Wednesday, 29 July 2009


Apologies for my post-holiday silence, but I have been hit with a serious bout of the blues. To revert to my most British self WHAT THE HELL IS WITH THIS WEATHER?

I have spent the last few days planning my escape to a French gite, desperately moisturising four times a day in a failing attempt to maintain my tan and being sharply reminded on an hourly basis of the joys of office politics.

Today I want to use my little patch of internet space to direct you to this eloquent and impassioned piece written by Tania Kindersley. The contrast between the life I lead, worrying about tans and office tantrums, and the one of these women do sometimes shames me. I know that shouldn't be the case, instead I just need to keep talking about these things.

The cause of the women of the Congo is one that desperately needs support. Of course there are many others that do also but, as Tania says, for some reason these women seem to be forgotten - perhaps the horror of what they have been through and are still going through is too awful to bear. I know I have been guilty of turning the page when reading about the brutality and barbaric treatment of these women.

This morning the Today programme featured the story of Zawadi who regular listeners first heard of last year. This is a woman whose entire family, but for one daughter, were murdered in front of her eyes. A woman who was repeatedly gang raped. A woman who was forced to murder her own baby. Today programme listeners have donated a total of £5k and Zawadi, along with 16 other women, have been given the medical treatment needed to allow them to live in some kind of comfort following the trauma they have been through. The piece this morning just reminded me how important it is we keep giving, and that just a little money can mean the difference between a life destroyed forever by the most horrifying and humilating experience or one that can mean a future with some sort of hope for these women.

I am not asking you to give, just to read the piece Tania. But of course if you want to give here is how:

Taken from BBC Today Programme Website
Below are a list of charities who work in Congo and deal with survivors of sexual violence. Any contributions to these charities would be greatly appreciated.

CARE International
CARE International supports women’s organisations and village leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to develop strategies for ending violence against women.
CARE International10-13 Rushworth StreetLondon SE1 0RB

Christian Relief NetworkCRN deals regularly with the Panzi Hospital CRN, Christian Relief Network
Tel: (+47) 22 01 07 00

Medecins Sans Frontieres
Working in the eastern Congo, treating victims of sexual violence and providing healthcare for displaced people.
67-74 Saffron Hill
Tel: 02074046600

Merlin 2008
Merlin has a project in the Democratic Republic of Congo that helps the many victims of sexual violence there.
Registered charity 1016607
12th Floor, 207 Old Street, London EC1V 9NR
Tel: 0207 014 1712
Email: or

Public enquiries (re donations etc) Tel: 0870 410 5025

The Panzi Hospital (for Victims of Sexual Violence)
8th Community of Pentecostal Churches in Central Africa (CEPAC)
Medical Department. GENERAL REFERRAL HOSPITAL OF PANZI, PO Box: 266 BUKAVU South Kivu Province,Democratic Republic of Congo

Save the Children
Save the Children runs a huge programme in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo, concentrating on the reuniting and rehabilitation of ex-child soldiers, support for children who have been victims of sexual violence and helping out-of-school children get an education.
Tel: 020 7012 6400

UNICEFHelpline and Appeals
Tel: 0870 606 3377

WorldshareWorldShare is UK partner for HEAL Africa, the medical project in Goma.
Web site:

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