Documentary Photography

Documentary photography is a vital tool to communicate an injustice, a social problem, or other current issues.

Monday, March 8, 2010

International Woman's Day

"Women Are Building Bridges of Peace"
March 8, 2010, is the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day.  I had the honor of photographing and attending the event for Women for Women International. 
The event was in Goma where there is a lot of conflict between rebels, several milita groups.
It began with the March in front of the Military and the Governor of N. Kivu Province.
 His Excellence Governor Julien Paluku
The DRC (Congo) Country Director Christine Karumba and her staff, Gertrude Mudekereza ( one of my dearest friends) , Francine, Huguette, and many others worked day and into the night for weeks to send a strong and powerful message to the world.  The Power of Women creating Peace.
 Christine Karumba
The Congolese women and Women for Women staff, with the Governor of N. Kivu Province Julien Paluku,  met the Rwandan women and Women for Women staff at the border. They each had half a banner that was tied by the Country Director of the DRC Christine Karumba and the Country Director of Rwanda Beera Kabarungi, her staff Peace Ruzage my dearest friend, Monique and many others.  When tied together it read "Women Are Building Bridges of Peace".
The Bridge event is a beginning of building peace between two countries that have had differences in the past, and present.
Women of Congo
Women of Rwanda
  Beera Kabarungi
Governor Julien Paluku even stated that he would elect a woman for the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of the DRC.  He appeared to be joyous and happy to be around incredibly strong and powerful women, with a vision of peace and hope.  He is also well liked by many people.  His smile is genuine and comforting, considering, he's a political leader.  He's young with an open mind for new ideas. 
It was a joyous event and I'm so happy I was there to document  "Women Are Building Bridges of Peace".
Honoratha giving her testimony.
She's an amazing woman whom I love very much.
Her story will come later.
 As a woman I know we are powerful and must empower other women. This was done in Liberia with  Women for Peace a group of women that grew and grew. They were village women and Internally Displaced Women in refugee camps, Christian and Muslim women came together, they knew a bullet didn't know the difference between their religions.  The women went to Ghana by the hundreds and barricaded President Taylor and the Lurd to put down their guns and advocated for Peace.  These women were never radical they just wanted peace for there Country and families.  Children had been taken as soldiers and they opened their hearts and arms to them, knowing some of them had killed their family members, but they knew these children were victims too.  This resulted in the first Democratic election in Liberia and for the first time a Woman President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.  It was women standing together, they made history and change in a country that was so corrupt, and violent, the government was merciless in destroying it's people.  Rape was daily, cutting of limbs daily, then looting their homes, even taking their shoes.  This is what is happening in the Congo.  The women must come together and demand peace, be strong and stand in huge numbers, this will create unity, change, and peace.
I'm so grateful that I am a woman, and my hero is my mother Barbara Carr, who has always supported me 100% in whatever I do.  If I die going to the places I choose to go, my family will know I died for peace. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing!!! Together WE CAN make a difference!
    PeAcE LOvE aRt & sOuL
    Denise Vasquez