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Congo Update from Eve

6/25/2009

Congo Update From Eve

Dear Friends,
It is almost 4AM and I am awake in Bukavu. I find myself filled with so many images of the recent days here. I think being in the Congo, one is forced to hold the extreme duality of this century in almost every breath and image. I find myself alternatively believing we are at the beginning of real change and revolution and simultaneously at the end of all possibility.

I am there in Kinshasa where 5 brave women survivors break the silence in front of 500 people -- members of Parliament, Senators, activists. There, as they tell their stories, Janet limping to the microphone on a cane as she vividly tells of how they ripped her legs over her head so violently when they raped her they made her permanently handicapped. I listen to the women form words around such cruelty and am simultaneously crushed by the horror and how easily one becomes accustomed to atrocity. How 500 people politely listen to such crimes against women's bodies and do not stand, scream, rush into the streets demanding justice.

In Kinshasa I meet a core of totally empowered and engaged V-Day activists (many men) changing their communities, educating and mobilizing for change. In the same city on the same day, when we address the Parliament, I meet strong empowered women members of government like Eve Bazaiba and Mama Batchu and then there are others who are surprised to hear there is a war still going on in the East.

I see brilliant Congolese actors performing The Vagina Monologues at the Grand Hotel in front of hundreds, singing African songs, dressed in colorful panges. Their performance breaks taboos and frees a discourse that feels like true liberation.

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DONATE to Stop Raping Our Greatest Resource: Power to Women and Girls in Democratic Republic of Congo >

For more information on the STOP RAPING OUR GREATEST RESOURCE Campaign please visit www.vday.org/drc.

Read Eve's Commentary in The Guardian

Read Eve's recent Commentary piece "An Apathetic Greedy West Has Abandoned War-torn Congo" in The Guardian (UK):

Despite an emerging women's movement, the rape of women and girls continues as the UN looks the other way.

In 1996, I was sitting with 20,000 grieving women in a stadium in Tuzla, Bosnia. The women were holding photographs of husbands, fathers, brothers, sons and boyfriends who had been disappeared a year earlier in a place called Srebrenica, a UN enclave where Bosnian refugees had turned over their protection to UN peacekeepers who stood passively by as 10,000 men were marched off to be slaughtered. I will never forget the wailing of the women in that stadium as they cried out, demanding the international community explain how they could have allowed this horror to take place.

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V-Day Apex Creates Animoto Video

In 2009, a group of Apex, North Carolina women and businesses united to organize V-Day Apex 2009. Led by Somer Cooper, V-Day Apex produced a fashion show, two silent auctions and a V-Day benefit production of The Vagina Monologues to raise money for The Apex Police Department's efforts to provide assistance to survivors of violence by creating a "safe" interview room and comprehensive training for their officers.

V-Day Apex has created a short video from their events through Animoto, a web application that helps users create music video style online clips.

View The V-Day Apex Video >

In 2009, Anitmoto.com launched Animoto For A Cause, to bring attention to non-profit groups working throughout the world, offering organizations and community activists free and unlimited access to the full range of Animoto's services. V-Day is happy to be a part of Animoto For A Cause, which enables our activists, such as V-Day Apex, to illustrate their activism with a dynamic, multimedia twist and reach more people with our message to end violence against women and girls.

Create your own Animoto V-Day Video >

View V-Day's Video >

READ more V-Mail back issues >