Monday, April 7, 2008

"D" Words Abound

Here are some of the obvious "D" words I could easily write about:

Daylight Savings Time
Daddy long legs

But I recently got an email message from Women for Women International that I thought I'd share with you. I don't readily recall how I got on the mailing list for this organization but the messages are the kind I have trouble d"eleting. The pictures of the women and children are haunting. The stories "d"ownright sickening. Yet, somewhere among the ugly and challenging truth are tales of hope and resiliency. I don't know how that is possible. It just goes to show that there are two sides to every coin. The "d"ark side is tempered with light. "D"estructive forces are met with hope.

"D"RC: For over ten years now, a war has been raging in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). To date, over 5.4 million people have been killed, and many more have been tortured, beat, and raped – most of them women. Through kidnapping, mutilation, rape and torture, the soldiers of both foreign militias and the Congolese army are holding women hostage in their own country.

"On Tuesday April 8, at 10pm HBO is premiering the Sundance Film Festival’s 2008 award-winning documentary The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo. It will continue to air throughout the month of April. This powerful, moving film literally breaks through the wall of silence and opens the world's eyes to the tens of thousands of women and small children who have been raped, mutilated and tortured in the name of war.*

I've got to tell you, when it comes to movies, I like mine with a whole lot of fantasy and a "d"ash of humor. Watching real time horror does not sound like my cup of tea. I believe, however, that in order to have real and lasting change, in ourselves or in the world, we first need to have awareness. Watch or not, the choice is yours.

Then there's "D"arfur. I am embarrassed to admit that all I know about that country is that it is in Africa and people are "d"ying by the millions. Since it begins with the letter of the day, "D," I decided to research it a little. Again, it doesn't make for light reading.

Located in western Sudan, Darfur, is an area about the size of Texas. It borders Libya, Chad and the Central African Republic. Farmers and nomads, it's people are some of the poorest in the whole of Africa. "Even in good times, the Darfuri people face a very harsh and difficult life; these are not good times in Darfur."

"This scorched-earth campaign by the Sudanese government against Darfuri civilians has, through direct violence, disease, and starvation, already claimed as many as 400,000 lives. It has spilled over into neighboring Chad and the Central African Republic. In all, about 2.3 million Darfuris have fled their homes and communities and now reside in a network of internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Darfur, with over 200,000 more living in refugee camps in Chad. These refugees and IDPs are almost entirely dependent on the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations for their basic needs – food, water, shelter, and health care."

I know it's rather Pollyanna-ish, but I feel like singing, "what the world needs now is love, sweet love, that's the only thing that there's just too little of." When are people going to learn?

On a lighter note, here is a picture of my friend "D"esiree and I sharing a "d"airy "d"elight:

Signing off to start my "d"aily chores,
Merry ME

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