An appeal from SowHope's President & CEO, Mary Dailey Brown:
May 1, 2017
Throughout my travels, it has become increasingly clear that women are the nurturers of the world and change begins with one woman. During my last visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), I gained a new perspective on the importance of women as nurturers. Did you know that in the DRC, sexual violence has been used as a weapon of war since the early 1990s? Research indicates that around 40% of women living in eastern DRC—where SowHope works—have had the courage to report being raped; the actual percentage of women raped is much higher. Despite this terrible reality, the women manage to keep going for the sake of their children.
One of these resilient women is Marie Claire. I met her in 2009 on my initial visit to the DRC. The first time Marie Claire was kidnapped by the rebel militia, she had 3 children, and her youngest was only 7 months old. She told me that being separated from her baby was the most difficult time in her life. She was held hostage for 7 months before she finally escaped, pregnant with another child. Upon returning to her family and giving birth to the new baby, her husband demanded that she kill the baby. When she refused, he left her. On that first visit, Marie Claire told me that her deepest desire was for her husband to return to her. Since then, he has returned and left again several times, always leaving her with more children to feed and no means of supporting them. When I asked her how many children she has, she said that she has 9 children—7 of whom are still living. This is a devastatingly common way for women to describe their children.
Marie Claire’s life has not been easy, but through SowHope-funded projects, our partners in the DRC have been able to help with both her mental and physical trauma. She now has access to counseling, medical care, and is able to rent land and provide food for her children. She is even sending her children to school! As I said in the beginning, change and prosperity starts with one woman, but it also starts with one donor. As Marie Claire said about support from SowHope: “Trauma never leaves, and poverty creates more stress, but you have given me hope and encouragement.” Do you want to give hope to Marie Claire and women like her?
In the next year, we hope to raise $40,000 to support more women in the DRC. We want to meet women’s needs by: equipping a new birthing clinic, providing startup funds for new microloan and farming groups, and supporting an initiative to increase men’s awareness of the intrinsic value of women. I am asking you to consider giving a donation to accomplish these projects and help women like Marie Claire.
There is a time-limited opportunity to double the impact of your gift, up to $10,000! Thank you for sowing hope and changing the world, one woman at a time.
Mary Dailey Brown
President & CEO
P.S. Please consider making as generous a gift as you can. Remember that your donation will be doubled!