Documentary Photography

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

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lisa Shannon "Run for Congo Women"

                                  Lisa Shannon

A woman of hope and inspiration for the Women of the Congo.  
In 2005 Lisa Shannon founded "Run for Congo Women" an event that would grow into a movement and help thousands of Congolese women rebuild their lives. This all began when Lisa started sponsoring a women through Women for Women International. Lisa is a rush of energy, and really cares about her sisters in the Congo.
She has written a book that will come out in April 2010 called "A Thousand Sisters".  This book is Lisa's experiences in the Congo and the stories of the women she sponsors.  It is a MUST read by all women and men.  As it will enlightened you on the situation of the women of the Congo.
    Florencia in Lisa's Book
Xaverine in Lisa's Book
Lisa left her career in a stock photography business. She followed her dream to be a voice of the women of the Congo.  She is another great example of following your dream, and it becoming your reality.  I have spent a lot of time with Lisa and watched her with her sisters, they love her and she in return loves them.  Lisa's sisters have great trust in her.

I watched her sister's being interviewed, she held their hand during the interviews.
Many of these women still live in fear and uncertainty.  Many of the women interviewed expressed,  being stronger women and that the militia groups MUST be dealt with.  These women have been raped, gotten pregnant from the rapes, lost limbs. Generose ran with one leg,  she did it to support the women of the Congo and the atrocities they have been through.
                                                             Generose in Lisa's Book
Lisa's enthusiasm in making a difference in the lives of the women in the Congo is strong and empowering.  Their year in the Women for Women program, then continuing with Lisa empowers them even more, after their graduation.  These women light up when they see Lisa coming.  They all yell "Lisa, Lisa, Lisa".
So on Feb. 28, 2010, Lisa organized with the help of Christine Karumba, the Country Director of Women for Women  International and the entire staff at Women for Women International for the Congo, "Run for Congo Women."  This is Lisa's first time doing a run in the Congo.
                                           Christine Karumba
Several of Lisa's sisters came from villages very far away. They were not going to miss this chance, to break the silence of the horrors they have endured in their villages and to support their sisters in their villages and country.
Lisa has done this run many times in the USA.  But this was special it was with her sisters in the Congo.  Christine Karumba, arranged all police be women, women soldiers
  Lisa greeting the Mayor of Bukavu Nzita Kavungirwa

 The Deputy Provinciale, Beatrice Kinja Mwendanga, of South Kivu attended another woman.

And the US Ambassador of the Congo Joshua Reitz, a man, supporting Lisa and the women of the Congo. There were also American women living in the Congo that ran to support the women.
The event was also attended by Jeff (freelance videographer for Women for Women International, Michelle (writer for Runner's Women's Magazine) and Imma (writer for Wired Tech magazine in Italy).
It was a great honor and joyous day to photograph and run with these amazing women.  It began raining as we began the 1 mile run. But we ran, walked, danced and the women were singing in the rain.  Nothing was going to stop this event, nothing..........................

After the run the women had food, Fanta, which they loved.  As many have never had a soda.
                            Me and the Women of the Congo.
This run was not only in the Congo, it was world wide.  Lisa had her Blackberry reading messages from people, in Mexico, India, Hawaii, Japan, Scotland, Denmark, Ugnada, Canada,  USA, Oregon, Washington State, New York they ran at midnight in the freezing snow, to be running at the same time we were.

To hear about these women's stories, that will inspire you to want to take ACTION.
"A Thousand Sisters" by Lisa Shannon coming out in April.  It will change YOUR life, and others.


  1. Oh, Sonya, what fabulous photos! Thank you, thank you, thank you for including them and this report on your blog! I will be sharing a link with all of the solidarity gathering leaders who ran, walked, prayed, and otherwise gathered to send love and encouragement and to raise money for the women of Congo. Ann Shannon, Portland OR

  2. These pictures are incredible. For the few moments I was viewing and reading, I swelled up with pride and love for not only Lisa, but for these fabulous, loving and brave women who have been given a voice; and, they use it joyfully even amid the daily terror they face every day.
    It was an honor to be a part of the Sisters in Solidarity by holding a neighborhood walk for them. I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to show them our love from the USA.

  3. SO glad to see these photos, and so glad you shared them. Thank you! These are the most beautiful women in the world.

  4. Thank you for sharing this beautiful photos and thoughts!

  5. I am so glad you were there to capture this moment...your photos are beautiful! Thank you for sharing them as well as Lisa and the women of the Congo's stories!