Posted on September 30, 2016

Violence against women and children is a common phenomenon in Zimbabwe. It occurs, both in the private and public spheres, catalysed by a number of factors that stem from the way in which society is structured. These factors include culture, tradition, religion, politics, and the economy. These factors contribute to shaping societal perceptions of why violence against women occurs, how society perceives the victim and the perpetrator, and how society responds to address cases of violence against women. Amidst all the other forms of violence against women such as wife battering and ritual killings, rape and other forms of sexual violence are becoming increasing social ills in Zimbabwean society.

In 2009 a group of courageous rape survivors organized The Doors of Hope Development Trust to address the psychological needs of women who underwent a series of human rights violations and to help them develop their own potential to handle post-traumatic events of rape or sexual abuse through Trauma Healing Workshops and group awareness discussions.

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The Tree of Life (ToL), a Zimbabwean non-profit that provides group based approaches to healing and empowering survivors of organized violence and torture, has supported Doors of Hope as they emerge into a more self-sustaining group. Tree of Life is facilitated by survivors themselves and uses the tree as a metaphor to provide a framework for understanding the trauma experience as well as strategies for empowerment. During the last two years the ToL has been working carefully and cautiously with Doors of Hope and by the end of last year had trained four of their senior members in conducting healing workshops. Currently the Doors of Hope is comprised of 5 volunteer staff and a membership of approximately 375 women from around Zimbabwe.

With WDP’s support, Doors of Hope will be one step closer to extending its outreach to other women survivors through trauma healing workshops, sensitization/advocacy meetings around the country and capacity-building/organization development training for Doors of Hope staff.

Tree of Life/Doors of Hope is a World Day of Prayer grant recipient

World Day of Prayer at The Interchurch Center in New York

Posted on March 01, 2013

Today we celebrated World Day of Prayer in The Interchurch Center Chapel in NYC. The variety of speaking roles helped us get many different offices involved in the service. Our group of about 50 women (and some men!) enjoyed the meditative Taizé singing the most. Below are a few clips from the service. How did … Continue reading World Day of Prayer at The Interchurch Center in New York

WDP 2013 France Services

Posted on February 28, 2013

2013 WDP Services

World Day of Prayer events in NYC

Posted on January 11, 2013

Calling all World Day of Prayer women in NYC–please join us at the national office for lunch or our service on March 1! Those celebrating WDP in other places, post a comment below with the date, time and place of your service!

Worth the trek!

Posted on July 12, 2012

Hello, I am Pauline Smit, from Australia, and one of the two representatives on the WDP International Committee for the Pacific Region. The other one is Vaieli Fuomo Pita from Tuvalu. Having spent 20+ hours in aeroplanes to come to New York from Melbounre the meeting needed to be good! And it has been. The … Continue reading Worth the trek!

What will you bring back to your community as Living Water?

Posted on June 20, 2012

On the morning of the last day of the World Day of Prayer meeting, Ulirke Bechmann led a Bible Study on John 4:1-44, the story of Jesus and the Samaritan Woman.  Participants were invited to consider what “Living Water” they would bring back from the meeting to their local WDP committees.  Here are their responses: … Continue reading What will you bring back to your community as Living Water?

Justice Visit Re-cap

Posted on June 13, 2012

Today, women at the WDPIC meeting went out across NYC to visit with groups that work with immigrant and migrant people. When they returned, each group was asked to encapsulate their experience in 2 sentences or less. These sentences were collected on ribbons with the other prayers for the week. Here’s what the women had … Continue reading Justice Visit Re-cap

“Let Justice Roll Down…”

Posted on June 12, 2012

Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream Amos 5:24 At Riverside Church yesterday was my starting-point on my journey this week.  As I reflected upon the theme delivered in church, “the reverance of ritual,” two elements stood out to me: 1. baptized into death in Christ, and raised again in … Continue reading “Let Justice Roll Down…”

June 10: WDPIC Meeting Begins!

Posted on June 11, 2012

As women from 104 countries gathered to begin the World Day of Prayer International Meeting, women from WDP USA welcomed each one with a length of ribbon. Each was asked to write three things on the ribbon: her name, her city and country, and one or two words describing her hopes for the week. During … Continue reading June 10: WDPIC Meeting Begins!

June 11 Opening Worship

Posted on June 11, 2012

Opening worship lead by the Executive Committee of WDP featured a fountain of constantly running water to remind us of the conference theme from Amos 5:24, “Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Click here to download the liturgy used in the service. One tradition of WDP, especially relevant at … Continue reading June 11 Opening Worship