The COVID-19 pandemic is leaving trails of destruction as people are still coming to terms with this reality. As in many places, our way of life has been very different. The pandemic is expected to have far-reaching implications, even creating permanent marks into the future. The Zimbabwe government began a nationwide lockdown on March 30, 2020, which was slightly eased and extended indefinitely in May. On July 22, government reinstated strict measures and a 12-hour curfew (
By Neelley Hicks
August 3, 2020 / Nashville, TN USA She put stones and water in the pot, telling her children that dinner must continue to cook and how good it would taste – all the while hoping they would fall asleep for the night, not knowing there was nothing to eat. – Women Arise Collective report from Kenya This is only one of the stories of marginalized women in Africa suffering some of the hardest effects of COVID-19, where mandatory quarantines have made life unbearab
By Ken Kalungi
July 15, 2020 / Wobulenzi Uganda A few years ago, we started the journey of collecting mobile numbers from our congregations and always when we had a conference. My main emphasis was to invite all delegates to write their names and contact information to receive messages for health and wellbeing. In the past, I had face-to-face contact with some of them and shared ideas on the importance of communications. Most people need to be alerted that they will receive m
By Marion Ndeta
July 27, 2020 / Nairobi Kenya As of July 27, 2020, Kenya has recorded a total of 17,975 COVID-19 cases. Out of these, 285 died from the disease. A Disease from Afar It’s been a difficult season. A season that is teaching us to take a day at a time. A time when we had initially deluded ourselves that COVID-19 was for the western world. When it arrived, we termed it a disease of the rich and affluent in our society. The disease has began to “treat us abnormally,
By Jenis Irmiya Manni
July 27, 2020 / Gombe Nigeria The global community has been hit hard in an unprecedented way by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Nigeria as a country and its people are not exempt. This, despite tremendous efforts through the Nigerian Centre for Disease control, (NCDC) in trying to halt the spread from climaxing and getting vast, by promoting the adherence to preventive measures put in place. The ravaging effects of the pandemic on the country is practically
by Women Arise Collective Correspondent Jolie Shabani — Kivu In Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, women and girls continue to be victims of rape and sexual assault by members of armed groups and security forces, then the conflict disappears from the media.
According to Justine Masika Bittamba, founder of Synergy of Women for Victims of Sexual Violence in Goma, It’s getting worse every day, where at least one woman or girl is raped. The problem is that as soon as t
The Women Arise Collective honored the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women” through working in our communities. This report, written by Rev. Dr. Rhoda Manzo reflects her and colleague Mrs. Doris Jenis’ local program in northern Nigeria. Adolescent girls in Nigeria often come face to face with sexual violence, harassment, and rape. Other forms of abuse include stigmatization and early marriage, which is a growing problem leading to reproductive hea
by Teresa Suarez, Women Arise Collective correspondent “According to a 2013 global study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, only 7% of survivors of gender-based violence formally reported the violence to police, medical, or social services.” This study was carried out by Stony Brook University Professor Tia Palermo, Jennifer Bleck of the University of South Florida, and Amber Peterman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Sexualized Violence
At the recent Women Arise Leadership Conference, Maeghan Orton led participants through an exercise where they discussed local issues that need addressing. Maeghan shared that the real problem is rarely the one we consider first. The real problem is layered beneath other issues, and it takes time to be uncovered. We learned that finding it often takes asking the question, “Why?” five times. Following the conference, I traveled to eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo to vi
The voices of women proclaiming their value were amplified throughout a country and the world. Communicating for Equality Neelley and Bibiche Justice means more than prosecution of those who commit sexual violence. It means healing and restored dignity among survivors. In 2018, the “Women Arise” communications campaign in East Congo reached over 750,000 people with these goals in mind. “A Plea to My Father“ tells a story that echoes Bibiche‘s experience. Recently, she said, “
Bibiche and I met about a year ago, during the “Women Arise from Stigma” workshop at the United Methodist Episcopal offices in Kindu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. She was one of three women who shared their story about being sexually assaulted and then rejected by her family. She was raped at 14 years of age when she left home to get food for the family. Four men abducted her and took her to the forest where they raped her until they heard others coming near. Left alone,
Machozi (meaning “tears”) came to the Mama Lynn Center at only 14 years old – an orphan and one of the youngest victims to show up at the Center. The Women Arise from Stigma workshop had just finished when I walked outside and met her. Now part of the second official class at the Center, Machozi sits tentatively by another 14-year old whose wounds are so pronounced, she has only been able to walk again recently. Here, they both will learn that they are “God’s beloved. Nothing
Harper Hill Global Executive Director Neelley Hicks will join women across faith, tribal, and geographic lines for September “Women Arise from Stigma” workshops in Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, focusing communications and technology that spreads the message: You are God’s beloved.
Nothing and no one can take that from you. This unprecedented work emanates from The United Methodist Church in eastern DR Congo taking a stand against traditions that shun women who’
Written by Quinn Needham, Neelley Hicks, ed. Special thanks to Lynn McAlilly, Bishop Gabriel Yemba and Judith Osongo. Turning a Dream into a Reality In June of 2016, the East Congo Episcopal Area officially teamed up with the Tennessee, Memphis, and California Pacific Annual Conferences and began developing the Mama Lynn Center for Congolese Women. Now, just two years later, the three annual conferences have raised enough money to surpass the center’s initial fundraising goal
Written by Irmiya Jenis Manni and Victor Babbage; edited by Quinn Needham. A Call to Action IN NORTHERN NIGERIA, the scars from the Boko Haram abductions and the #bringbackourgirls are barely healed while other deep-set scars go barely noticed. These scars come from the senseless sexual violence against the defenseless girl-child, young women, their mothers, and the severe rape induced trauma the rape victims survive afterwards. This is a call for other stakeholders to help v
By Philippe Lolonga, Harper Hill Global Correspondent, Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo “As members of the church, we are compelled to confront the issue of rape and stigma. We can no longer cross our arms and stand idly by!” — Bishop Gabriel Unda The words of United Methodist Bishop Gabriel Unda are becoming more pointed as he continues to rally support to end rape and violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the family-destroying stigmatiza
“Women Arise from Stigma” is a campaign originated in Kindu, Democratic Republic of the Congo to help women claim the fullness of their identity in God: beloved and able; fierce and bold; from different places, yet from one tribe. Resources (available in English, French, Swahili, +). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request. A Plea to My Father animation to overcome stigma by Harper Hill Global, Chocolate Moose Media, WiseHeart Foundation.
“A Plea to My Father” Drama and Dr
written by Judith Osongo Yanga (français) March is a special month dedicated to women worldwide. The Congolese woman and The United Methodist Church, in particular, are pleased with March 8 each year. The situation of the woman in our country, especially the eastern part of the Congo, presents some challenges. The country’s situation exposes the eastern Congo woman, bringing us many cases of rape of women and children in this part of the country. “Coordination of women throug
par Judith Osongo Yanga Le mois de la femme est un mois spécial dédié à la femme dans le monde entier. La femme congolaise en générale et celle de l’église méthodiste en particulier se réjouit de cette journée du 08 mars de chaque année.
La situation de la femme dans notre pays, surtout celle de l’Est du Congo présente quelques défis. La situation sécuritaire du pays la R.D.Congo expose la femme de l’Est du Congo ce qui fait que nous enregistrons plusieurs cas de viols des f