Sienna Miller, Cell Phones and the DRC

Originally posted at Stop Genocide.

from Reuters

Sienna Miller is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with International Medical Corps,, and Children Mending Hearts to raise awareness of the long-running conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and its devastating impact on women and children.

Read more about her experiences on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3, during which she visited Panzi Hospital:

…visiting this hospital today felt as though there is a glimmering the light at the end of a long and dark tunnel. There are women everywhere who have suffered innumerable traumas and they are finally being given the treatment and care they deserve. This place is set up like a full on sisterhood. And the strength of women in numbers was powerful and inspiring.

Miller isn’t the first a-list Hollywood actress to visit Eastern Congo.  Angelina Jolie went in 2003, and reported back with this travel-log for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Although DRC frequently slips from the headlines when actresses aren’t there, the situation for civilians – especially women and children – is frightening. World Vision’s communications director reported from the region at the end of April:

In South Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where I went this week, there are increasing numbers of soldiers preparing themselves for combat with the mainly-Hutu rebel group in the area.

Thousands of government troops have moved to rural areas in preparation for the latest offensive. They include a large number of ex-rebel fighters, who recently integrated into the national army as part of the latest peace agreement. While they wait for war, they turn their guns on local people. With little or no pay, the gun becomes a soldier’s wage.

Check out the Enough Project’s background on the conflict to learn more, and their Conflict Minerals project to learn the role your favorite gadgets are playing in it.

About Martha Heinemann Bixby

Advocacy. Politics. Life. Martha Heinemann Bixby.
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