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Rebecca Masika Katsuva

Rebecca Masika

Association des Personnes Desherites Unies pour le Development – APDUD

I decided that I had to do something empowering for myself and for other women. To help women move from the state they are in today and reconnect with the women they were before. Despite everything I went through, I am still standing and they can do it as well

Rebecca Masika Katsuva

Rebecca Masika Katsuva was a human rights defender from South Kivu, one of the provinces in eastern DRC with the highest levels of violence. She opened a shelter for women victims of rape, for their children and for orphans. In 2002, Masika set up the organisation Association of Disinherited Persons United for Development (Association des Personnes Desherites Unies pour le Development – APDUD), to help women get medical treatment, make a living and start a new life. Despite the fact she had limited resources, she helped more than 6,000 women. Masika had a heart attack and died on 2 February 2016, but she left a legacy that will endure and her courage will not be forgotten.


The situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) remains volatile and human rights defenders (HRDs) remain at grave risk. They continue to operate at serious personal risk in an atmosphere of violence, hostility and instability. Absence of the rule of law and a climate of impunity prevail. As a consequence of carrying out activities such as investigating and exposing atrocities, combating sexual violence, advocacy with respect to the elections, and independent journalism, many HRDs have been subject to threats and attacks.