Friends-- I know this is rare for me to post twice in a day but there is a reason behind it. And I hope you stick with me through the whole post to see its timely importance.
Today I'm happy to have a guest on my blog, my dear friend and founder of Yoga for Congo Women, Ann Richmond. You may remember her in this space from the local YFCW event I hosted here in central PA years ago. Or you may remember her incredible line of homemade soaps that fund aid and support to the women in the Congo.
Well, I'm so very happy to bring her back to share something for all of us; let me let her explain in detail. Please take a minute and catch the vision of this beautiful organization that empowers women in great need halfway around the world...
My name is Ann Richmond. I'm blessed to live in the mountains with my amazing husband, six incredible daughters, and a funny little puppy. My husband and I run a charity called Yoga for Congo Women. We've held this event in cities all over the country, and for the first time, we will be holding it online, so that anyone, worldwide, can participate!
So all of us get mail, email, facebook messages, etc...long, long emails asking us for help.
Most of us really don’t have time for long emails.
But even more than that, we don’t have the capacity to take it. We get emails from charities of all kinds, all of us. We all go through psychic numbing, because the numbers are so immense and the problems are so painful that we physically cannot bear it or fathom it, and we shut it out. Don’t feel guilty…it’s a normal defense mechanism.
We all do it in some way or another.
Since you're busy, I'll just give you the basic facts:
- The war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo began with the Rwandan genocide.
- It is the deadliest war since WWII, and also the most ignored.
- Over 7 million people are dead, with 45,000 more continuing to die each month.
- Innocent women are used as weapons in this war: warring militias compete to be the most brutal, and thus the most feared.
- Thousands of women (ranging from ages 3-80) are gang raped each month.
- Women are forced to watch as family members are kidnapped and killed.
- According to public health researcher Amber Peterman, it is estimated that 1152 women are raped in the DRC every day. That’s four, every 5 minutes. That means that there are already over three million rapes in the Congo. (Link here to her official report, If Numbers Could Scream.)
- Yes, this is happening RIGHT NOW.
- I can't stand it.
One is a tragedy. A million is a statistic. Right?
But what happens to each of those millions of people who is really ONE person, just like you or me?
If your friend was lost, hurt, or alone, you would care deeply, no matter how gruesome their life had turned out.
So today, I'd love to tell you about just one person. One woman. One friend.
Her name is Generose.
Just like me, she had six babies.
And just like me, she had a husband she loved very much.
Just like me, one of her worst fears was that terrible people would break into her home and hurt her family at night. Only for her, it was actually likely to happen. And it did.
You can imagine what happened to her next. And as if that wasn’t enough, her leg was also cut off my the militia (a punishment for crying out). Her husband and son were killed.
In a country the world has left for dead, you and I can only imagine what life was like for her and her remaining children after that.
Luckily, that’s not the end of the story.
Someone in Oregon decided to be her friend. One friend. One person who cared enough to do something.
"I believe God sent me [my sister] to rescue me from my misery." - Generose
As a result, Generose is now happy, healthy, and doing more than most of us do with both our legs.
You could be that friend for someone else.
For one hour, your life could intersect with another life and change it forever.
It just might change you, too.
Please. Let's join together for Yoga for Congo...hear the rest of Generose's story and the stories of others, people in Congo and people like you. Find hope you couldn't have imagined in "the worst place on earth to be a woman." Join us on November 1st for the first-ever Worldwide Yoga for Congo Women Event!
PS - You can visit this page to see more details about the event. Basically, on November 1st, people can visit our website at any time to view the worldwide broadcast. It is free, requires no registration, and lasts one hour only. After, they are free to donate if they choose. As a bonus, anyone who donates receives a free Yoga for Congo beanie from me in the mail.
Thank you so much Ann. Friends, I hope you can find one hour in your day this Saturday to participate in this beautiful, moving, and most importantly, life-changing event. I can promise you that it will change you and change these women who desperately need our help.
Do it for them. Do it for you. This Saturday lets unite!
the sleepy time gal