Who we are
Akwaba Mousso was created in November 2021 in Abidjan by a group of Ivorian and French peoplewilling to help vulnerable women who have experienced violence or are seeking to escape it. Akwaba is an Akan word meaning “welcome,” and mousso is the Dioula word for “woman.”
These journalists, lawyers, sociologists, midwives, development workers, gender trainers, and financial directors, alarmed by the lack of facilities dedicated to women victims of gender-based violence (GBV) and by the shortcomings in their care, have designed a project of a center in which women in difficulty or victims of domestic, intrafamily, psychological or sexual violence are welcomed with compassion, in a safe environment,by specially trained professionals.
Members of the bureau
Co-founder and President
Félicité is a jurist and gender trainer. She was in charge of monitoring and supporting women victims of violence for the United Nations mission in Côte d’Ivoire before joining the European Union delegation in Côte d’Ivoire as a program officer and then a gender consultant. As such, she conducted 12 training workshops for 50 civil society organizations on behalf of the European Union-funded support program for Ivorian civil society. She has been the Director of Operations of a significant Ivorian institution since 2018.
Co-founder and Executive Director
Maureen has been a feature journalist for several French media, such as RFI, Le Monde, Canal +, and France24, for more than ten years in France, Central and West Africa, and Russia. Sensitive to societal issues, she has devoted a good part of her career to covering topics related to violence against women and children, particularly in post-conflict periods. She was a regional correspondent based in Côte d’Ivoire from 2011 to 2015 before joining the FIDH and Greenpeace and then training in caring for survivors of GBV at La Maison des Femmes in Saint-Denis.
Denise is a midwife by training with a Master’s degree in Sociology of Health and a DESS in Public Health. She is a member of the national pool of GBV trainers. She has been working in international organizations with PEPFAR, Global Fund, and USAID funding for more than ten years on projects related to the management of GBV, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, and family planning. For the past four years, she has been the country manager of the West Africa Breakthrough Action (WABA) sub-regional project for the Côte d’Ivoire office of Johns-Hopkins University.
Co-founder and deputy Secretary General
Nemdia has worked in the international cooperation sector on public statistics, sexual and reproductive health, and significant pandemics for eight years. She has supported dynamic portfolios of projects funded by the European Commission, UNITAID, and the Initiative (a complementary mechanism to the Global Fund). She worked with local stakeholders and project teams, particularly in the African, Asian, and Caribbean regions, to ensure the technical quality and use of performance data or public statistics to inform programming and specialized/national or regional strategies.
Secretary in charge of communication
Céline is a sales and marketing manager with over ten years of experience. She got involved with Empower association to promote female entrepreneurship as a volunteer mentor and then created the podcast “Building for Women” to highlight women leaders in a sector where they still have to fight to find their place.
Secretary in charge of awareness
Madoussou is a trained jurist and gender expert for the UNESCO Chair in Water, Women, and Decision-Making. She is a businesswoman, and she also founded 2019 her NGO, SMED-CI (Support for mothers and children in distress in Côte d’Ivoire), which specializes in the fight against menstrual precariousness in prisons.
Secretary in charge of legal matters
Corine is a jurist by training and a specialist in GBV issues. She is a member of the national pool of trainers on GBV and the GBV task force of the Action Network Against Sexual Violence (RAVS). She is a member of the national pool of GBV trainers and the GBV task force of the Action Network Against Sexual Violence (ANSV). Consultant on the FIDH project “Acting against sexual violence,” she co-authored a report on sexual violence published by this organization in 2022.
She is now the coordinator of a project that focuses on empowering women and girls funded by the World Bank. She has more than ten years of experience in legal and judicial assistance to vulnerable people, especially women, as director of the legal clinic, a project funded by the European Union, UNDP, and AFD (C2D).
Secretary in charge of digital affairs
Arnaud is a graphics designer with a passion for computers, the web, and is also trained in video post-production.
We are inspired by La Maison des Femmes de Saint-DenisIn France, a unique care center for women in difficulty or victims of violence was created by Doctor Ghada Hatem. It is part of the Saint-Denis Hospital, a medical and social structure where caregivers and actors from the sector of police, justice, and law, but also therapists, artists, and sportswomen, cooperate in accompanying the patients towards recovery and autonomy.
Akwaba Mousso also takes its cue from the hospital and the Foundation Panzi in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo, created by Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Mukwege, and the City of Joy program in women’s leadership and emotional healing. This program is supported by the V Day movement created by American author, playwright, and activist Eve Ensler, which aims to end violence against women and girls.
This shelter is intended to become a center of excellence and training for professionals who wish to work with survivors.