Every March 8th, countries around the world commemorate International Women's Day, a celebration of women's economic, political and social achievements.
Although there are many achievements to celebrate, there is still much injustice towards women worldwide, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Recently, the United Nations said the African nation is the worst place on earth to be a woman.
By one estimate, more than 1,000 women are physically or verbally attacked every day. By another, the problem has hit some 12 percent of Congolese women.
One of the few places women can turn is to the organization HEAL Africa in the eastern city of Goma. Here, women work to shake off injustices they have faced and to deal with their traumatic injuries.
According to Lyn Lusi, the co-founder of HEAL Africa, HEAL is an acronym. It stands for health, education, action in the community and leadership development, and all of those are components of a healthy society.
The nonprofit survives on about $13 million a year in grants from abroad, public and private, providing everything from antiretroviral drugs to hundreds of children with HIV, to surgery to repair the bodies of traumatized women.
"Here, people are lacking everything. They don't have food, absolute poverty. They are exploited. They are perishing because of the lack of knowledge. They are perishing because of the lack of justice," Dr. Jo Lusi, co-founder, HEAL Africa.
1. Where is the Democratic Republic of Congo?
2. What do you know about this African nation?
1. Why is it important to know about conflicts occurring far away from you and around the world? Explain your answer.
2. Research the U.S. government's response to the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo. What is the government doing? Should it be doing more? Why or why not?
3. How can you help people suffering in the Congo, either through education or other means?
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