Passing on an Important Message from Women for Women International

I am a supporter of Women for Women International, and have been for a few years now. So it is always an honor to share messages and news from this incredible organization. Below is their latest release that I hope you support fully. If we are to truly be global change agents then we must do something to bring about positive change around the world. It begins with exposing the truth that is oftentimes hidden. Women for Women International is doing an amazing job at revealing the truth, and helping women and children in war-torn countries regain and maintain their dignity, so that they can become self-empowering and self-efficacious.

Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

Angelina Jolie’s “In the Land of Blood and Honey” Movie Released Nationwide

-A moving portrait on the struggle of women in war-torn nations
Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie’s new film, “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” is being released nationwide today, Friday 1/6 and next Friday 1/13 in selected cities. The film sheds light on the hugely important issue that rape is still a fundamental weapon of war.

The Bosnian War claimed over 100,000 lives and over two million people were driven from their homes.
Set against the backdrop of the Bosnian War that tore the Balkan region apart in the 1990s, “In the Land of Blood and Honey” tells the story of Danijel and Ajla, two Bosnians from different sides of the brutal ethnic conflict. The film portrays the incredible emotional, moral, and physical toll that the war takes on individuals, as well as the consequences that stem from the lack of political will to intervene in a society stricken by conflict.

More than 15 years after the end of the Bosnian War, women continue to struggle with the effects of the brutal conflict that shattered lives and destroyed communities. Women for Women International has been on the ground in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1994.

Now, nearly two decades later, we have served over 316,000 women worldwide and distributed over $51 million in loans to enable more than 28,000 women to start their own businesses and increase their daily income.

We’re glad to see a film portraying war from womens’ perspectives. Though not on the front lines of battle, women often endure the scars of war just as much, if not more than, men. It’s important to shed light on the unseen victims of conflict.

The film is currently playing in selected cities. We encourage you to check your local theaters for show times, and see it with your friends and family.

On behalf of the women we serve, thank you for your continued support.

-The Women for Women International Team

Women for Women International
4455 Connecticut Ave NW Suite 200 Washington DC 20008

>Rape or Die, Be Raped or Die, Be Raped and Die: Your Options

>
A man is beaten and tortured until he either rapes his mother, wife, and or daughter- or until he keeps fighting back and is murdered. He takes option one and after he is done the females he loves dearly are then raped by the men that forced him to rape them, and or they are tortured, mutilated and murdered in front of him. If the man takes option two and loses the battle of fighting back and is murdered, the females he loves still face the same fate. There is no winning solution for this man. No matter what decision he makes those he cherishes, loves, adores, and fights for will face the cruelest punishment anyone could conceive.

Photo Source: communitycollegeboy.blogspot.com



A woman watches as her husband fights back men who are ordering him to rape her. Before she knows it she watches a machete swoosh quickly in the air and her eyes connect with those of her husband’s as his head rolls across the ground. As she yells out in pain, these men grab her and throw her to the ground and soon after ripping off her clothes they take turns raping and beating her. They take pleasure in shoving their guns, knives, and other objects inside of her body.



They laugh hysterically as she cries out for them to stop. Her helplessness gives them a sense of power. The fear in her eyes makes them feel as though they own and control her. They have taken something from her she can never reclaim. She turns her head away and sees the blood splatter from her beloved husband. She turns her head the other direction and sees the feet of the men waiting for their turn to rape her. She closes her eyes and prays for it all to end. When it does she opens them and looks down the barrel of a gun. At this moment it will end and maybe she will be with her husband again.

Photo Source: joshuapundit.blogspot.com

This isn’t a movie. This isn’t a dramatized novel. This is happening consistently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), parts of Sudan (such as Darfur), Rwanda, and other nations throughout Africa and elsewhere- and the innocent men, women and children there feel helpless and hopeless. Think about this…you aren’t being victimized because you did something to someone else. 


It is done because it can be. It is done because no one is stopping it from happening. It is done because there are not enough people around the world who care enough about the people of these countries to demand an end to these heinous crimes.



Join me and organizations such as Women for Women International, CARE, the Younger Women’s Task Force, and others as we stand up, speak up, and fight for the rights of those who go unheard. You can make a donation to help further the efforts of causes such as  Women for Women International and CAREand you can go a step farther and volunteer to help these organizations push harder and provide more accommodations for women and children around the world. Let’s fight for self-sufficiency and self-empowerment for all!


Natasha L. Foreman, MBA





Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved. 
paradigmlife.blogspot.com

>The Sudanese Women Need Our Help and Support

>
This is a monumental time in the lives of the women of Sudan, as their future hangs on the string of hope through a referendum that could split their nation into two countries. As I have shared the cruelty and mistreatment of women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Nigeria, and other African nations- I have also shared the stories of the Sudanese women- who face a life of uncertainty as a collective vote will determine a future of possible natural-right freedoms, advancements, and opportunities for education, jobs and entrepreneurship. Southern Sudanese have eagerly rushed to the polling stations to cast their votes in an election that is widely expected to lead to the creation of the world’s newest state.

About 3.9 million people were registered to vote in the referendum which ends on January 15th, with the final results expected 10 days later. The separation must be endorsed by at least 60 percent of the registered voters to be valid. From my research, it is widely expected that most southern Sudanese would vote overwhelmingly to separate from their mostly Arab and Muslim compatriots.

Photo Credit: http: Joseph Kiheri/Nation

I subscribe to newspapers based throughout Africa so that I can keep abreast of what is happening in African nations to share with the diaspora. As a supporter of Women for Women International I also receive the latest information about the status of women in war-torn countries. Karen Sherman the Executive Director of Global Programs released a message emailed from Karak Mayik, the Country Director in Sudan for Women for Women. Karak lives in Rumbek, Sudan and has the opportunity to see on a daily basis the conditions of the women that Women for Women International works hard to serve, protect, and empower. Karak oversees the organization’s year-long program there, which currently serves 3,200 Southern Sudanese women.



Below is a copy of the email from Karak Mayik. After reading it please forward this blog message to your family, friends, and colleagues- and be sure to visit www.womenforwomen.org to see what other ways you can help the Sudanese women and other women in war-torn countries.


 

From: Karak Mayik 
To: HQ; UK Staff; Country Directors
Cc: Karen Sherman; Andree Simon; Zainab Salbi 
Sent: Sun Jan 09 09:09:09 2011
Subject: Stand with the Women of Sudan this Weekend




Dear Colleagues,


On this important landmark in the history of Sudan, and as we march to the referendum centers today to practice our right to self determination, please join me  in a message of solidarity, love and hope for a free, fair and peaceful referendum that reflects the aspirations of the people of Southern Sudan, with meaningful participation for all, especially women.



The struggle continues,
Karak



 


 


 

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. 

Paradigmlife.blogspot.com

>International Women’s Day Highlighted by "Join Me on the Bridge" Event

>For International Day, Women for Women International held a Join Me on the Bridge global event that joined women and men across nations to honor and support the efforts of women in Rwanda and the DR Congo towards self-sufficiency, empowerment, and freedom from the harsh cruelties of war. It is amazing to see how many people came out to show their support on numerous bridges in cities around the world on March 6-8.

Bridges in New York City, Atlanta, San Francisco, London, Edinburgh, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, and other cities had supporters waving peace signs, flags, and pictures to passerby. What is especially touching is to see the images from Rwanda and DRC…the look of faith and hope in their eyes.

To see pictures from many of the locations visit: http://www.womenforwomen.org/bridge/media.php

I look forward to seeing a larger turnout next year as we continue celebrating our accomplishments as women internationally, while also demanding peace in those countries that rape, torture, mutilate, enslave, abuse, and murder women (and their children).

Through organizations like Women for Women International women in these countries will one day be free from living in fear, and free to live the life and be exposed to the opportunities many of us take for granted.

If you have not taken the time to learn about this great organization that I support, please visit their site today: http://www.womenforwomen.org/

Copyright © 2010 by Natasha L. Foreman

>Join Me March 7th to Say NO to War, Rape and Torture in the DRC and Rwanda

>

Many of you know of my philanthropic efforts to assist women and young girls domestically and abroad to become educated, empowered, and elevated above their current lifestyle…experience…condition; and free from rape, torture, and the heightened probability of death due to victimization from war, or lack of resources at their disposal.
In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day (March 8th) I want to share with you the work of one of the charities that I support…Women for Women International. Two of the war torn countries that Women for Women International works within to provide tools and resources for survival and self-sufficiency of women and their families, are Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
For those of you who are not familiar with the history of the DRC and Rwanda, and the impact on both country’s women and children, let me share some horrifying facts with you… 
It has been estimated that roughly 500,000 women and girls in Rwanda were raped, tortured and physically abused during the genocide that began in 1994. The country’s population is 70% female with more than half of the households ran by women; 80% of which are widows.
In the DRC it has been cited that in more than a decade of conflict and war there has been over 5.4 million deaths and hundreds of thousands of women raped, tortured, and beaten. Women in the DRC face kidnapping, mutilation, rape and torture from soldiers of both foreign militias and the Congolese army as they are being held as hostages. 
Over 1/4 million children in Rwanda have been made orphans due to AIDS. “Despite the extreme poverty many Rwandans find room in their hearts to adopt as many as 6 orphaned children, treating every child like their own, a mantra of the country and its President, Paul Kagame(Women for Women International Website).
Due to the strength of the women in Rwanda their ability to finally speak up and speak out after years of silence has led to the act of rape to be prosecuted as a war crime. In 2003, 49% of parliaments seats were filled by women. But these strides don’t mean that women are completely free from the effects of war.

 The women of the DRC and Rwanda need our help so that they can help themselves. Women for Women International has served more than 40,000 women in both countries, and through Women for Women International you can help a woman gain the sense of self-worth, the ability to provide for her family with dignity and respect, and bring her one step closer to living in peace. These women are not looking for charity…they are looking for the opportunity to stand up and speak out; get training and develop the necessary skills to become self-sufficient…while being blessed with the chance to provide for and protect their children.


Join me and others this Sunday, March 7, 2010 at the 17th Street Bridge in Atlanta, Georgia from 12:00-1:00pm as we come together to participate in Women for Women International’s global campaign, Join Me on the Bridge, working together towards building peaceful bridges between the countries of Rwanda and the Congo. On this day we stand together on the 17th Street Bridge, and display peace banners to honor these women and millions of others who have survived war worldwide. Join Me on the Bridge unites women from around the world in a global movement that shows we can build bridges towards the development of a fruitful future. 

I hope to see you there…men also…we’d love for you to join us so that you too can stand up and speak out for the very women that could be your mother, aunt, sister, niece, grand daughter, cousin, or your daughter.

You can register in advance (yes, the event is free), or if you can’t attend please find it in your heart to donate anything so that we can stand as family and say NO to war and YES to peace, love, and hope! 



For more information on Women for Women International click here







Copyright © 2010 by Natasha L. Foreman.

Image Source: Women for Women International Website http://www.womenforwomen.org/