Joyce Barnathan and
President and CEO, Vital Voices Global Partnership
Friday, April 29, 2011
Press Freedom Having Voice To Speak
In the lawless eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, press freedom means having a voice to speak out against horrific violence against women and children. This World Press Freedom Day, the International Center for Journalists has teamed up with to help Congolese radio reporter Chouchou Namegabe, ICFJ's 2009 Knight International Award Winner and Vital Voices' 2009 Fern Holland Award recipient.
Chouchou's hard-hitting radio reports convinced the International Court of Justice in The Hague to declare rape a weapon of war. During 15 years of war, hundreds of thousands of women and girls have been raped and tortured in the Congo. After meeting with Chouchou, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denounced the perpetrators as war criminals.
Chouchou is not only giving these women a voice in their community. She is also giving them the skills to expose injustice through radio reports. But she can't do this alone. Chouchou is desperate for funds to conduct much-needed basic journalism training for rural women eager to tell their community's stories.
In honor of World Press Freedom Day, our organizations seek to raise $45,000 for Chouchou and her network of women journalists. With this money, we will provide much-needed training and basic equipment for Chouchou's network of , enabling them to speak out against these crimes. All proceeds will go directly to help Chouchou.
On this World Press Freedom Day, please make a contribution so that women in the Congo can cover these atrocities--and ultimately live without fear of abuse.
With warmest wishes,