Congo Update from Eve Ensler
My Dear Friends,
I have just returned from Congo. I only wish all of you could have been with me to witness this unfolding, to witness this change, to witness women taking back their lives, their rights. Their future. I am so proud of this movement. I see now what is possible in a whole new way.
Rather than writing a full narrative as things are still gathering in me, I wanted to just send you some basic images, feelings, thoughts...
Reunion with Dr. Mukwege of Panzi hospital....delight and joy beyond what I can articulate. The longer I know him, the more I witness his work, the more moved I am and the more I learn. His heart is intrinsic in the creation of his vision.
The land for City of Joy-the land for our village of healing and empowerment is a walk from the Panzi hospital. It is gorgeous, lush green, in a valley surrounded by hills. There will be ten houses for a hundred women, and a central house for cooking and therapy and classes. There will be a huge garden where women can grow vegetables and fruits they can eat and sell.
Standing on that ground I could feel the energy of a village of joy, a village where raped and terrorized women could stand in safety and find themselves and their way....
This holiday season you can help the women in the DRC:
ABC Carpet & Home has created a V-Day Gift of Compassion - Offer a year of schooling and a safe haven to a survivor of sexual violence and war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and allow a woman to transform her pain to power.
Update On The Stop Raping Our Greatest Resource Campaign
Over the last few months over 1,585 of you have written letters President of DR Congo Joseph Kabila Kabange, urging the Government to do more to stop violence against women and girls and bring perpetrators to justice. This overwhelming amount of support has come from all corners of the world from women and men from different backgrounds, each with their own story but all sharing the common goal of ending violence against the women of the DRC.
One example of true spirit, solidarity and passion surrounding this campaign has come out of the Women's Correctional Center in Illinois. A group of over 65 women inmates wrote letters and created a "Chain of Hope" - linked paper cut-outs on which the women wrote prayers and wishes for the women of the DRC, including the following inspiring messages:
"Smile, you are loved. Instead of looking at the scars, look at how well they heal."
"Women are to be cherished. No man is given life except he come through a woman. A woman is precious and the birth canal sacred. Honor women, restore what has been destroyed, and redeem yourself."
"We're praying here on a daily basis, Hoping to see smiles on your faces,
Stand firm and strong is the thing to do Knowing God loves you will pull you through.
Hold you head up ladies and give a smile. The animals will disappear after a while."
"I will stand up with you, all women of the world, we grow strong together."
Send your own letter to Joseph Kabila Kabange: P.O. Box 3862, New York, NY 10163.
To download a sample letter please visit http://www.vday.org/contents/drcongo/getinvolved