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Testimonies Becoming Increasingly Substantial

Sarah & Wessex

Dear Listeners, One & All,

In opening the 3rd set of assignments, I've discovered that the testimonies I'm reading are becoming increasingly detailed and more substantial. Are you having a similar experience?

The depth of detail in two of the three stories this time around is all the more engaging, and in one case, I'd even say gripping.

I'm glad when someone obviously spends a lot of time on her testimony, which gives us more to sink our teeth into.

And also teaches us (me) more.

Let me know if this is happening all across the board.

Thank you and May The Force Be With You,

- Sarah

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Comments

Anita Muhanguzi's picture

More Detailed

Dear Sarah,
i total agree with you. This set of testimonies is more detailed and you feel more connected with the person and you are able to actually feel the emotions through the readings.It is definately teaching me more about what women are going through and how much we actually have to do to advocate for the rights of these women.
Stay blessed and enjoy your readings.

Mrs. Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Head of Legal and Advocacy
Centre for Batwa Minorities
a.kiddu@gmail.com
cfmlegal@gmail.com
Skype: mrs_muhanguzi

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Thank you, Anita

Yes! Thank you, Anita, you said it beautifully.

- Sarah

Sheil's picture

Awakening

Hi Sarah and Anita,

I have been learning so much from reading the journals of women from DRC. I feel like I am awakening from a slumber of caring about these women, but not really doing anything to help them.

Sarah - I'd be interested to hear your ideas on finding the empowerment we all have within to do something tangible to help these women, the children, and the men in their lives. I will be on the World Pulse listener call this Thursday, 4pm pacific. If you are not able to make it, maybe you can jot down on this blog some key points about empowerment the listener community can learn from to figure out, with World Pulse, the next steps to address the violence, cultural sickness we are reading about.

Sheila

Sheila

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Ah! The Crux of the Matter!

Hello, Sheila,

Thank you for your response and for your crucial question about -- "...ideas on finding the empowerment we all have within to do something tangible to help these women, the children, the men in their lives."

That very question is so much at the heart of World Pulse, I've consulted Scott about guiding us toward the best, possible answer.

In the meantime, however, make no mistake: your current contribution as Listener is tangible help. Gail Straub, my empowerment guide, says that to write down our stories, or those of others, immediately renders them real. The women who are providing testimony are being truly HEARD by all of us, Listeners, and that is a significant step in the right direction. From there, with the support of our encouraging comments, they find some renewed strength to keep speaking out, knowing that their words are not falling on deaf ears.

As for the next best step, let's see what Scott & Co. have to suggest.

With Gratitude,

Sarah

The situation is DRC is so tragic. i read a post today about a 15 year old girl who was raped by Rwandan hutu soldiers and then the burnt her private parts until she died. The women are so terrified to get the police involved in such situations because they fear to be attacked by the same perpetrators. For sure we can only encourage them to have more of these stories posted and encourage them on what to do. My heart goes out to them. For sure DRC Congo is the worst place to be as a woman.

Mrs. Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Head of Legal and Advocacy
Centre for Batwa Minorities
a.kiddu@gmail.com
cfmlegal@gmail.com
Skype: mrs_muhanguzi

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Tragic Indeed

Oh, Anita,

That is a devastating story. So grotesquely unjust! To hear stories of such barbarian cruelty is to feel as though we are going backwards in civilization, rather than progressing.

My World Pulse Correspondent this year -- the young woman whom I mentored -- is a Syrian, and the stories she has shared with me are unspeakable.

One of the things we can do is spread awareness, through this forum and also on our Facebook pages and any other ways we choose. I was in my 2nd year of seminary when my Syrian 'mentee' and I were paired by World Pulse, and I shared all that I could about her with my classmates and faculty. Two of my classmates came to meet her when she was in NY on the World Pulse Live tour, and several of my friends are interested in becoming World Pulse Mentors.

We can indeed listen, and provide loving support through our emails. Even that is significant, compared to the impotent feeling these women have that they are screaming for help and no one is listening. That is why Jensine founded World Pulse -- to get the voices of these women heard so steps, however small at first, can begin to be taken to support change. And many significant steps toward the betterment of the world have been taken as a direct result of Jensine's work and that of her colleagues.

So, let us keep listening and responding!

Love & Support to you, Anita,

- Sarah

kliszk's picture

A resource

Hi Sarah and all,

I hope everyone is well. I very much agree with the comments about the strength of the testimonies and of the urgent need for us to tap into our own power, as well as to empower the women who are bravely sharing the stories of their lives. While I agree with you, Sarah, and your empowerment guide, Gail, about the importance of telling our stories, listening to one another, and feeling heard, I am eager to take the discussion a step further and think about how we can spread these messages beyond this supportive community.

I work in Uganda preventing violence against women and children and we have recently produced a toolkit called "In Her Shoes" in which women's stories are told in such a way that others (police, health workers, community members, others working in the field, anyone really!) can step into their shoes and truly understand what it is like for a woman to experience violence. The toolkit was developed by over 100 women in sub-Saharan African, including women from DRC. It is free for download in English or Swahili on our website here:

http://www.raisingvoices.org/women/in_her_shoes.php

and we also take requests for hard copies--the link is at the bottom of the page above.

I hope that this resource can help some of us with our work and all of us with our listening and activism. Thanks to each of you for all that you do.

Love and light,
kirsten

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

IN HER SHOES - thank you!

Dear Kirsten,

I'm eager to download, IN HER SHOES, which sounds like a brilliant way to open the eyes of those who seem impervious to what women suffer when subjected to cruelty. I will forward your email to my Syrian WP Correspondent, as she is intending to create a reconciliation project to begin the long, slow process of healing for her people, in due course.

It's encouraging and uplifting to know of your work in Uganda. Will you be on the EVAW call Thursday? Maybe you can say a few more things about this . . .

I'll be in touch after I've read the toolkit -- it sounds like something we'd might all benefit from reading.

Thank you!

- Sarah

mrbeckbeck's picture

Please share!

Hi Kirsten,
This is absolutely wonderful! Thank you for sharing this here with the Listeners group.

Would you mind posting this in the Sharing Solutions corner of the community? That way everyone can see that this fabulous toolkit is available.

We will be discussing the larger question of supporting these inspiring women on the Listeners check-in call Thursday, and I will send out the recording and notes for those who cannot attend.

Thanks again, Kirsten!

Scott Beck
World Pulse Online Community Manager

Anita Muhanguzi's picture

Thanks Sarah

For sure we can shall surely support these women in all ways that we can. Stay blessed.

Mrs. Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Head of Legal and Advocacy
Centre for Batwa Minorities
a.kiddu@gmail.com
cfmlegal@gmail.com
Skype: mrs_muhanguzi

mrbeckbeck's picture

Listening is crucial

Thank you for this important discussion! I am so glad to see the engagement, the connections that are being built between you as Listeners, and between the global community of participants, especially the courageous women from the eastern DRC.

We will be discussing the question of how to provide support on our check-in call this Thursday, with our Campaign Manager, Jade Frank. However, I want to make sure that everyone knows how crucial the act of Listening is. As Sarah mentioned, being heard is such an important part of healing and moving into a place of confidence and growth. Each of you are making an impact in the lives of these women, from thousands of miles away, through technology---it's quite incredible when you think about it, really! We are witnessing a growing movement of women's power in that region and around the world, and I'm thankful we can all be a part of it in some small way.

At any rate, we will discuss more on the call and I hope to hear more ideas from you all here!

Thanks again,

Scott Beck
World Pulse Online Community Manager

Leslie Stoupas's picture

Noticing and spreading the word

Sarah,

Two of my three assignments also went quite deep this week, not so much in sharing personal experience but in sharing deep thoughts about what is going on culturally in India and Nepal in relation to sexual violence and the oppression of women and girls. Thanks for noticing that, Sarah, and for bringing it up.

As for extending this work outwards, I also find a deep sense of sadness and frustration for the violence and oppression that women around the world are experiencing, but for now, my work must take place where I am. While the women in our community are obviously not in the same situation as women in Syria and the DRC, I have found that they suffer deeply from low self-esteem and a lack of confidence about establishing their autonomy in their lives. Working with my Voices of our Future correspondent inspired me greatly to speak about World Pulse to women, students, and women's groups in our community. It has really inspired some women in our community (where we have high rates of domestic violence and a need for higher education for women) to think about their own lives and their own empowerment, and inspired me to really listen to what they have to say. They don't need answers from me, but they do need to be able to find their voice and learn to speak.

It is frustrating to see or hear about the violence around the world, but sometimes working within one's own community brings rewards as well. I also find that these women who become empowered help empower other women, and quite a few of them have become involved in PulseWire forums. Who knows? Perhaps one of them will carry forward from their experience life-changing movements for other women.

We are all making a difference -- never doubt it!

Leslie Stoupas

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

So True! Thank you...

Hello, Leslie,

Thank you so much for your response to the emails between us -- Listeners -- regarding the increase in depth of testimonies.

You are so right that what we do close to home is as important as what we are doing with World Pulse. Leslie, where is your community? And have you attended the Empowerment Institute? No matter -- it is as you say: once we've empowered one woman (sometimes just by being present and Listening) she may very well go on to empower the next, and thus the ripples of positive action and change continue outward.

I moved from NY to southwest Florida this year, and recently learned that there's a thriving white slave trade in Tampa. (Young girls being kidnapped and sold into prostitution in this case.) Why this surprised me I know not, except that I don't know the area well. At any rate, I am intending to find out more about it, with a view to providing some sort of support in that terrible arena, in addition to my wider, WP efforts.

At any rate, there's no doubt that suffering, and ill treatment of women, can be found in virtually every corner of the planet, including our back yards.

Thank you again,

- Sarah

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