Ethicalprgirl's Blog

Musings from ethical PR girl about the world around us and making the most of PR/marketing to promote what you do (in an ethical way of course).


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Run for Congo Women UK

Raising £25,000 to help women in the Congo rebuild their lives

Run for Congo Women UK – is based on a concept started by Lisa Shannon in the US http://www.runforcongo.org. As well as running herself, Lisa wanted to get individuals and groups to run to raise awareness of what’s happening to women in the Congo and funds for Women for Women International’s http://www.womenforwomen.org programme in the Congo.

Now hundreds of runs, walks, cycles and swims take place all over the US.

And here’s why. In the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo children (from 2 months) to women (of up to 80 plus), are raped on average every two hours.
In the first three months of this year 9,500 have been raped, many have been gang raped and kept for days and weeks on end, before they are released, maimed or killed.

Women for Women International provide women with a safe space, counselling, help, training in vocational and business skills, help with literacy and numeracy and access to business loans, so they can rebuild their lives and support their families.

On the 3rd July, Women for Women International organised the first Run for Congo UK. It was an inspirational event with over 100 men and women, many of whom hadn’t run before, running to help women who had been traumatised and abused to help them rebuild their lives.

Here’s a link to the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MHUtSr1qZc

If you want to organise your own run, or join in the next run on 19th November in Greenwich, London, contact khughes@womenforwomen.org.uk


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The Most Dangerous Marathon in the World

Chris Jackson runs to raise awareness of the crisis in the Congo
On the 10th August, 26 year old Chris Jackson,  http://runforcongo.wordpress.com, will be setting off on what will be his toughest challenge in a year long campaign to run 12 marathons in 12 months.  

He has decided to take on this awe-inspiring challenge in 2010 to raise awareness of the scale of the humanitarian crisis and brutality of the conflict, in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where millions have died, lost their homes and children and women from 2 years to 80 plus have been subject to horrendous sexual violence.

 On the 18th August, Chris will be running ‘The Most Dangerous Marathon in the World’, deep in the heart of the area of conflict, in the eastern provinces.

 Chris is running to help women in the DRC through Women for Women International  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbPaVQUHDIg&feature=related

The conflict in the eastern provinces of the Congo has been described as the deadliest in the world since WWII; with an estimated 5.4 million dead (2.7 million of them children), over 9000 people were raped in the Kivu province alone last year (It’s estimated that a woman is raped every two hours) and in the first three months of 2010 115,000 lost their homes. www.congonow.org

Chris says “Despite the scale of the humanitarian conflict, the DRC receives very little coverage in the UK and awareness of this deadly conflict remains low. I want to change this.

“Throughout 2010 I have embarked on a mission to try and make people in the UK aware of the conflict in the Congo and I’m raising funds for Women for Women International www.womenforwomen.org a UK based charity supporting women in areas of conflict around the world, including DRC.

Women for Women International has helped over 30,000 women in DRC rebuild their lives after they have often been violated, sexually abused, have lost their homes and tragically sometimes their children and husbands.

“Some might say it’s a silly idea, but hopefully by pushing my body to its limits I’ll be able to make a few more people aware of the conflict in the DRC.

Chris continues “It felt somewhat contradictory to be attempting to run 12 marathons in 12 months to raise awareness of the conflict in the DRC, but not actually visiting the region myself during the course of this challenge.

 “My plan is to head to the DRC and not only run a marathon there, but embark on a harder challenge of communicating to the people in the UK about the day to day struggle that people face in the Congo.

“To do this I am going to document my trip through short video clips and interviews of the people of the Congo so they can tell their story – 26 miles and 26 stories. I will use my blog to keep people informed and have a tracking system, so people can go online and see where I am along my route”.

They do this through a one year programme where women get the help that they need. This could be counseling and support, a safe space to talk about their experiences, help with understanding their rights, help to develop vocational skills or business skills, and micro loans to help them set up their own business, so they can become economically independent and send their children to school. http://www.womenforwomen.org/news-women-for-women/congo-women-living-in-fear.php