Saturday, April 27, 2013

Build Hope

(*Update April 27, 2013- $250 out of $1500 needed to go to DRC.  Here is where you can read why I want to go.*)


Little Chikurru, shortly after coming to the orphanage (mom died giving birth to her and her twin sister).

I thought I would share this incredible work of a friend of mine in eastern DRC.  This is so close to my heart because the orphanage we support is full of little ones who have all lost their mothers, most in childbirth.  I want to support projects that support women and give them the care they need to have a safe birth.  Dominique V-Plaza shared on my blog here.  And here is her website.  Please check out the video and the beautiful congolese women singing in the video.  Taken from her website:

Who are we?
Channel Initiative is a startup organization, committed to responding to the urgent needs of the poorest, unserved, most vulnerable communities worldwide. We do this through creating a forum for nonprofit organizations, mission-minded businesses, churches, individuals, and activists around the world to collaborate and channel resources into effective, locally-owned solutions. Channel Initiative's pilot project is called Build Hope.  Build Hope is a campaign to improve access to health care and save women's lives in a rural community in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Together with our local partner: Panzi Hospital, we will:
1. Build a one-stop health center in Kilungutwe, where women can receive emergency obstetric care and a comprehensive range of services after being raped.
2. Empower women and families in the community through providing health education and resources on reproductive health, child-care and, basic family health.
3. Resource and train the community's traditional birthing attendants and support already existing health infrastructure
4. Protect survivors of rape by ensuring access to all the care they need in one location, free of cost.
5. Strengthen the community by conducting public health campaigns targeting: malaria, diarrhea and water-borne diseases.

What do we want?
There is a desperate need for women in rural communities to be able to access life-saving medical care without putting themselves at risk of rape and death by traveling to urban clinics.
In February 2013, we began our project to address women’s health in the Kilungutwe village in the Mwenga territory, under the umbrella of projects operated by the prolific Panzi Hospital and its founder: Dr. Denis Mukwege.
Dr. Denis Mukwege is a highly skilled gynecologist, the recipient of several international awards, and a three time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. He founded Panzi Hospital with the assistance of UNICEF as a response to the health-challenges facing Congolese women.
Today, the Panzi Hospital is an internationally renowned health-care facility that has revolutionized gynecological care for rape-survivors and other women in Eastern Congo. It is one of the few health-facilities in the entire country with the capacity to perform fistula-repair surgery, and is responsible for several large-scale women’s rights and public health campaigns in the region.
Panzi Hospital has committed to taking the lead in improving access to health-care throughout the DR Congo for survivors of sexual violence and women in general. It is this vision to ensure that women in the farthest flung reaches are able to access care, that Channel Initiative is determined to champion.

Why should you help us?
Women are being targeted in the Congolese conflict that has lasted for over fifteen years. Rape is used as a systematic weapon of war, and each day approximately 45 women are raped. In addition to this, women remain at extreme risk, especially in villages where there are no hospitals or health facilities. With your support, we can help change the reality for women in the rural community of Kilungutwe, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, by ensuring access to emergency obstetric care, and care for survivors of sexual violence. Together we can start making strides toward a hopeful and promising future for Congolese women. 

And what will this do?
Your support will help us cover the costs of dong a training seminar in the village for 100 women. This seminar will teach women about their menstrual cycle, and how to space their births naturally. Thanks to some kind supporters, we are prepared to distribute over 100 packages with Cycle Beads and reusable sanitary pads, but resources are nothing if women are not empowered with knowledge on how to use them. You can help us accomplish this!

10 Days for life.
There is still so much light and life in the DRC. We have so many reasons to hope and to continue on! That’s what we want this to be: 10 days, for life, love, peace, triumph and hope. We want to celebrate life and encourage everyone who supports us that there are still countless reasons to continue on building hope with us!

Not just about a dollar
We can be honest and say that your financial support will help us a great deal! But this campaign is about so much more than just a dollar! Here are three great ways you can join in, even if you're not able to give:

1. Just celebrate with us! Encourage everyone that the DRC is not just a "heart of darkness" but a place we can be hopeful for! Share the link to our campaign page!
2. We are always in need of volunteer help. Contact us if you're interested in donating your time!
3. Coordinate your own campaign! You might not be able to give, but maybe you know people who might be. Get creative! Contact us for help with creating your own campaign to support Build Hope!  Please visit their website here.  

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