Christine Schuler Deschryver


Christine Schuler Deschryver’s journey started in Bukavu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where she has always called home. However, tragedy struck in 1998 when her best friend was brutally murdered. This event marked a turning point in Christine’s life, propelling her towards a mission to empower the women of Congo and put an end to the scourge of ‘sexual terrorism.

Christine Schuler Deschryver

Leading Transformative Initiatives

As the Co-Founder and Director of the City of Joy and Director of V-Day Congo, Christine plays a pivotal role in driving change on the ground in the DRC. She oversees the City of Joy, a transformational leadership community for women survivors of violence in Bukavu. Since its inception in 2011, the City of Joy has empowered over 2000 women, providing them with healing, skills training, and a platform for leadership.

An Internationally Recognized Activist Christine’s advocacy has earned her international recognition, including being named one of The Guardian’s Women of the Year for 2011.

Empowering Survivors, Transforming Lives

The impact of the City of Joy is profound. Women who graduate from the program emerge as forces of energy and determination. They become entrepreneurs, leaders, advocates, and educators, reclaiming their dignity and agency in the face of adversity. Through initiatives like the V-World Farm, Christine and her team are creating sustainable opportunities for survivors to thrive.

Christine Schuler Deschryver

TED Talk: Christine Schuler Deschryver’s Powerful Message of Empowerment

TED recently released a compelling TED Talk featuring Christine Schuler Deschryver. In her enlightening presentation titled “Turning Pain into Power,” Christine delves into the challenges faced by women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the transformative impact of the City of Joy, a leadership center for survivors of sexual violence.

Christine passionately discusses how rape is often used as a weapon in the ongoing conflict over the Congo’s abundant mineral resources. She sheds light on the harrowing experiences of women in the region and the pervasive cycle of victimization they endure.

Despite the adversity, Christine shares a message of hope and empowerment. She highlights the vital role of the City of Joy in helping survivors reclaim their agency and rebuild their lives. Through healing, skills training, and community support, women graduate from the program as empowered leaders, breaking free from the chains of trauma and stigma.

Christine’s TED Talk serves as a powerful call to action, urging global audiences to stand in solidarity with Congolese women and support initiatives that promote healing, justice, and empowerment. Her inspiring words resonate deeply, sparking conversations and driving positive change in communities worldwide.

Christine Schuler Deschryver

A Voice for Change on the Global Stage

Christine’s advocacy extends far beyond the borders of the DRC. Recognized as an internationally renowned human rights activist, she has been honored as one of The Guardian’s Women of the Year for her tireless efforts. Through documentaries, speaking engagements, and her role as Vice President of Panzi Foundation DRC, Christine continues to amplify the voices of Congolese women and drive forward the fight for justice and equality.