We are honored and excited to share with you our first Women Witness Congo video.
Women Witness Congo began as a digital storytelling project dedicated to connecting the global community with the women of Congo, their rising leadership and their compelling visions for change.
The project came into being in April 2012 when Alliance for the Earth journeyed to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to bury one of our last Earth Treasure Vases in the heart of Africa. At that time, we were introduced to Congolese leader and World Pulse correspondent Neema Namadamu, who facilitated every aspect of our journey from securing entrance into the vast Itombwe Forest to co-facilitating the media trainings we offered to women in Bukavu.
Here is our first piece, featuring some of the women we met, their stories, and their solutions towards a New Congo.
Watch the Women Witness Congo video here.
This video was made in partnership with World Pulse, an action-oriented media network powered by women from 190 countries. Their mission is to lift and unite women’s voices to accelerate their impact for the world. World Pulse has developed a large-scale action campaign to EndViolence Against Women that includes a Congo focus.
We offer this video to Neema Namadamu and the Maman Shujaa (Hero Women), a growing collective of women who are bringing forth a New Congo — founded and sustained in peace — that honors the rights of women, the rights of indigenous peoples, the rights of nature, and the rights of future generations. It is our great privilege to serve as partner and fiscal sponsor in the U.S. for the Maman Shujaa and their movement for peace.
The Maman Shujaa welcome home Dr. Denis Mukwege
This week, Neema and Jeanette Ruhebuza are representing the Maman Shujaa at the 20th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Neema and Jeanette will be taking their seat at the table and calling for strong commitments and actions from African Union representatives and world leaders to reform and implement policies that empower women to garner equal access to marriage rights, justice, education, employment, services, civic and political leadership roles, and most of all, the chance to live free from war, rape and gender-based violence.
We invite you to join us in standing shoulder-to-shoulder and heart-to-heart with our sisters in Congo who are leading the way to global peace. Please support the Maman Shujaa by:
Thank you. Umoja Ni Nguvu! Together we are strong.
Alliance for the Earth
We gratefully acknowledge editors Doug Gerash and Raji Mandelkorn whose vision and passion sing throughout this piece. Raji co-created the media trainings in Bukavu with Cynthia and Neema. Without her documentary filming skills in Congo, this video would not have been possible.
We deeply thank our friends in Bukavu who opened their hearts and helped us with this project: Neema Namadamu and the Maman Shujaa (Hero Women), Faida Mutula of the Peace and Conflict Resolution Foundation, Amani Matabaro of Action Kivu and Dominique Bikaba of Strong Roots Congo. May the vision of peace that the people of Congo have tended for so long be realized.
Lastly, we bow deeply to Jade Frank and the staff at World Pulse, members of the Threshold Foundation, and our many friends and allies who so generously supported the creation of this digital storytelling through the Women Witness Congo campaign at Indiegogo. Thank you for recognizing that the health and wellbeing of all of our communities is inextricably linked to peace in Congo.