There are things that you come across in your life that will dramatically impact the direction your life is headed. In late 2007 I came across mine, an article written by Eve Ensler (http://www.glamour.com/magazine/2007/08/rape-in-the-congo), which introduced me to the daily horrors some women and girls in Congo face, which moved me to find a way to take action to raise awareness to this massive issue of sexual violence and find support to help these women in their fight for survival.
Tonight I received a very touching voicemail from Eve Ensler and was moved again to my core and reminded of why I set off on this campaign. I truly feel if things are ever to change in DRC, it will take these survivors to help drive that change. Yet, in order to do so, these women need to be healthy and empowered to continue their quest for survival and it is why it is so important that organizations such as V-DAY and International Medical Corps receive support in order for them to continue to make huge strides with these women and their communities.
Last night I was with International Medical Corps at the showing of Ruined in Berkeley and I heard the gasps and shock in the crowd during certain more graphic portions of the play, as they watch in disbelief the stories of some of the women characters. I was again reminded of how I first felt when I found out that thousands of women and girls were being raped, lives destroyed, and communities broken in DRC.
The women of DRC are survivors, fighters, symbols of strength and inspiration. I have met some of these survivors and their stories and tears and perseverance to survive will stay with me forever. I am eternally grateful to Eve for that article, as I might not be here today without it.
If something moves you so deeply at some point in your life, never ignore it, as it may set you in a journey you may have never expected and take you to where you were meant to be.
Eve-thank you for your words, your inspiration, your passionate work to help women, your bravery to speak out and educate us. Thank you for working hard to show the world that women and girls should be respected and valued and that they can be the future leaders of change.
In every community, there is work to be done.
In every nation, there are wounds to heal.
In every heart, there is the power to do it.
We start trekking to Everest Base Camp on April 1 and I leave the US in about 24hrs to begin my journey East!
Hugs everyone and hope you will support us in our journey and cause!