In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8, Global Washington—a Washington-state-based organization with over 140 members working worldwide—honors the struggles, strides, and strength of women across the globe. Many of Global Washington’s members are working to bring equality and equity for women at all socioeconomic levels, and this article will highlight the incredible work of one such organization: HEAL Africa.
The United Nations estimates that more than 200,000 women have experienced sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). For many of us here in the Pacific Northwest, the ongoing conflict in the DRC feels distant and removed from our daily lives. We read articles just like this one in the newspaper, shake our heads, and move along. Perhaps that’s partly the fault of news outlets; there’s no real way to grasp the magnitude of casualties with figures alone.
Read that number again. More than eleven times the population of Monroe. A third of Seattle’s population. It’s overwhelming. However, numbers are representative of individual people who all have their own stories to tell and experiences to share. Many organizations, including Monroe-based HEAL Africa, are focusing on the humanity of the victims of this conflict, and work to make sure they have the tools to lead resourceful and fulfilling lives even after experiencing trauma.
HEAL Africa: Empowerment in the Ashes of Conflict