Congolese doctor awarded Nobel Peace Prize for humanitarian work
Founder of Panzi Hospital and Foundations strengthens partnership with Canadian NGO
Make Music Matter, plans to expand music therapy program for survivors of sexual violence

Winnipeg, Canada (October 5, 2018) – Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder and medical director of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and founder of Panzi Foundation USA and Panzi Foundation DRC, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He is recognized for his humanitarian work with survivors of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Since founding the Panzi Hospital in 1999, Dr. Mukwege and his staff have helped care for more
than 48 000 survivors of sexual violence by providing medical treatment, legal support and
psychosocial services.

The award comes on the heels of the successful implementation of the Healing in Harmony Program, a unique form of music therapy in partnership with the Canadian NGO Make Music Matter, Panzi Foundation USA and with support from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund. This innovative initiative implemented at Panzi’s after-care facility, Maison Dorcas, as well as at more remote sites in Mulamba and Beni with even more sites opening beyond the DRC in November, uses music to support psychosocial healing for survivors of sexual violence. The program moves beyond traditional music therapy techniques by treating each participant as a true artist and integrating songwriting, production and performance of music into the treatment pathway.

“We congratulate Dr. Denis Mukwege, the Panzi family, and the resilient women of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on receiving this year’s Nobel Peace Prize,” said Darcy Ataman, Founder and CEO of Make Music Matter. “It continues to be an honour to work alongside Dr. Mukwege as we use the healing power of music together to help the survivors of sexual violence.”

The goal of the Healing in Harmony music therapy program is to share the inspiring strength of the survivors through local and international dissemination via radio broadcasts and community concerts, and therefore embolden the greater holistic healing model envisioned by Dr. Denis Mukwege.


[Click here to download the press release]


First two releases available digitally today:
Stream / download Kesho ni siku mupya (Tomorrow Is A New Day) HERE
Stream / download Mon corps n’est pas une arme (My Body Is Not A Weapon) HERE
Friday, January 12, 2018
Warner Music Canada is proud to announce that they have partnered with Make Music Matter to bring to the world original recordings written and produced by people scarred by conflict, AIDS/HIV and violence against women through their Healing in Harmony music therapy program. The first two releases, Kesho ni siku mupya (Tomorrow Is A New Day) and Mon corps n’est pas une arme (My Body Is Not A Weapon), were recorded in the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda and will be released under Make Music Matter’s own Samothrace Records label. Both albums are available worldwide for streaming and downloads beginning today, January 12, 2018. Five more albums are to be released in the coming months.
Make Music Matter was started by Canadian video and music producer Darcy Ataman who co-wrote and produced “Song For Africa” which featured a number of high-profile Canadian artists and was premiered in 2006 at the XVI International Aids Conference in Toronto. A graduate from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Ataman has led efforts to build a primary school in the Masai Mara, Kenya, supported two HIV clinics in Kenya and founded a scholarship program in Africa’s biggest slum before creating the Healing in Harmony music therapy program. With established programs in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Darcy will lead further expansions in Turkey and Iraq. He continues to centre his focus on HIV survivors, former child soldiers and child-headed households in Rwanda and has partnered with Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Dr. Denis Mukwege and Panzi Foundation in the DRC, focusing on women who have been sexually violated through war.
“Where you suffer is geography, how we heal is universal,” says Darcy Ataman. “Teaming with Warner Music Canada creates a global platform for our artists and helps to connect us to our shared humanity through the transformative power of music.”
In making the announcement, Warner Music Canada President Steve Kane says “We’ve always believed in the therapeutic nature of music. Make Music Matter has taken this idea and put it in to concrete action. Warner Music Canada is proud to play a part in bringing these powerful voices to the global community.”
Kesho ni siku mupya (Tomorrow Is A New Day) tracklisting:
Esther “Kesho ni siku mupya”
Patrick “Main dans la main”
Solange & Obeni “Maisha ni punition”
Neema & Kethia & Bahati “Nime kosa Amani”
Sandra & Bayura “Prassana aseme”
Gisele & Fadhili & Faradja “Safari yangu”
Zezi & Tuliya & Zawadi & Gisele “Sita coka”
Prince Kwamiso “Songa mbele”
Mon corps n’est pas une arme (My Body Is Not A Weapon) tracklisting:
Young Dorcas & Timbuktu “Mon corps n’est pas une arme”
Denise & Timbuktu “Nda fanya je”
Young Tricotage & Timbuktu “Njo tu maisha”
Vannerie & Timbuktu “Sina matunzo”
About Make Music Matter:
Make Music Matter’s unique brand of music therapy is centered on the belief that music can be an integral part of a community-driven, holistic healing model. Participants in the program are survivors of sexual violence and other traumatized populations.
The team travels into conflict areas around the world , working in tandem with local trained psychologists and music producers. Participants write, record and professionally produce songs about their emotions and experiences. Within this process it helps give back the survivors their sense of identity as it starts the healing individually and as a community.
Many of the recorded songs get played on local radio stations which then helps empower the artists in their recovery and also sends a message to others in the community that they are not alone.

Humanitarian Innovation Fund Names Panzi’s and Make Music Matter’s Healing in Harmony Music Program Winner on the “Journey to Scale”

Panzi Foundation in partnership with Canadian NGO Make Music Matter, plans to expand music therapy program for survivors of sexual violence

Winnipeg, Canada (October 18, 2016) – The Panzi US partnership with Make Music Matter, and our colleagues at Panzi Foundation DRC grows stronger every day. The holistic healing model incorporates innovation and medical research with groundbreaking programs, like our “Healing in Harmony” music therapy program. Participants are survivors of sexual violence, abandoned children, vulnerable community members, and Panzi staff. Together, they are are treated as artists, not patients – and they own their music.

Executive Director Naama Haviv said, “We are honored to work with Darcy Ataman, an incredible innovator, and our dedicated and inspiring team in Bukavu. Healing in Harmony, at its core, has potential for transformational change, not just in women’s lives and in communities, but in the broader community of practice. We stand ready to work with the Humanitarian Innovation Fund on our Journey to Scale.”

It continues to be an honor to work alongside Panzi Foundations as we use the healing power of music together to help the survivors of sexual violence and embolden Dr. Mukwege’s holistic healing model.”, said Darcy Ataman, Founder and CEO, Make Music Matter.

– 30 –


21 April 2016

For Immediate Release

Contact: Darcy Ataman, +1 204-298-0119,


Founder and Medical Director of Panzi Hospital and Foundations, Dr. Denis Mukwege, Named to Time 100 List of Most Influential People in the World


(New York, NY) TIME named Panzi Founder, Dr. Denis Mukwege, PhD, to the 2016 TIME 100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The girls and women of Congo, and survivors of sexual and gender based violence in every corner of the world, have a champion. Dr. Denis Mukwege is a pioneer of medical and psychosocial healing, integrated with education and vocational training, safe transitional housing, legal assistance, and social, familial, and community reintegration.

His tireless efforts on behalf of some of the most vulnerable people in the world inspires, and informs our work with our colleagues at Panzi Hospital and Panzi Foundation DRC.

“Make Music Matter is proud to be a partner with Dr. Mukwege and Panzi Foundations for our innovative Music Therapy Program, implemented with the support of the staff at Maison Dorcas.

While Dr. Mukwege heals survivors physically we are able to work with survivors, vulnerable women, children and Panzi staff to use the healing power of music to recover psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually from traumatic past experiences” says Darcy Ataman, Make Music Matter Founder and CEO.

The full TIME 100 list and related tributes appear in the May 2 issue of TIME, available on newsstands on Friday, April 22, and now at


Follow us on Twitter @mmm_org and on Facebook at: using #PanziStrong and #FemmeForte and @TIME for updates about the list on Twitter, and Instagram using #TIME100


08 March 2016

For Immediate Release


Panzi Hospital and Foundations, Make Music Matter Commemorate International Women’s Day with Release of New EP featuring Guest Artist Timbuktu

(Los Angeles, CA and Winnipeg, Canada) Featuring guest artist  Timbuktu, the third album from Panzi’s groundbreaking Music Therapy Program reaches a new level of artistry, with powerful, evocative songs about women’s experiences in Congo. This new EP, “I Also Have a Dream” features four tracks, including the powerful “Mon corps n’est pas une arme,” or “My Body is Not a Weapon.”

“The artists are driving the session. With the help of Jojo and Justin, the producer and psychologist respectively, these artists are ready to go. They are engaged. They have ideas and are ready to create. It is, of course, an honor to host an artist of Timbuktu’s caliber – but more so to witness the collaboration in this community of artists.” said Darcy Ataman, Founder and CEO of Make Music Matter who recently returned from five weeks at the Panzi Hospital and Foundations’ campus in Bukavu, DRC.

Naama Haviv, Executive Director of Panzi’s US foundation said, “Music more than heals us – it helps us to heal each other. We are honored Timbuktu, along with our partners at PMU, were able to visit the music therapy program at Panzi. We’re very excited to share the music from his powerful collaboration with the artists in our program. This EP represents more than what it possible, it is an expression of restored humanity.”

Working in tandem with a trained psychologist and music producer, Panzi’s groundbreaking Music Therapy program brings together survivors of sexual violence, vulnerable community members, and children for a healing journey by writing, recording, and professionally producing songs about their experiences.

The Music Therapy program is a collaboration between Panzi Foundation USA, Panzi Foundation DRC, and Make Music Matter. We are deeply grateful to the Humanitarian Innovation Fund for its ongoing support of the program.

The copyright for all lyrics and music are held by the artists who have given the Panzi Hospital and Foundations and Make Music Matter permission to share and disseminate the songs on their behalf. The music is available on Soundcloud. Lyrics and production information may be found here, and will be provided upon request. Panzi Foundation DRC staff and information may be found here.




January 18, 2016


Vivid and Compelling, New Music Highlights Resilience and Faith

(Los Angeles, CA and Winnipeg, Canada) The Panzi Hospital and Foundations and Make Music Matter, with support from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund released the second album from their joint music therapy program today. “My Body is Not a Weapon” (français: Mon corps n’est pas une arme) presents a vivid and compelling voice for the artists who began their journey at Panzi Hospital as patients, many of whom are survivors of sexual violence.

Make Music Matter CEO Darcy Ataman said, “I am immensely excited to share the second album from our music therapy program at Panzi. We are proud to witness the patients transform into artists. Through this program we witness the inherent healing power of music.”

The title track, “My Body is Not a Weapon” features Swedish musician and rapper, Timbuktu, who spent time at Panzi Hospital and worked directly with participants in the music therapy program, and visited with Sweden’s PMU, one of Panzi’s partner organizations.

Naama Haviv, Executive Director of Panzi’s USA Foundation focused on the power of the program not only for the patients, artists, and Panzi staff but also “how the impact of this program will strengthen the fabric of families and communities.”

Haviv continued, “This program contributes significantly to results in our overall holistic healing model, as envisioned by Dr. Denis Mukwege. Medical treatments, followed by psychosocial care and innovative therapies like music therapy, and the literacy and vocational training, microfinance, legal assistance, and other components we provide, heal so much more than one person. The music from this program is more than inspiring. It’s life affirming.”

Make Music Matter’s Ataman noted the impact could be felt at community concerts held at Panzi, where the artists performed on two separate occasions. “Being in the room, witnessing their resilient strength and sharing in that moment for them as artists, reinvigorates the program and renews all our spirits.”

The copyright for all lyrics and music are held by the artists who have given the Panzi Hospital and Foundations and Make Music Matter permission to share and disseminate the songs on their behalf. The music is available on Soundcloud. Lyrics and production information may be found here, and will be provided upon request. Panzi Foundation DRC staff and information may be found here.




HIF logo     panzipr

July 7, 2015


Panzi Foundation USA and Make Music Matter Collaborate at Panzi Hospital’s Maison Dorcas

(LOS ANGELES, CA) Panzi Foundation USA has embarked upon an innovative music therapy program to support psychosocial healing for survivors, vulnerable community members, children, and staff with its partners at Make Music Matter. Supported with funding from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, “Parce Que J’ai Mal,” (Because I Hurt) is the debut song from this program.

The Executive Director of Panzi Foundation USA, Naama Haviv, said “Through our partnership with the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, we are honored and excited to share the music and lyrics written by the survivors in our aftercare program at Panzi Hospital’s Maison Dorcas facility.”

She continued, “The true innovation of this program is that the women, children, and staff at Panzi are treated not as patients but as artists; creating, writing, and recording professionally-produced songs. “Parce Que J’ai Mal,” is the first of several songs that will be released, all of them powerful reflections of the healing journey our participants at Panzi have embarked upon.”

Darcy Ataman, Founder and CEO, of Make Music Matter said, “The ability of music to re-stitch the soul and deliver a message is timeless. The intersection of creativity, inspiration, and cultural change is critical to healing not only the individual but the families and communities where it is produced.

“The program is led by local Congolese producers and psychologists, working to implement this new therapeutic music model with the survivors at Maison Dorcas. Their innate resilience shines in their powerful, sincere songs. Our goal is to share their inspiring strength, and show how the greater holistic healing model envisioned by Dr. Denis Mukwege is driven by each woman.”

“Parce Que J’ai Mal” translates to ‘Because I’m in Pain.’ It is a profound expression of a survivor reckoning with the physical and psychosocial impact, and the search for a path to healing. Panzi Foundation USA and Make Music Matter produced lyric videos in English and French. The videos appear on the Panzi Foundation USA YouTube channel. MP3s and additional media are available upon request.


Lyrics in French and English below.

English Lyric Video:
French Lyric Video:

Editor’s Note: The Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) is a non-profit grant making facility supporting organisations and individuals to identify, nurture and share innovative and scalable solutions to the challenges facing effective humanitarian assistance. Visit for more information.

The Humanitarian Innovation Fund is a programme managed by ELRHA (Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance) and co-funded by aid from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).


Solange, Sandra, Pascaline, Irene

Jeune Dorcas


Tempo: 100 bpm

Key: G

French Lyrics:
1. Chaque jour de ma vie
Je me sens trahi par mon image

Chaque fois quand je me regarde
Dans un miroir Je perds espoir

Il y a tant de larmes qui ont coulés sous mes Joues chaque soir

j’ai peur du noir
J’ai peur d’être seule sur une route pavée d’imprévus

R/ Alors je me noie, noie, noie noie seul
Je me cache loin, loin de tout
Parce que j’ai peur.

2. Et souvent je voile ma souffrance par un rire ou par un sourire

Et si vous saviez combien je souffre
A cause de mes souvenirs

Je ne vois plus d’avenir
Et quand je parle de ma vie
Je ne vois que des sourds qui m’entourent

Comment oublier
comment avancer
Comment stopper tous ces viols

R/ Alors je me noie, noie, noie noie seul
Je me cache loin, loin de tout
Parce que j’ai mal.
English Lyrics:
Every day of my life
I feel betrayed by my image

Each time
When I look myself in the mirror
I lose faith

Each night
So many tears have flowed down my cheeks

I’m afraid of the dark
I’m afraid to be alone on the road
paved with the unexpected.

So I drown, drown, drown myself
I hide faraway, from
everything because I’m afraid

2. And I often buckle my suffering with a laugh or a smile

And if you knew how much I’m suffering
because of my memories

I don’t have faith in the future
and when I talk about my life,
I only feel the deafness around me

How to forget
How to move on
How to stop rapes

so I drown, drown, drown myself
I hide faraway from everything
because I’m in pain

This statement is also available in French. Interview or speaking engagement requests for Dr. Mukwege may be submitted via email or telephone to Elizabeth Blackney,, 541.390.1913. Panzi Foundation USA is a 501(c)3 organization, founded in 2010 by Dr. Denis Mukwege to build awareness, and support the work of our partners, primarily the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, DR Congo.

Photography of survivors at the hospital requires special arrangements.

Your continued support of Dr. Mukwege, the Panzi Hospital and Foundations, the survivors and communities makes a profound difference, every day. We are grateful to share this journey with you.

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