DR CONGO - This special documentary tells the story of exceptionally strong women in eastern Congo. The region has been the scene of a bloody conflict for over 15 years. Positive resistance is growing in the city of Butembo. The population is trying to regain control over its fate and life. When the violence in and around Butembo increases, the inhabitants are not watching from the sidelines. Sometimes they literally run into danger.

According to Save the Children, Congo is the worst place to be a mother and, according to Human Rights Watch, Eastern Congo is the most dangerous place in the world for a woman. How does it feel to live as a woman in the most dangerous place in the world?

Elien Spillebeen, a Flemish woman of 27, tries to understand this feeling and decides to go to Butembo, a city surrounded by rebel groups in North Kivu, on her own. As a Western woman and with a small camera fixed on her shoulder, she lives among the women of this city. Elien experiences with increasing amazement how much courage it takes to deal with the threat on a daily basis. She sees how these women do not patiently accept their situation, but have the courage to go against their fate every day.

Team members

Elien Spillebeen

Elien Spillebeen is a Belgian journalist and researcher. She studied international politics in Ghent (Belgium) and Aix-en-Province (France).

€ 4.000, allocated on 12/10/2012.


  • Backup Butembo, Vranckx, VRT/Canvas (Belgian public broadcaster), 21 & 22/02/2015.



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