end the silence
Last week I wrote a lot about rape vicitms in the eastern DR Congo. After the film, my former student K asked me if I'd ever directly encountered women and girls who are victims.
I have. I have met elderly women and five-year-old girls and young women who are exactly my age who've endured horrors that most of us cannot imagine.
I write about these women and girls mostly in general terms here, but sometimes you need specifics to fully understand what goes on. The BBC ran a piece last week that details the story of a woman named Zawadi. Please take a minute to read it so you can really know what life is like for hundreds of thousands of women.
Then, if you're wondering how you could give a woman like Zawadi some hope, consider sponsoring a Congolese woman through Women for Women International. Women for Women is a well-respected, US-based charity that pairs women of means with women in need. In Congo, they help rape victims to rebuild their lives through education and skills development so that they can provide for their children. You can sponsor a woman for $27/month.
You can also participate in a local Run for Congo Women, which benefits Women for Women. I love the mission statement of these runs: "Congolese lives matter. The lives of Congolese women are significant. The lives of Congolese children are precious. They have waited far too long. They are worth our effort. We are running to help."