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Join me in my efforts to support Women for Women International!
Congo is often called the worst place on earth to be a woman. Since the start of the Congo conflict—initiated by the Rwandan genocide and subsequent invasion of Congo in the ‘90’s more than 5.4 million people have died and sexual violence continues on an unimaginable scale. The Congolese army, which includes many former militia, is responsible for a huge proportion of the human rights abuses in Eastern Congo, in particular the horrific violence that it has inflicted on women for over a decade. Even in "post conflict" years violence, gang rape, sexual slavery, and torture, dismemberment, and mutilation remain common. More than 400,000 women were raped by a stranger in one year alone (2006-2007).
Your donation to Run for Congo will go to Women for Women International (WFWI) to sponsor women survivors of war in Congo like Generose, a woman whose leg was cut off by militia in front of her children, who were then forced to eat parts of it—the one son who refused, was killed.
Women for Women International is a key partner of Run for Women Congo, The goal of WFWI is to support women in war-torn countries who have suffered unimaginable life events as a result of war. For women in the Congo, brutal gang rape and torture are a daily reality and rape is used as a weapon of war. The mission of Run for Congo and WFWI is to help women survivors of war move from victim to survivor to active citizen through providing women survivors of war with the tools to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Through a yearlong comprehensive program, WFWI provides: aid, rights education, job skills training, trauma counseling, small business development, and provides a sisterhood to women who have suffered such horrific treatment. In addition to this, WFWI provides direct aid, microcredit loans, and other program services to assist women in rebuilding a meaningful and productive way of life.
Your support helps to provide comprehensive support and empowerment through training, awareness, education, personal development, and micro-entrepreneurship that has a long-term, lasting impact on the lives of Congolese women.
Statistics from Women for Women International indicate that women want to return home, fear less and start to work and market their wares. Over 55% of the women say that if they could solve one problem, it would be peace and security. This can only be achieved through events like Run for Congo and programs like WFWI and we can make a difference in the lives of these women- it starts with us, with your donation today. Thank you for your support.
If you would like to read more about the stories and endurance of these Congolese women, I strongly suggest reading Lisa Shannon's life changing book - A Thousand Sisters.