About

Our Story

The International Center for Advanced Research and Training (ICART) was established in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo in 2013. We focus on research to address gender based violence and clinical health issues. ICART is open to collaboration and partnerships with individuals and organizations. Our team is working hard to become the top regional research and training center in this region of Africa.

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Founding ICART Staff

Left to Right
Kani Mubagwa, PhD (Founding Director)
Lisa Peters, MPH (Founding Projects Manager and Epidemiologist)
Ali Bitenga, BA (Founding Research Assistant and Translator)
Prince Mujumbe Salama, BA (Founding Financial Manager and Website Developer)

History

(Click Dates To Expand)

The Université Evangélique en Afrique (UEA) was founded 1991, It is located on the hill of Panzi near Panzi Hospital.

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Panzi Hospital was officially opened in 1999. It was founded by Dr Denis Mukwege with assistance from CEPAC, the national Pentecostal Church Organisation. Swedish and British development funds, PMU and Läkarmissionen supported the infrastructure. Its mission is to assure holistic quality care to the population through improved health care service delivery, community outreach activities, and advocacy. Over the longer term the hospital has a vision to grow into a competitive teaching hospital that is a centre of excellence, promoting health care for everyone.

The hospital is located in Panzi commune about 8km from the centre of Bukavu in South Kivu Province. It is the only hospital in the Ibanda Health Zone, but accepts patients from throughout the region. Renowned for its treatment of survivors of sexual violence and women suffering from severe gynaecological conditions the hospital has received a great deal international attention and publicity. Dr Wukwege has been the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of his work at Panzi Hospital and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

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The Panzi Foundation was jointly created in 2008 by Dr. Mukwege and Panzi Hospital colleagues and supporters. The foundation was established with the specific aim to support the ongoing work of the hospital and improve outreach services to rural clinics and communities. Building on the work of the Panzi Hospital, the foundation works to promote basic quality health care for marginalized populations. In particular it aims to improve access to and the quality of maternal and reproductive health, promote and encourage the application of women’s rights and gender equality and prevent violence against women and children.

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Since he opened Panzi Hospital, Dr. Mukwege has performed reconstructive surgery on over 21,000 women and children, many suffering from severe wounds and mutilations. He is a world-leading expert in such surgery. While the hospital and its staff are vulnerable to the violence that surrounds it, Panzi has become a regional center for training of nurses and physicians to meet this humanitarian crisis.

Dr. Mukwege has developed interventions to provide psychosocial support to treat the emotional suffering of the women at Panzi Hospital, as well as vocational training, so they can again take up an independent life and support themselves and their families. He is a courageous and outspoken advocate on behalf of the victims of this epidemic of sexual violence, working to seek reparations and justice, drawing the world’s attention to the urgent need to end the violence in this war-torn region.

Dr. Mukwege was awarded the UN Human Rights Prize in 2008, and Sweden’s Olaf Palme Prize in 2009.

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It all started when U-M Wallenberg Medal winner Dr. Denis Mukwege gave his lecture in fall 2010. Dr. Mukwege, who has treated tens of thousands of rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), challenged members of the university community to help end the ongoing, brutal and systematic use of rape as a tool of war in the DRC and worldwide, and to apply its collective expertise to develop interventions for the medical, psychological and social needs of survivors in post-conflict environments.

While at U-M, Dr. Mukwege, the director of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu in the eastern Congo, met with several people, including Janis Miller from the School of Nursing. “As we were parting, I remember him looking at me intently and saying ‘I need one nurse from Michigan.’ In the spirit of Raoul Wallenberg, I promised I’d find him “one who can make a difference.”It turns out I wanted to be that nurse,” she explains.

Dr. Miller wasn’t the only person who wanted to get involved. There were many other faculty at Michigan who also wanted to find ways to work with Dr. Mukwege. A multidisciplinary team from Nursing, Business, Social Work, Public Health, Medicine was soon created. This eventually grew into a Global Challenges project that aims to “transform violence and conflict into hope and innovation.”

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ICART was established in 2013 in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. We focus on research to address gender based violence and clinical health issues. ICART is open to collaboration and partnerships with individuals and organizations. Our team is working hard to become the top regional research and training center in this region of Africa.
In this project Norwegian and Congolese researchers will collaborate on research to improve the situation for women in Eastern DRC.

​The project is based on a partnership between the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and the International Centre for Advanced Research and Training (ICART) in DRC. This centre is a collaborative initiative between researchers from the Panzi Hospital, Panzi Foundation DRC, and the Université Evangelique en Afrique in Bukavu, DRC. ​

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ICART First Research Symposium held in August 2014 drew over 200 people, with 70 abstract presentations chosen from over 100 submitted, and 8 keynote speakers.

In the fall of 2014 ICART began a partnership with IITA and the World Bank. If you’d like to be a partner, please visit our contact page.

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