Run for Congo Women, Congo Style

Any of you acquainted with me at all know how important the Congo is to me, and the Run for Congo Women.  The suffering of women there is unimaginable to any of us here.  I have been trying to do all that I can to help them in my own way.

This year, for the first time, Congolese women who have been through the miraculous program that Women for Women offers, and who have been blessed and had their lives changed and saved, are reaching out to other women in the Congo, women who have been raped, tortured, and who have suffered just as they have.  They want to give hope and help to other women, just as it has been given to them.

On February 28th, Congolese women will participate in their first-ever Run for Congo Women.

What love.

I am moved and awed by these women…women who have been through the most horrific things I have ever heard of in my life, now wanting to reach out to other women and help them.

Among them will be this woman, Generose.

 
 (photo by Lisa Shannon)
She seems fine enough, right?
No. 
She has been through the worst I have ever heard.  (To read an article about her, go here.  To see a short video, go here.)  A militia killed her husband, began to rape her, cut off her leg, and killed one of her children.  The story is much worse than that, but the heart of the story is miraculous.  Through her sponsor through the Women for Women program, she has managed to find help and healing, and has been able to support her family.  
Even Generose, with only one leg, will be running with the other Congolese women. 
Before this miraculous event, many small groups are forming for their own runs or walks to show their love and support for the Congolese women and their upcoming run.  
Our family will be walking one mile for Congo Women this Saturday, February 13th.  If you are in the neighborhood, and want to walk along, let me know!  If not, why not gather your daughters, your sisters, your husbands, your friends, and walk with them?  (What a great way, so easy, to show your children that they can do something in the world!)  Or walk/run by yourself!  These women have been through so much, and have suffered so tremendously.  This is such a small thing that we can do for them.  
If you do decide to participate, please comment on my blog with information on what you did, or a link to pictures on your blog!  I’d love to see!  I’ll also let you know how you can send the pictures to Lisa Shannon, founder of Run for Congo Women, who is in the Congo right now.  Before their run on the 28th, Lisa will be sharing the photos and messages of support with the Congolese women, to let them know how loved they truly are.  
Donations are welcome, if you like, and can be made at this page, but the main goal of this event is to show Congolese women that they are special, that we care, and that they are loved.

7 Responses

  1. Nicole

    count me in. I'd be honored to do something with my family saturday in their honor. keep up the vision…

    February 11, 2010 at 1:29 am

  2. Kirk

    I read about Generose – truly a miracle that she's still alive. And a miracle that she's bringing her hope and fortitude to bear, now! What a woman! Thanks for bringing this effort to the forefront! –Mom

    February 11, 2010 at 5:18 am

  3. Debra Domenici

    Ann, you and your family are such a wonderful example to our family. Wow, what a life that Generose and other women in Congo have lived. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of them. I hope that your family enjoyed your run today and the weather cooperated with you. We love you and miss you!!

    February 14, 2010 at 6:06 am

  4. Jade

    The strength and courage of the Congo women are inspiring and humbling. They truly define resilience and beauty. I will run in Okinawa, Japan on Feb. 27 to honor their journey. Please tell these amazing women thank you for sharing their story with others and that we LOVE and support them.

    February 24, 2010 at 1:14 pm

  5. Ann

    Jade,I am thrilled at your response and will pass your message along! Thank you so very much!Ann

    February 24, 2010 at 3:53 pm

  6. Ann

    Jade, message from Ann Shannon, who is heading much of this up:"Thank you, JADE!!! We are literally circling the world with love and encouragement for Congo and Congolese women! Would you like us to send you a Run for Congo Women tag to print out and wear (we can’t get a t-shirt to you that fast!)"If so, email her at portlandcongorun@yahoo.com.Thank you!!

    February 25, 2010 at 6:33 pm

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