Another inspirational woman is Lisa Shannon. In 2006, Lisa Shannon’s life changed. She was watching an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” on which Women for Women International founder and CEO Zainab Salbi was explaining the crisis facing women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). “I learned about Congo, widely called the worst place on earth to be a woman,” Lisa said. “Awakened to the atrocities—millions dead, women being raped and tortured, children starving and dying in shocking numbers—I had to do something.
”Moved by DRC survivors’ stories, Lisa took action, sponsoring two women in the DRC and starting a program called Run for Congo Women.
Lisa began running alone, raising nearly $28,000 on her first run. The movement has since expanded to runs and walks throughout the United States. Run for Congo Women participants have raised more than $600,000—enough money to sponsor 1,444 women in the DRC.
During January and February 2007, Lisa traveled to Eastern DRC’s South Kivu province, and returned again in May 2008 and February 2010. Experiences from her trips inspired her book, “A Thousand Sisters” (Seal Press, 2010). “‘A Thousand Sisters’ is a portrait of the world’s deadliest civil war through the intimate lens of friendship,” Lisa said. (Run for Congo Women)
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