Statement from Fistula Foundation CEO Kate Grant on the December 10 Nobel Peace Prize to be Awarded to Dr. Denis Mukwege

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On December 10, Fistula Foundation's longest-term partner, Dr. Denis Mukwege, will win the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to aid victims of wartime violence. A special fund has been established on his behalf, and all are invited to join the Fistula Foundation community in signing a digital card to congratulate Dr. Mukwege on this momentous occasion.

Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder of Panzi Hospital and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner, with Fistula Foundation CEO Kate Grant at a 2015 meeting in San Francisco, CA.

Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder of Panzi Hospital and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner, with Fistula Foundation CEO Kate Grant at a 2015 meeting in San Francisco, CA.

Fistula Foundation has established the Denis Mukwege Fistula Fund to support his future work, for which nearly $200,000 has already been raised. Our community has also celebrated the news, sending over 700 messages of congratulations, well wishes and support from 36 countries around the world.

On December 10, an extraordinary person and personal hero will receive the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. It is an award much deserved by a man who has put his own life at risk, for decades, in order to aid the voiceless victims of wartime violence.

I have been privileged to know Dr. Denis Mukwege for nearly a decade. When Fistula Foundation adopted a global mission in 2009, he became our very first partner. We have been proud to support his work with more than $2.3 million in grants that help him restore health to thousands of women who have suffered from traumatic fistula incurred as a result of sexual violence.

Since the announcement in October that he would receive the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, Fistula Foundation has established the Denis Mukwege Fistula Fund to support his future work, for which nearly $200,000 has already been raised. Our community has also celebrated this news, sending in more than 700 messages of congratulations, well wishes and support via an e-card that Fistula Foundation established, which now features signatures from grateful champions of his work from 36 countries around the world.

He is truly a remarkable man, and it has been a pleasure to get to know him well over the last decade. The son of a Pentecostal minister, Dr. Mukwege is a quietly devout man who told me at our very first meeting that he wanted to do with his hands what he felt that his father had done with his words: make the world a better place.

And he truly has. His 400-bed Panzi Hospital is a beacon of healing and hope to women who have been traumatized by decades of war. It has been said that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the worst place in the world to be a woman, and if you hear Dr. Mukwege share stories of women and young girls whose bodies have been literally torn apart by sexual violence, you will know this is true. He and his staff work day and night to heal these voiceless victims, body and soul.

What Dr. Mukwege does is important, and dangerous. He is a global force, using his voice beyond the walls of Panzi Hospital to speak on the world stage to denounce the crimes of armed groups that have operated in DRC for more than two decades. He has been targeted by assassins who took his daughters and wife captive. Yet, this remarkable man and champion of women perseveres.

Every day, he serves as my North Star. His portrait has hung on the wall next to my desk for nearly as long as I’ve known him. In a white doctor’s coat and a lapel pin that says “Do not stand idly by,” he reminds me every day of the sacrifices he’s made to give the voiceless a voice, and to return their health and their hope.

In this age, and at this time, the Nobel Committee could not have selected a more deserving, more inspiring recipient. I could not be proud to call him a partner, and a friend.

**To join the 700+ others from 36 countries around the world who have already left a message for Dr. Mukwege on Fistula Foundation’s e-card, add your name and message at this link. Messages will be compiled and delivered to Dr. Mukwege after the Nobel Ceremony on December 10.**

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Jessica Love
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