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My Visit to the White House to Deliver the Petition on Behalf of Mama Shujaa (Hero Women of Congo)

It was really unexpected that I ended up going to the White House on Tuesday in order to present a petition from the Hero Women of Congo. I have been involved advocating for social justice through student organization, as well as other non-profit organizations in the area, but I never expected I would be asked to advocate for women and peace in Congo all the way to the White House. On Monday night, I received a call from Neema Namadamu; a heroic woman who started this petition, asking me to represent the petition on her behalf to the White House's National Security Council the next day. You can imagine how astonished I was; I mean, who gets such invitation in a short amount of time? At the White House, I spoke to Anna Cave and Grant Harris, who are Obama's top African advisors.

The petition was signed by over 100,000 people, including the President of Liberia, asking Obama to send a Presidential Envoy to help stop the violence in Eastern Congo and to make sure that women are represented in the peace process. I am a refugee from D.R. Congo, so I also shared my experience about Congo especially as a young woman and violence that my family and I endure before resettling in Rochester, NY in 2007. I share with Anna Cave and Grant Harris how deep the violence and war affects women in Congo in everyday life. For example, I lost my younger and cousin at 2004 Gatumba refugee camp massacre. I know this is no new news to women in Congo, killings and rape happens to them everyday, and it shouldn’t have to be a norm, Should it?

I told Anna Cave and Grant Harris that women cannot run from the violence, they are instead ready to offer solutions in the peace process. It’s time for a presidential envoy that is going to tap Congo women’s potential; we need your support and we are ready for a new country where women are not victimized but are fighting for their daughters and granddaughters. I also urged the White House to help bring peace back. This is very important to me, I also want to be part of this woman's movement to create new Congo; where every woman’s potential are latched. I just do not want to be a bystander, especially when it comes to my home country. It was such honor and I was humble to represent such powerful and inspirational women of Congo; they are my heroes. Although I wished Neema and grassroots women could have been there; but I felt the connection and the passion with them while I was speaking; I have been in their shoes and we are in this together. I have a strong desire to help improve my home country of Congo, especially the women who are currently experiencing the highest rate of rape in the world due to the armed conflicts in Congo. However, I know I need to advocate for peace in this region so that it will be safe enough for me to work as nurse and a woman leader in Congo in the future.


Corine Milano's picture

Adele, we are so happy you

Adele, we are so happy you could be a part of this! Thank you for sharing your heart with leaders who can make a difference for the women of Congo.

JaniceW's picture

Thank you

Everything truly good and worthwhile that has ever happened began with one voice, before it became many. Thank you for taking a stand to speak out on behalf of Neema and all of the women of Congo who can no longer remain silent.

Carrie Lee's picture

What an incredible story!

What an incredible story! All the Hero Women were with you that day at the White House, as you carry a voice that spoke so many women's stories...And a new story of peace that is ready to emerge!


Vega Tom's picture

Carrying the Voices!

Thank you Adele, what an amazing journey it has been for the Hero Women and for World Pulse. I'm so grateful you could be there in person to deliver the one hundred thousand voices calling for action in the Congo. I hope the journey continues and that peace can be had!

jacollura's picture



Thank you for sharing this great advocacy high meeting. Let 's hope that peace is coming soon. Enough is enough, congolese women need peace which must pass by the end of imposed armed conflict, concrete sanctions to agressors, the withdraw of foreign armed groups, justice for war crimes, The white house is able to bring peace in DRC. Congolese women need concrete actions and not only resolutions, etc.
A lot of thanks to all the voices rising here and there to call for peace in DRC

mumuadele's picture

I am happy to Join World

I am happy to Join World Pulse as a Volunteer French to English Transilator!!!
One of the way to give back to my country and women!!

Adele DRC
French- to English Transilator

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