It is with great pride and joy that PMU today received the news that our partner and friend of many years, dr Denis Mukwege of the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is this year’s laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize. The Panzi Hospital where dr Mukwege works, was built with support from PMU. PMU has stood by dr Mukwege’s side all these years giving care to the survivors of sexual violence.
– It is difficult to find a person more deserving of this prize. Dr Mukwege is a true hero and we share a common history over many years. We are extremely happy and proud of this prize but we hope this will also lead to change. Niclas Lindgren, director of PMU.
Thanks to support from the Swedish Pentecostal Mission and PMU, Denis Mukwege was able to train as a physician and since 2002 he is head physician at the Panzi Hospital in the eastern part of the DR Congo. Since 2004, more than 50 000 women and children have received care at the hospital, after being subjected to sexual violence, thanks to the SSV project (Survivors of Sexual Violence) funded and led by PMU. Sexual violence is used as a weapon, among other things, in the conflict raging over the enormous natural resources found in the eastern part of DR Congo. The death toll of war and internal conflicts has now reached six million lives.
– My strategy is to repay hatred with even more love, to show that evil will never win. For me, showing love means caring for the sick and giving them hope. The Panzi Hospital is a place of peace where everyone is welcome and I will continue my work here. I will never stop preaching peace, says Denis Mukwege, chief physician at the Panzi Hospital which is funded by PMU.
Denis Mukwege has made several bold statements about the political and economic interests found both within and outside of his country and which cause the continuation of the conflict and the violence perpetrated upon the civil population. Despite attempts on his life and the fact that he is currently living with body guards protecting his life night and day, Denis Mukwege continues working for survivors of rape.
– When you see abuse and destruction and remain silent, it is as if you are participating. When you do not condemn evil and do not speak about what you see, in order to cause a change, it is as if you accept what is happening. It is not enough to care for tens of thousands of women. We have been treating the consequences, but it is also very important to treat the cause, says Denis Mukwege.
The Panzi Hospital was built as a regular hospital, but over time, the hospital has achieved worldwide renown for its work of helping women who have been raped. The hospital has developed high levels of competence within advanced gynecological surgery. However, physical, psychological and legal aid are also a part of the effort to restore life to wounded women and children. Denis Mukwege has been awarded a number of prizes, among them the Right Livelihood Award 2013 and the Sakharov Prize of the European Parliament in 2014.