Rachel, a refugee, standing in front of her temporary shelter Bulengo camp near Goma, DR Congo © Sven Torfinn/IRC/Panos/EU-ECHO
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North Kivu, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, has been plagued by violence for the past two decades. More than 200,000 people live in displacement sites and camps in the region. Among them is Rachel, pictured, who has lived in Bulengo camp near Goma for two years: her son and daughter died soon after the family fled its home.

This year’s FT seasonal appeal charity partner, the International Rescue Committee, is a charity working to save and rebuild lives affected by conflict and disaster in more than 30 countries, including DRC.

Camps can be unsafe places, especially for women and girls, and IRC works with displaced women, providing life-saving care for those who have been subject to violence and abuse. It also offers preventive help, distributing “dignity kits”, containing whistles and torches, which protect women from the threat of sexual violence. The kits also have soap, water and buckets, allowing women to keep safe by washing in private; washing in streams and creeks increases the risk of attack.

Read the FT’s reports about IRC’s vital work to save and rebuild lives, and donate to the appeal, at ft.com/seasonalappeal

Photograph: Sven Torfinn/IRC/Panos/EU-ECHO

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