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Monday, February 11, 2013

Jesse Cool's Blog Post -- Bravery

Jesse with Abbe Benoit Kinalegu of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission

This is a re-post of Jesse Cool's blog entry from the Congo


February 11, 2013

In the midst of the deepest despair is the purest love and hopefulness.

We never know when we might be in a place where our own barriers go down and our heart is deeply touched.  This is where attachment melds with humanness and innate goodness has no limit. I think this what happens when I am here in East Africa.

Before leaving on this trip, I was told by Amy that I would cry a lot. I don’t cry easily. (unless I have a few too many martinis which is why I stop at one!) I thought because of the journey last year to Rwanda with Women for Women I would be ready for similar stories and situations here in DR Congo. That I was seasoned, tougher skinned…

I was wrong. I have cried, had my heart broken and sobbed barely able to speak during these past few days. We are sitting witness to stories that go deeper here, into unfathomably impossible human disgracefulness, especially towards women, girls and young boys.

We spent yesterday in discussions and break outs with Human Rights Watch. They are a trusted investigative organization that goes to the front line, into the core of the most dangerous and complex places of abuse and then regardless of the risk and they write about it. Unlike war journalists or photographers, they are not looking for a situation to get the best or most sensational story or picture. They are getting as close as they can to the truth of injustice and their writers send a message to the world in hopes that we will listen and action will be taken by individuals and governments to stop the abuse. I encourage everyone to go to their website, sign on and follow their news…. not just about Congo but places , even in the USA where people need help desperately.  Through being aware…taking action, in our own community or elsewhere in the world, one person at time, we can make a difference.

Human Rights Watch Website:

As much as I want to share those transformation moments…the parts of this journey that are uplifting through cooking and farming, I would not be genuine if I did not write about what is utterly awful and a mess and most importantly of the brave people who are trying to change things here in this beautiful place of Congo. It is in the midst of the human wastefulness and violence that we find heroes who are building places of refuge, hospitals, harboring the abused. They are also the ones trying to get the word out to us to help those in need.

They get involved, do not shy away from the danger, and do it now and take action…is this not unconditional generosity and love.

I am meeting the bravest people ever. Yesterday, I was totally smitten with one of the those action heroes, Abbe Benoit Kinalegu of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission in Dungu where he spearheads The Lost Children Foundation.


We start to help with the rebuilding.  We are going to the  V-World Farm. Even the farmers from Occidental Arts And Ecology Center have not been there yet!

TOMORROW:  We get to unpack the supplies we brought for the kitchen at City of Joy. Along with so much more that 11th Hour Foundation is doing here, including medical supplies for Panzi Hospital…we are part of the big the plan of forward and why we are here!

More soon… Sending love and care

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