BY Ryan McDougall | March 13 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

Hear Their Cry 106

Photograph exhibition shows how SCIAF is empowering women in the DRC

Scotland’s leading Catholic charity for international aid is ‘helping to empower Congolese women,’ supporters heard, ahead of International Women’s Day.

On Friday March 6, two days before International Women’s Day (IWD), the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) launched a photography exhibition at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow, to highlight the brutal and forgotten sexual violence crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo—the focus of the charity’s Wee Box Big Change Lenten Appeal this year.

The exhibition displays the faces and stories of many of the women whose lives have been seriously affected by sexual violence, and how SCIAF and its local partners are working hard to change their lives.

The timely launch ahead of IWD marked the beginning of a tour as the exhibition will go on to visit many Scottish parishes.


Angela Catlin, the photographer, said she was ‘overwhelmed by the bravery and resilience of the women’ when she was in the DRC with SCIAF last summer.

She said: “After what they’d been through, it was amazing to see that, with the right support and love, they’ve grown and got a smile on their faces, and are working on their own land independently.

“It was great because they’re now quite often driving the communities in the DRC. With the right faith and support from SCIAF’s partners on the ground they’ve moved forward.”

She added that she hopes the exhibition, coupled with the women’s stories, will be a ‘strong package’ for boosting donations to the Wee Box appeal, which is being doubled by UK Aid Match funding this year.

Empowering women

Louise Joyce, SCIAF’s programme officer, also spoke at the exhibition launch.

Mrs Joyce is responsible for working with local partners in the charity’s DRC project.

She said: “The women told me about their challenges and how they were previously struggling, but they told me how they’re happy now, empowered and that the project was supporting them.

“They were saying things like, ‘Look at us, we’re now strong women.’

Archbishop Tartaglia of Glasgow blessed the exhibition before it set off on tour around the country.

Before leading a short prayer, the archbishop said: “[The Wee Box Appeal] is usually greeted very generously by our people and I expect it to be the same this year.”

To get your Wee Box, visit or call 0141 354 5555.

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