Walking to end violence against women and girls

I have posted before about my upcoming participation in CongoSwim, a unique and inspiring collective action which will culminate on August 25th to send a WAVE of LOVE to women and youth groups working for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  With apologies to my father (he taught me to swim), I will not swim. But I will walk – 1,000 steps for each mile across Lake Tahoe for a total of 22,000 steps – and I will pray.

You can support me by making a tax-deductible donation in my name.

CongoSwim FLYER 8.5 x 11 JPEGMost of us directly benefit daily from the minerals mined in Congo as they are essential to the functioning of our laptops, phones, cars and many other products.  CongoSwim is one way we can support work to end the suffering millions of families are enduring in the international scramble for Congo’s minerals.  CongoSwim takes place on an Orange Day, a call to action from the United Nations campaign to end violence against women and girls.  The specific focus for August 25 is sexual violence in conflict.

If the fundraising effort goes well, up to sixty different Congolese community groups doing vital work, often with extremely limited resources, will be able to receive a grant from Global Fund for Women and Friends of the Congo.  The benefiting groups focus on initiatives to end violence against women and girls, human rights education and advocacy, support to women run businesses, increased girls’ education, youth leadership development and services for people living with HIV/AIDS.  Some of the funds raised also will also benefit the USA Swimming Foundation’s mission of saving lives and building champions-in the pool and in life.

One of the main requests from Congolese youth and women leaders is that we urge our government to demonstrate the political will to support peace and sustainable development in Congo.  Millions of people have died, endured tremendous violence and/or been displaced from their homes as a result of the conflict in eastern Congo. UNHCR reported 13,000 people arriving in one day alone to a single refugee camp after attacks in July.  CongoSwim has developed a simple Advocacy Action for peace.

In support of my participation, please

  • Donate generously.  Every amount matters!  Be sure to specify my name as the participant you are supporting.  You may also mail a check payable to Friends of the Congo with CongoSwim and my name in the memo line.  Every amount matters!  Mail to:
    Friends of the Congo-CongoSwim
    1629 K St., NW Suite 300
    Washington, DC 20006
  • Send a quick, yet critical message to Secretary of State Kerry
  • Ask at least 3 other people you know to donate and advocate through CongoSwim

I am proud take part in CongoSwim because it provides us all the opportunity to address the violation of women’s rights.  I am honored to take part with an amazing community, the youngest is age 3 and the oldest is 92.  Participants include Coco Ramazani, a Congolese survivor of extreme violence who now lives in the US and is speaking out with CongoSwim.

Thank you in advance for supporting this effort.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Current Events, Exercise, Human Rights, United Nations

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