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Saturday, November 29, 2008

"OVERCOMING POVERTY IS NOT A GESTURE OF CHARITY - IT IS AN ACT OF JUSTICE"

THE TITLE IS A QUOTE OF NELSON MANDELA

Every day that I get hungry because I haven't gotten something to eat while working on a chore or a project, I think of those who only get one snack a day. I know how much better I feel when I take a bite when I am hungry, how it changes my whole outlook, how it affects my mental health as well as my physical being. People who live outdoors, in refugee camps, in insecure places every moment of the day and night don't have the luxury of making this simple change by having an easy bite to eat.

We who are not mindful of our simple luck to have food to eat because we can go to the grocer, drive home with bags of food and put our bread, fruit and cheese....in a refrigerator would serve our own lives better by being mindful. My current sponsored sister in Rwanda (www.womenforwomen.org) has no running water, no electricity, no education and she is raising her children and others' children because there is a need for her to do so.

It is easy to think how woeful our lives are even when we have our basic needs met.

The luxury of having a bed with blankets, food for my body and health is enough to be grateful.


The text below is from www.charity.org

According to the World Bank, 1 billion people currently exist on less than $1.25 a day. For those in developing countries, such absolute poverty is a meager existence. Some are even forced to take desperate measures: In Haiti, people are eating patties made from mud.

Every year, we learn of the personal stories of hundreds of individuals and families who live in absolute poverty—portraits of hardship, hunger, lack of clean water to drink, no access to schools or medical care that are both heart wrenching and inspiring. We won’t soon forget their faces and stories, and we're sure that you won’t either.

Nelson Mandela once said, “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice.” Please join Global Impact in righting this injustice by giving a gift of help and hope this holiday season.

Asha, Sudan (Darfur) Shakila and Rahmutullah, Afghanistan
Bosco, Uganda Solange, Rwanda
Judith, Haiti Village of Nga Yoke Kaung, Myanmar
Rita, Ghana

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World Food Program doing our work for us, but still needs our help
Text by Youtube poster:

24 November 2008 - WFP is increasing its food distributions, not only in the six camps for displaced people near the regional capital, Goma, but also in three camps to the north-west, in territory held by Laurent Nkunda's rebels.

The fighting between the rebels and the Congolese army has heightened the need for food assistance, as hundreds of thousands flee their homes, leaving behind their farms and belongings.

WFP is providing food assistance to a total of 145,000 displaced people near Goma and has completed distributions to almost 100,000 people in Rutshuru and Kiwanja, in rebel-held territory.

A further three camps in rebel-held areas in the Masisi region have received WFP food over the past week. About 25,000 displaced people in two Kitchanga camps and 11,000 in Kilolirwe were provided with rations that will last 30 days.

Persistent insecurity

Despite a pull-back by rebels in the north-east, the persistent insecurity is preventing WFP from reaching many of the displaced. Heavy rains have also hampered food convoys from reaching the towns of Masisi and Lushebere, which are virtually cut off.

We urge all parties in the conflict to put in place mechanisms that will allow humanitarian staff safe and unhindered access to people who are in desperate need, said Carlos Veloso, WFPs Emergency Coordinator for the eastern DRC crisis.

WFP estimates that a total of 1.3 million displaced people and host family members are in need of food assistance in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

for more info and updates go to:
www.wfp.org


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The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo
Uploaded by WMMNYC

Rape Victims' Words Help Jolt Congo Into Change

Much of the problem in the Democratice Republic of Congo is an extension of the Rwandan genocide. Some of those who committed the Rwandan genocide went over the border to the Congo when they knew they had to run from Rwanda. And there they continue their sick behavior.

When genocides aren't tended to (Sudan, for example) peace won't just one day "break out". Attention and accountability are needed.

Paralyzed by Fear –
Women Hope for the Violence to End

November 19, 2008, Goma — “I am afraid of the fighting reaching my area. Like all women, I am afraid of being raped,” says Jeanette Yamwerenye, one of the women, who has made it to the Women for Women training in Goma on this November morning. At the age of 28 she has spent half her life surrounded by conflict, poverty, hunger, disease, and uncertainty. Twice Jeanette had to pack her few belongings and run from her home. The last time she was heavily pregnant and gave birth while fleeing the fighting.

Like all women in our program Jeanette is paralyzed with fear of violence and concern over displaced family members. “My parents in law are very old and we don’t know where they are.” From the people who have fled the area north of Goma, where violent clashes have displaced more than 250,000 people, she hears that women and children are being killed.

The women in the classroom are poor and afraid. They don’t want to lose the small gains they have made toward a stable life over the last year. Completing the Women for Women International program is a way to a self-sustaining life that might enable them to support their families with the skills they have learnt.

Marie Jeanne Kabuo is 25 and looks after three children. Last year she was abducted while working on her fields by armed men. They tried to rape her but she managed to escape. Jeanne came to Goma and joined the Women for Women program.

"If the fighting reaches us, people will get killed, women and girls will be raped," she says. "I am praying because I know that there will be so many orphans, widows, and so many people, who had their property looted."

Source: www.womenforwomen.org/global-initiatives-helping-women/help-women-congo

There are Thousands of Women in the DR Congo Who Desperately Need Your Help, Like Honorata.

A Journey from Rape Survivor to Advocate

Honorata Kizende’s past is marked by incredible hardship, horrific violence, social isolation, and near death destruction. And yet, it is also an account of survival, strength, and testimony to human strength.

Honorata had been a sex slave and kept in captivity by armed militias in eastern Congo for almost a year. She was repeatedly gang-raped in public. After she escaped, the stigma of rape made her family reject her. Alone and destitute she found refuge in a friend’s house and was raped again when armed men looted the property. This time her daughter had to watch.

Today Honorata Kizende runs a small tie-die business with a group of women who pooled their resources. And she has decided to break the silence. Honorata is advocating for an end to sexual violence and calls on members of her community to restore the rights of women who have gone through rape and stigmatization.

Source: www.womenforwomen.rg/global-initiatives-helping-women/help-women-congo

Read her story, a journey from victim of sexual slavery to active citizen and advocate.

New York Times: Honorata Speaks Out Against Rape in the Congo

With Your Help Today Women for Women International Can Continue Its Success in the DR Congo

We are making enormous strides in DR Congo, but our work is far from done. The women are filled with hope that you will help them continue to rebuild their lives. You're not only changing the course of one woman's life – you're support and generosity improves entire villages and communities!

In the last two years, we have expanded our program to reach remote villages and have now served over 21,066 women and 113,756 family and community members since our start. Women for Women International program in DR Congo is working:

  • 72% have a greater awareness of their rights;
  • 76.9% report an improved relationship with their family;
  • 80.7% have an improved economic situation;
  • 81.1% of women expressed increased self-confidence; and
  • 80% have greater participation in family decisions;
  • 81.3% have greater participation in family decisions;

"This program has dared me to hope of having a house, of living in peace, of reclaiming my dynamism, my dignity.... I would like to be someone of value again." - Honorata

Source: www.womenforwomen.rg/global-initiatives-helping-women/help-women-congo

Sponsor a Woman Now

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