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Run for Congo Women Team November 16, 2008 Atlanta, Georgia.

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Presentation on theme: "Run for Congo Women Team November 16, 2008 Atlanta, Georgia."— Presentation transcript:

1 Run for Congo Women Team November 16, 2008 Atlanta, Georgia

2 “Revolted by the images transmitted to us day after day from conflict zones, at one time or another we all ask ourselves this simple but crucial question: What can I do about it?” In 2005, while watching an episode of the Oprah show I listened as Nabito, a widow and mother of 12, told the horrible story of what happened the night the Interhamwe came to her home. Zanib Salbi, founder of Women for Women International, was also on that show and told how anyone could make a difference in the life of a Congolese woman for only $27 a month and a one- year commitment. Along with the monthly contribution, sponsors write letters to their “sisters” in Congo. I decided to become a “sister” that day by sponsoring a Congolese woman survivor of war. Nabito’s daughter is now HIV-positive. Her husband left her after the rape. Her second daughter was taken as a sex slave for two weeks. Nabito manages to feed her children by begging.

3 The Democratic Republic of Congo: A Social Problem of Epic Proportions The husband and father is helpless before the militia who cannot protect his wife and/or daughter from the brutality of gang rapes and sexual slavery. The wife and daughter is helpless before the militia who rape, torture, and kidnap them to serve as sexual slaves. The son is helpless before the militia who kidnap them and force them into a life of child soldier; or at the very least, make them endure the horror of watching as their mother and sister are raped and degraded as if they were animals.

4 Run for Congo Women is Born In Portland, OR, Lisa Shannon saw the Oprah show too and decided to not only sponsor a sister, but train and dedicate a 30-mile trail run to the Congolese women. Lisa raised $28,000 and sponsored 80 women through her run. I began corresponding with Lisa in the hope that I could join her efforts. In 2006, Lisa ran again in Portland with 300 other runners. Women in NY, TX, and IL held similar events. In NC, I dedicated and finished a lone run of 12 miles and was able to raise $1,400.

5 Raising Awareness for Women Survivors of War In March 2007, I organized a Run for Congo Women in Hickory, NC, and raised $5,000 and had 122 participating runners. In October 2007, I organized a smaller run on the Morganton, NC Greenway Trail and raised $1,500 and had 15 participants. In 2008, Dr. Davison of the ASU Sociology Dept. and I organized an event for the Boone Greenway Trail and raised $450 with the assistance of 30 runners.

6 Social Policies Advocacy Project: Atlanta Run for Congo Women Team: November 16, 2008/ZOOMA Unsuccessful in establishing a Run for Congo Women in Atlanta; therefore decided to form a “team” to run and raise awareness. Team would participate in the existing event entitled ZOOMA whose focus was on women, their health and well-being. I felt their goals walked hand-in-hand with the vision and goals I had in mind for the Congo team.

7 Planning, Preparation, Advertising Enrolled in ZOOMA as RFCW Team Captain. Listed team on website. Contacted WFW and requested the team be posted on the RFCW website. Prepared letter of introduction to prospective team members. Prepared donation letter. Prepared invitation to “Team Luncheon.” Trained for four months to participate in the half- marathon. Atlanta, GA, Sunday, November 16th — Join the "Run for Congo Women Team" as they enter the ZOOMA 5k/Half-marathon and devote this morning's run to raising awareness for women and children in the Congo. If interested, please contact Robin Potawsky at

8 The Week-end is Finally Here! Hosted team luncheon at friend’s house in Atlanta. Ten ladies participated with Andrea coming from Birmingham, AL, and Adryan driving 12 hours from Houston, TX. Katie and Zinzi came from Emory University to find out how they could raise awareness on their campus.

9 The Atlanta Team Looks to the Future and Raising Awareness Andrea from Birmingham, Adryan from Houston, and Katie and Zinzi from Emory University are planning screenings of The Greatest Silence: Rape in Congo. Katie and Zinzi are also planning a RFCW. Andrea interviewed me for an article to appear in a local magazine. Adryan has invited me to come to Houston and be a part of her screening.

10 Personal Disappointment For months prior to the Atlanta run, I had been training to run the half- marathon. Unfortunately, a week before the run, I developed a sinus infection that “kicked my butt” and after two shots and ten days worth of an antibiotic, my doctor forbade me from running, walking, skipping – well you get it!

11 Huge Surprise! After emailing a reminder that my Atlanta run was only days away, I received a most generous donation from a former employer. A check made payable to Women for Women International for a whopping Five Thousand Dollars!!! A generous benefactor at WFW agreed to match each donation dollar for dollar through November 15 th. The total amount raised for the Congolese women came to $11,500.

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