Meeting Date: 28 September 2012

Prepared By: Dr. Victoria Bentley


Empowering Congo Women

Empower Congo Women (ECW) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping war survivors heal, rebuild their lives and prosper in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Our mission is to help people in eastern Congo rebuild the fabric of society, because it has been under siege and disintegrating since the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide were given asylum there in 1995.

We achieve our goal primarily by empowering women through economic development, educating young women, and partnering with community-based agencies on sustainable agriculture projects.

Key things I'd like you to know are:

  • Women are not safe in DRC - it is the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman
  • Rape is epidemic - anywhere from 200,000 to 500,000 women and girls have been raped in the last decade
  • 47,000 people continue to die each month in Congo, mostly women and children from preventable causes
  • The safety and sanctity of village life no longer exists- Congolese culture is in shambles
  • We are all part of the problem due to our dependence on modern technological devices
  • If we don't protest these atrocities, we condone them with our silence
  • We are all one people - their suffering impacts our lives whether we feel it or not

I hope the following video with clips from the film Fighting the Silence helps you better feelthe situation in the Congo.

It's important to understand the suffering in the Congo, but it's even more essential to understand what's behind the conflict. In short, it's your cell phone. The 1st world's thirst for certain minerals used in these "blood phones" is the fuel that keeps this fire burning. Here is an overview of these minerals, how they're used, and how YOU can help.

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