'I am a little bird and I will fly into the sky'

How do you get from one of the darkest places imaginable to a place of empowerment, even joy?

Listen to this closing plenary from Esther Dingemans and you will begin to understand how such an extraordinary journey can be possible.

Social causes tackle many issues, some of them as bleak as any of us can imagine. One such issue is the increasing use of rape as a weapon of war – sexual abuse used systematically in conflict to subjugate and terrify women.

Esther is the director of The Dr Denis Mukwege Foundation, named after the renowned Congolese activist, which exists to eradicate sexual violence around the world and provide support that includes medical care, psychological support, legal aid and socioeconomic programmes. Her career includes work with Save the Children, UNICEF, the United Nations Population Fund and the International Rescue Committee.

Although her work involves combatting some of humankind’s most horrific atrocities, Esther will speak to you of joy. Of healing. Of positive outcomes, and of empowerment and hope.

In her closing plenary, she will show you how stories of transformation can arise from the most terrible circumstances. Her story will leave you more keenly aware than ever of how you and the work that you do can create positive change.


Esther Dingemans (DRC)
Director, The Dr Denis Mukwege Foundation