Raising Awareness Step by Step

One of the coolest things about living in the Internet age is access to amazing projects across the globe. From helping to build a well in Kenya to following the adventures of an old high school friend, we are able to follow the stories of friends and strangers. Recently, the trend in giving small amounts for a big project has become more and more common. We’ve been longtime supporters of micro loans, giving $25 loans to help small businesses. Other groups have a cap of $25 donations with the idea that we can all give.

It’s such an amazing feeling to be part of a larger good. In this phase of life when travel is tough and I feel like I can’t make a difference, I love supporting others who can. Knowing that I don’t need to be a millionaire to aide these projects is even better!

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I had heard of One Million Thumbprints (1MT) via a blogging friend and then, a couple weeks ago in a Facebook group we’re both part of, Leia Johnson asked for help getting the word out. The more I looked around at what this organization is doing, the more I loved their story.

1MT started when its founder, Belinda Bauman sat in the Democratic Republic of Congo and listen to the stories of women who were the victims of sexual violence. One story in particular led Belinda to act:

Esperance, a woman from a small village in the Congo, watched her husband die at the hand of rebels. She was violently raped and would have died if her sisters hadn’t rescued her. Across a blank sheet of paper, Esperance, who cannot read or write, had her pastor write the words: “Tell the world.” Then she stamped her thumbprint underneath. Esperance’s thumbprint became Belinda’s mandate: violence against women in war is violence against me.

unspecifiedSo, in about 6 weeks, 16 people from all backgrounds are meeting at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania’s “mountain of light.” They will embark on a 5-day journey through 4 climate zones, over 38,000 steps, to summit at just over 19,000 ft on March 8, International Women’s Day.

Why?

 

This inaugural event, the Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb for Peace, is an effort to raise awareness and funding for programs on the ground in Syria and Iraq, the DRC, and South Sudan through their implementing partner, World Relief.

If you’re interested, join! You can donate your thumbprint (your voice) online, give a gift of any size – from $1 to $10 to whatever you feel to the campaign. Even raising awareness by sharing about this important event and cause on your own social media outlets helps!

Let’s stand together, and do what Esperance asked: Tell the world that violence against women in war zones must end.

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