The story of Masika from Congo.
Tonight I was watching T.V and came across a documentary on Al Jazeera. It was about a woman in the unstable country of Congo. She is a survivor of rape and violence that breeds from this continuous war in this country. A war full of unimaginable violence, mostly against women. She has set up and runs a center for other survivors who have no place else to go and has been shunned from their families. She searches for and rescues survivors and orphaned children with the help of volunteers. She provides counselling, medical treatment, basic necessities and shelter for them. She tries her best to send all the orphans to school. She helps some of them find back their own families. If their family does not accept them she helps them find a place in the community. She has adopted a number of orphans. She talked about how hard it is and how draining it is and how she wonders why she does what she does. Then it showed her with a rescued baby whom she adopted and she says that when she is able to save babies like this she thinks it might make a difference in the world that they survived.
After the documentary I was so moved by her that I looked her up on the internet and found a video of her telling her story. Nothing could have prepared me for what I heard. :'( Tears streamed down my face as she with great difficulty told the most unimaginably horrendous things that was done to her and her family by the militia. How her husband was brutally slowly dismembered in front of her and how they cut his penis of and made her eat it. How she was raped over her husbands flesh 22 times that her womb was destroyed afterwards. And how she could hear her daughters being raped all the while. I have linked the video below.
This war in Congo has been going on since 1996. Yet nobody pays attention to them. Horrible things happens everywhere in this world but some are given more media attention than others. There are double standards. There are so many individual people and countries that could make a difference but even Masika's center has only been able to raise around 24000 dollars yet. And sadly this is just one story among more than you can imagine.
I felt so humbled after watching this and hearing her story. I felt so fortunate and lucky when I heard what this woman survived. If I had gone through the same thing as her I would have killed myself than live my life with the memories of the horrors. But not only has she survived, she is using her life to help other people who have gone through the same thing. She is for me one of the most wonderful people in the the world now. Her strength and perseverance and compassion is humbling. After seeing this video I couldn't get my head around how evil and depraved and sick (There is not a word strong enough) humans can be. But at the same time this is a story of how amazing the human spirit can be. Whenever you think you're having a bad day, think of this amazing woman and what she has gone through and done with her life.
If you would like to read more on Masika and what she is doing or if you would like to donate to her center please visit this site. http://masikarebeca.wordpress.com/donations-2/
Probably not many people would even read this post to the end. They might find it it too boring and not entertaining enough. But I was so heartbroken when I watched the documentary and this video that I just had to get her story out there. So please hav a look at the video and know her story.
P.S. : Warning: The story she relates in the video is explicit and more horrible than you can imagine. It will disturb you and you probably would have difficulty sleeping tonight. I know I will.
Facts about the war in Congo: In 2009, people in the Congo may still be dying at a rate of an estimated 45,000 per month, and estimates of the number who have died from the long conflict range from 900,000 to 5,400,000. The death toll is due to widespread disease and famine; reports indicate that almost half of the individuals who have died are children under the age of 5.There have been frequent reports of weapon bearers killing civilians, destroying property, widespread sexual violence,causing hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes or otherwise breaching humanitarian and human rights law. An estimated 200,000 women have been raped.
In eastern Congo, the prevalence and intensity of rape and other sexual violence is described as the worst in the world.[
The war has made the life of women more precarious. Violence against women seems to be perceived by large sectors of society to be normal. A phenomenon of 'pendulum displacement' has developed, where people hasten at night to safety. According to Yakin Ertürk, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women who toured eastern Congo in July 2007, violence against women in North and South Kivu included 'unimaginable brutality'. 'Armed groups attack local communities, loot, rape, kidnap women and children, and make them work as sexual slaves,' Ertürk said.
In December 2008 GuardianFilms of The Guardian released a film documenting the testimony of over 400 women and girls who had been abused by marauding militia.
In June 2010, UK aid group Oxfam reported a dramatic increase in the number of rapes occurring in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while researchers from Harvard discovered that rapes committed by civilians had increased seventeenfold.