“This experience was so much more than I had expected. The professionalism around a difficult topic, the caring and supports in place for participants went beyond what I could have imagined. The yoga was again very professional, therapeutic but most of all fun! We became life long friends bonded by this mission and I believe that we will all come home and make a difference here in our communities as well.” – 109 participant

The goal of this trip was to raise awareness about sexual violence both in our own communities and in the war thorn country of The Congo. We wanted to dig deeper into this much too obscure subject and learn what it actually is, how we can detect it and how we get over it to rise stronger. On top of supporting our Swedish partner PMU in raising awareness about sexual violence in The Congo and the work that’s being done at the Panzi Hospital, we created a safe space to share our stories and feel empowered.

 

This trip certainly became much more, it was the beginning of restoring a global sisterhood and let us experience the positive impact we can create together despite hardships and traumas. Yoga was coupled with healing and sharings, we met people that will forever have an imprint in our lives and learned things society has kept in the dark for too long.

While rape has been prevalent in all societies for as long as we can remember, there is no reason we should allow it to continue. It is time we start talking about it openly and shift perspective on the discussion to the perpetrators rather than the “victims”. We will never be able to change anything if we remain complacent on issues that deeply affect us.

#109WOMEN

Dates

August 17-20, 2017

Costs

US$1,650 // Sold out

Women Standing Together

Ever since we founded 109 World in 2015 we had especially been looking forward to embarking on a women’s trip together with our community. As a group of women in the 109 team, this passion is close to our heart and our philosophy strongly lies in the belief that an empowered woman has the potential to unlock many of our global challenges around the world.

Because women empowerment is such an universal cause, the model of this trip looked a little different than usual. As you know, women all around the world suffer from suppression, discrimination, violence and sexual violence and many other unthinkable atrocities. But this is not just happening in a remote place far away, it is also experienced all around us, in our neighbor’s house, in our local school, in our workplace or maybe even at home. This is why we worked towards a global sisterhood where we stand with each other – for each other. During this trip we had the chance to experience our own female power while supporting other’s.

The Unthinkable Crime

Sexual violence happens all over the world, no matter country, financial status or level of education. It is difficult to escape the risk of rape. Every woman that has to suffer through this atrocity and its aftermath is one woman too many.
But the level of sexual violence in The Congo has earned the region the title “rape capital of the world”. In The Congo rape is used as a weapon of war, method of torture to terrorize the population. Doctor Mukwege, who treats these victims say; “When I see some of the injuries on the women and children, I realize this type of violence has little to do with sex and much more with power through a sort of terrorism”.

During the #109women’s trip we learned about this horrible subject and worked with the Swedish organization PMU to create awareness and raise funds to the continuation of the hospital where doctor Mukwege works.

Please Continue reading under “The Cause”.

What Can We Learn From Their Healing Process?

At the Panzi Hospital they have adopted a very specific way of helping women in their physical and emotional healing process. During this trip we learned that sharing our own stories and listening to theirs both empowers ourselves and supports these powerful women. We already know amazing things happen when women come together – this is no exception.

We learned about this widespread issue through testimonials, experts and understanding while we were at the same time engaging in our own healing processes.

“One of the best weekends of my life. Met and became close with 30 wonderful women. Went to help women in a far-off land and got help I didn’t know I needed.” – 109 participant

Women Empowerment

Women make up over half the population of the world but are marginalized in numerous ways. Female infanticide, sexual violence, trafficking, and a lack of access to education are just a few ways that women are disenfranchised in our world. Not only is this an injustice, it’s unsustainable. Over and over again, we see that when women succeed, communities succeed. We need our women. As an educated woman, an active, productive citizen, and a prepared employee, she is the most influential force in her community to break the cycle of poverty and lead the way to gender equality.

Congo and the Panzi Hospital

In the early 2000s, the first patient who had been exposed to sexual violence came to the Panzi Hospital in Congo. Little did they know at the time that this was the beginning of what is best described as an epidemic. In 2004, PMU started the world-renowned SSV project – Survivors of Sexual Violence – and between 2004 and 2014, more than 32,000 patients were cared for, the youngest girl just a few months old.

With an uneasy political climate and ever-blowing conflicts, Panzi Hospital is spreading light in a region where most of it is dark. At Panzi Hospital, operations on severely damaged abdomen is carried out, medication of sexually transmitted diseases, psychological assistance to traumatized victims and simple vocational training to provide opportunities for future care.

The hospital, and its chief physician Denis Mukwege, has become world-renowned for its help to these women, but despite this, the business is constantly threatened by a strained economy.

The Panzi Approach

At Panzi Hospital car is provided according to the world-renowned five-pillar holistic healing model to meet the full spectrum of needs for survivors of sexualized violence. This model includes physical care, psycho-social support, community reintegration services, legal assistance, and education and advocacy to address the root causes of violence. The hospital provides a safe and healing space that supports not only women’s physical healing, but fosters their emotional recovery, helps to rebuild their livelihoods and contributes to the long-term, sustainable restoration of their communities. 40% – 60% of women treated at Panzi Hospital are unable to return to their homes after medical treatment, because of the extent of their injuries, ongoing violence, or, most often, the deep stigma associated with sexual violence and fistula. These women continue along their healing journey at Maison Dorcas, an innovative after-care center and community center.

Öland, Sweden

Öland is the second largest Swedish island and the smallest of the traditional provinces of Sweden. It is located just off the southeast coast of Sweden, in the Baltic Sea. On the west coast, the immense Borgholm Castle are the ruins of a structure rebuilt many times since the 12th century. Close by is Solliden Palace, summer residence of the Swedish royal family, with lavish gardens. Southern Öland is dominated by the Great Alvar, a sprawling limestone plain known for its biodiversity, including rare orchid species.

Mormors Öland

This lovely little bed & breakfast conveniently located in Stora Rör, Öland and easily accessible, is a little oasis offering a relaxing retreat from your everyday life. The rooms are bright, inviting the sun light in. The hotel is newly renovated and gazing over the water front. The rooms will be shared and all meals enjoyed in the awarded hotel restaurant.

The restaurant and café/bakery, both listed in the White Guide, work with local and organic produce giving you the feeling of fine dining in a laid-back environment.

Rachel Brathen (Yoga_Girl)

With us on this special journey we have no other than the yoga guru, serial entrepreneur, New York Times Best Selling author and newly become kick-ass mother – Rachel Brathen, Yoga_Girl. As a strong symbol for powerful women and an inspiration to women of all generations, all over the world, she is the perfect host for this particular trip.

Rachel will guide you through yoga and meditation sessions daily in her home country of Sweden for you to feel connected to our own and each other’s female power and the good intentions we are there for.

Thordis Elva

“The hardest question I get is what I do for a living, but I guess the simplest answer is story-teller. Sometimes I tell stories through books, articles, films or plays that have taken me to places I couldn’t even fathom, resulting in various honours and awards. Other times, my story-telling manifests itself in news reporting, public speaking and equal rights activism that earned me the title Woman of the Year 2015 in my native Iceland. I currently live in Stockholm, Sweden and recently released my book South of Forgiveness, written with my co-author Tom Stranger.”

109 World together with 32 changemakers embarked on a journey to Öland, Sweden. The trip was four days long August 17 to 20, 2017.  The trip arrangements and costs included:

  • Lodging three nights, four days
  • Meal plan from dinner on the 17th to lunch on the 20th (OBS – mainly vegetarian)
  • Ground transportation (including to and from the train station in Kalmar)
  • Daily yoga sessions with Yoga_Girl
  • Activities to dive into the addressed topic
  • Speaker session by Thordis Elva, Maria Bard from PMU, Divine Blessing from The Congo and music from the amazign Edo Bumba
  • Workshop that aims to integrate the mission with your everyday life
  • Local excursions

DOES NOT INCLUDE:
*Airfare — If you are flying internationally, you can fly in to Copenhagen and take the train to Kalmar Station where you will be picked up. If you are flying domestically there is an airport in Kalmar you can fly into and we will arrange transportation from there.

*Alcoholic beverages

CANCELLATION AND PAYMENT POLICY:
We collect a 20% deposit to reserve your spot. This deposit is non-refundable or transferable. Participants can be refunded (minus the deposit) if participant cancels more than 30 days prior to the start date of the trip. After that, the payment cannot be refunded or transferred.