covering south kivu

The Committee to Protect Journalists has a great interview with Franchou Namegabe Nabintu, one of the founding members of AFEM, a South Kivu organization dedicated to assisting and training women journalists. AFEM's members broadcast stories on Radio Maendeleo and other outlets throughout the region. They have a particular focus on issues affecting women.

Here's an excerpt from the interview:
"It was not seen as a good thing at first. Women are not supposed to talk in front of men; it was difficult to get started. Any female journalist talking to different personalities and in contact with many people, they were accused of being prostitutes, etc. ...Many people didn't accept the idea that a young lady could speak to a larger audience. It was certainly a challenge to get people to understand that Congolese women had a right to free speech. Due to our experience, other young ladies started to join us."
The last time I was in the offices of Radio Maendeleo, a group of thirty or so women from Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda were just finishing up a two-week training stint sponsored by AFEM. Their passion and intensity is just incredible; even the most casual observer in that room knew that these women are not to be trifled with and that they would get to the truth no matter what else happened. Hats off to Namegabe Nabintu and her colleagues for the fantastic work they do in very difficult circumstances.

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