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International Women’s Day

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In a country that has been deemed one of the worst places to be a woman, girls, women and men walked together, proudly bearing banners and marching to the beat of drums to celebrate International Women’s Day.   “Over 2000 women joined forces in Mumosho. It was wonderful,” wrote Amani, Action Kivu’s/ABFEK’s leader, who has been working with the communities in Kivu and Mumosho in preparation and anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the day. He shared his excitement that local authorities, leaders, and police came to witness the performance of plays and poems that denounced gender based violence.  To engage the men in the fight, they catered their messages in sports speak and sang songs to invite them to jointly end violence on a larger scale.

We’ll share more of the poems, plays and video as we receive them from Amani.  We’re thankful for your support of these strong women, giving voice to their lives, shaping and changing their future.

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Running Marathons for Action Kivu

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Kevin Sites and his finacée Anita Paul are running the Los Angeles Marathon in March, and they’re doing it all in the name of Action Kivu! Each of them is aiming to raise $5000 by March 20th, the day they hit the pavement. But they’re not only competing on the race course, they’re racing to $5000! Who will reach their goal first?

Visit their fundraising page and pick a side – who will you help over the finish line first?

If you’d like to run a road race in order to raise awareness and funds for Action Kivu please contact us. We’d love to partner with you and help you achieve your goal!

Christmas in Mumosho

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Who knew that Santa was a relatively unknown Congolese man with a giant heart?   After Amani heard from the kids ABFEK sends to school that they were too poor to celebrate Christmas or the New Year, he organized a day for the children in Mumosho. 

This year was especially hard for families, as the lack of rain caused a food shortage, denying families the beans they usually survive on this time of year.  As one of the parents on the committee helping to gather and organize the children relayed, “There has been lack of rain. Our beans are not ripe, how do you want us to celebrate Christmas and the New Year? This is the first time in our history, we used to celebrate Christmas by boiling beans and offer some in our churches as symbol of thanking God to have kept us strong up to the end of the year. Is it this time a punishment by God …? We are all hungry.”

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Your financial support helped ease that hunger and add the joy of Christmas for 298 children.  Amani and his helpers passed out packages filled with biscuits, sweets and, as a special gift, toys for 12 of the children who volunteered to be a part of the day by sharing their stories of Christmas and the New Year.  The kids call Amani “Papa Amani,” so in addition to his own six kids, he is the father to 100s.  “These kids are our own!” Amani claims with joy.

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The start of a new year offers a time for great hopes and dreams — the symbolic end of one year allows us to learn from our mistakes, to celebrate the good, to mourn the losses, and to move forward.  From all of us at Action Kivu, we want to thank you for your financial, emotional and practical support this year.
 
Amani writes, “May 2011 bring Joy and Peace to each of us, wherever we may be, that we may each be a source of happiness and peace in our troubled but extraordinary world.”