims of violence and their families, especially sexual violence in both the inpatient and outpatient setting (in the surrounding communities and rural areas);
  • Provide the patients residents at NCH with instruction in preventative care (for example, as to sexually transmitted disease and nutrition), as to self-management in the treatment of chronic conditions or disease (for example, the maintenance treatment and medication required to monitor and control in cases of TB and HIV/AIDS), and as to basic principals of public health and sanitation;
  • Collaborate with public officials, NGOs and community and religious leaders to raise awareness in rural and urban communities of human rights and justice for victims of violence.
  • In conjunction with the other faculties at UCB provide a forum for research into the cultural bias’ which have produced violence and sexual violence of the recent past and develop models and programs to alter those biases;
  • Recognizing that an individual’s emotional security and self-esteem is often based on the perceived ability to provide for the self and loved ones, provide vocational training and education appropriate to the talents and abilities of each resident, so that each will either have an employable skill or be able to continue their education upon reintegration; and,
  • Integrate microfinance opportunities into the programs at the NCH.