The Greatest Silence: Rape In Congo film screening brought folks of all ages together at the Film House on the evening on November 17th, 2018. This educational event was a benefit to support Ibutwa’s dynamic approach to empowering survivors of sexual violence and their families.
Donations from Fairy Tale Farm Cheeses and SAP! maple drinks were available to the audience for the first half hour before screening the film. Home made baked goods from Laurie, a devoted Ibutwa board member with samosas and doughnuts which were made by Cleophace’s wife, Malinga, also filled the bellies of people who came curiously to learn more about Ibutwa. Malinga was born in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) but had to leave as the genocide continued. The resource wars forced Cleophace & Malinga to leave their homeland and after being displaced and separated from each other for 7 years. Finally, they found each other and were relocated to Vermont. Ibutwa is a part of the powerful the legacy that they have been making with the help of dedicated Vermonters.
Since moving to America, Cleophace has earned a BA in political science and masters in environmental law in 2015. He has devoted most of his time to raising awareness about conflict minerals and the impacts they have had on his country.
We would not need a medical program to support survivors of sexual violence if there were not rebel groups using their weapons to cause so much harm to women and children. As the documentary pointed out, much of the violent activity is done to express dominance and power over vulnerable populations. Sexual violence also ruins families. As more women are raped, more men leave their families. As a woman tries to take care of her family while enduring the pains of genital mutilation, children become susceptible to being coerced into joining the wide variety of rebel groups. Coincidentally, children fit better in mines than grown men so this is a dynamic worth contemplating before purchasing a new electronic device.
Having conversations with electronic retailers is extremely important. You can send a letter through this link, provided by The Enough Project. We must demand the supply in solidarity.
Without questioning where the minerals in our beloved technology come from, we perpetuate the vicious cycle of systemic racism, rape culture and ignorance. Thinking about the whole cycle of the goods we buy and dispose of is extremely important for both the people who are affected by our purchases as well as our environment.
Be sure to buy fair and be fair. We must consider the people who begin at the supply chain. Thanks again to the Peace & Justice Center
for providing information and Bridget Manning, a passionate intern from Champlain College, for educating about Fair Trade.
Supporting local, Fair Trade & conflict free initiatives is a compassionate way of consuming. Use your purchasing power for good and reach out to us if you are interested in joining the conflict free movement!