Sabiha Husic, Medica Zenica (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Copyright: Ulla Burghardt/ medica mondiale

Sabiha Husic, Director of Medica Zenica (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Together we encouraged women to speak up about their horrible experiences in a patriarchal society. Although Medica Zenica has done a lot we face new challenges every day and we need to continue to support survivors who struggle for their rights.

It’s important that we recognize the power of women, their freedom, decision making, and that women can decide which life they want to have. During the last 25 years we motivated thousands of women to start thinking about themselves and their strength, making them aware that they can constitute their women’s rights.

Grace Arach, FOWAC (Uganda). Copyright: Maren Erb

Grace Arach, Founder of FOWAC (Uganda)

With medica mondiale I met a saviour and healer. Together our achievements in Uganda have been that women can reclaim their dignity, female war survivors were accepted in society, and women and girls were given the chance to heal mentally.

There is still an overwhelming number of women who need support. Violence and trauma are still a big challenge. So please uphold the golden heart for women and girls!

Saifora Paktiss, Medica Afghanistan. Copyright: Angelika Söhne/ medica mondiale

Saifora Ibrahim Paktiss, Deputy Director of Medica Afghanistan

We have achieved a lot concerning women’s rights but there are still a lot of challenges: When it comes to the legislation of women’s rights, we face a lack of political will and there are members of the government who show resistance. Some of our girls’ schools were shut down by the opposition party. That challenges female education.

However, women still really want to go forward, they want to re-build their country, they want to participate, so they will keep their movement going on until they are completely accepted.

Mirlinda Sada, Medica Gjakova (Kosovo). Copyright: Ulla Burghardt/ medica mondiale

Mirlinda Sada, Director of Medica Gjakova (Kosovo)

Together, we have empowered, supported and strengthened the well-being and self-confidence of thousands of women. The holistic approach makes our work in Kosovo unique. Despite all achievements, this is only the beginning, not only in Kosovo but throughout the world. Violence against women remains omnipresent.

Without women, no development is possible. Women are important pillars of the family and society. So even after 25 years!: Keep going!

Caroline Bowah-Brown, Medica Liberia. Copyright: Karin Griese/ medica mondiale

Caroline Bowah-Brown, Director of Medica Liberia

After the war I was very happy to get my chance with medica mondiale – I could do something! It has been great to work together with local women and enable them to become activists in their own rights. Although we’ve had some achievements, we are still observing rape, denial of women’s rights and domestic violence. We still have untrained health workers and police. The government has not succeeded in protecting women’s rights. That’s why it becomes our business.

On this 25th anniversary my congratulations go to Dr. Monika Hauser and to her team of strong, brave and committed women, and to all the other medica offices. I encourage all of us to continue with our good work. And I thank all the supporters and donors that help us to take action.

Clavenda Sherman, Medica Liberia. Copyright: Karin Griese/ medica mondiale

Clavenda Sherman, District Councellor and Trainer at Medica Liberia

Through medica mondiale I met determined and empowered women from different backgrounds. Together we empowered, trained and supported women and ensured that women’s voices are heard. Through medica Liberia’s work, men are now supporting their women and children. But, especially in rural areas, women still need to learn about their rights and gain access to the various services that medica Liberia is providing.

At this anniversary I wish medica mondiale the best and God’s blessing as they carry out their work for women.

Naomi Sayweh Johnson, Medica Liberia. Copyright: Karin Griese/ medica mondiale

Naomi Sayweh Johnson, Trainer for Health Professionals at Medica Liberia

With medica mondiale I met a group of empowered women, determined to affect change in society. Together we raised awareness and women are now turning away from the cultural beliefs that marginalized them for a long time. Most women are now aware of their rights.

However, there are still issues of violence coming up on a daily basis. Communities still need more awareness on how violence can be reduced. Together we can achieve a lot! Happy 25th Anniversary!

Godelieve Mukasarasi, SEVOTA (Ruanda). Copyright: medica mondiale

Godelieve Mukasarasi, Founder of SEVOTA (Ruanda)

medica mondiale supports SEVOTA in our struggle to achieve women’s rights and to assist the survivors of the genocide were raped and then brought the children into this world. Your support makes it possible for us to work for the benefit of all the women in our areas of operation and for Rwandan society as a whole.

Thanks to medica mondiale, SEVOTA women have learnt to produce pearls and beads: it is a beautiful experience to wear beads, smile and blossom. For your anniversary we are sending you 25 bead chains, which we hope you will wear to your anniversary celebrations. We know the effort that medica mondiale goes to in order to support us. God bless you for all your deeds! Congratulations!

Seraphine Mukanyabyenda, SEVOTA (Ruanda). Copyright: medica mondiale

Seraphine Mukanyabyenda of SEVOTA, Ruanda

With medica mondiale we found an organisation with whom we could share our experiences of supporting women who had survived violence. Together we have achieved a lot. This includes integrated counselling, SEVOTA’s mother and youth festival, poverty alleviation through microfinance, and capacity-building for SEVOTA staff.

Our work remains necessary since injustices and violence continue and we need to bring them to an end. Women should be able to enjoy their rights, since they are essential for justice, peace and security. For your 25th anniversary, the women in Rwanda are very happily singing, "Vive vive medica mondiale!".

Immaculee Birhaheka, PAIF (DR Kongo). Copyright: Alena Mehlau/ medica mondiale

Immaculée Birhaheka, Head of PAIF (DR Congo)

A large proportion of all women were raped during the war, especially in rural areas. 80 percent of women from rural areas are internally displaced or refugees in other countries. Many were killed or disabled. There are now a lot of women’s rights activists and we achieved some progress.

The 2006 law on violence against women was established and we are one member of the working groups established by the government. That means the government is committed to fight violence against women. This is progress because we can act without having problems with the government. I am a women’s rights defender because women’s rights are not achieved yet and I realise that it's possible to make a difference!

Marie-Claire, PAIF (DR Kongo). Copyright: Anna Famula/ medica mondiale

Marie-Claire, Supervisor of PAIF (DR Kongo)

Our joint projects have given many women in the DR Congo their life back. We have been able to improve the domestic situation for a lot of women and help them gain independence. They can now take their own decisions and they are not marginalised any longer. We cover the costs of medical treatment, enable women’s access to courts, inform them of their rights and campaign to prevent violence.

However, women’s rights are still not being respected enough. We have to fight to ensure that women are appointed to positions with decision-making powers. Everybody in the world should be able to enjoy their rights. medica mondiale has already come a long, long way, but the path we are facing in the future is even longer. So I wish you all a lot of strength! Joyeux anniversaire ! Longue vive a medica mondiale ! Keep helping women in the Congo.