A Note of Thanks from Eve
Dear V-Day Family,
I have just arrived in Kigali, Rwanda. Tomorrow, I will embark on a five hour drive over the border to Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. I will spend Thanksgiving in Bukavu, where, together with local women, Dr. Denis Mukwege of Panzi Hospital (which provides life-saving surgeries for rape and torture survivors), advocate Christine Schuler Deschryver, and UNICEF staff, I will break ground on the City of Joy, a safe haven for one hundred women and girls who have healed from horrific rape and fistula injuries. The City of Joy will be a transformative safe house where women and girls will participate in educational, leadership development and income-generating opportunities.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have done and continue to do to make the City of Joy possible. All day long, throughout the night, your emails and calls do not end. I have always known that many people care deeply about women the world over. But this outpouring of love and care has been profound. Your response to the sexual violence taking place in the Congo has already invigorated the spirit of Congolese women and girls, who have survived the unthinkable.
I want to invite you to join me in New Orleans on April 11 and 12, 2008 for V TO THE TENTH, V-Day's mega two-day anniversary celebration at the New Orleans Arena and Louisiana Superdome. We will celebrate V-Day's victories, honor your work and commitment, and usher in the next decade of V-Day. We will also celebrate the women and girls of New Orleans and the Gulf South and officially launch V-Day's 2009 spotlight campaign on the Women of the Democratic Republic of Congo. I am very excited to tell you that Dr. Denis Mukwege of Panzi Hospital will be in New Orleans for this historic event. Thousands are expected at this V-Day event of the decade!
I want you to know that wherever I go, I go carrying your words, your messages of love and your solidarity. If you've ever doubted whether your voice can make a difference, let what is taking place in the Congo be a testament to the fact that it can. As you gather with your friends and families this year to celebrate Thanksgiving know that I am giving thanks for you and for all that you have done these past ten years in the name of ending violence against women and girls everywhere.
See you in New Orleans...
With deep gratitude,
November 20, 2007