I need to read more Nicholas Kristof (NYT). I searched his blog for Congo, and came up with a very useful morning of reading and viewing material. This Feb 2010 article by Kristof explains why we need to engage with DRC, and provides four policy priorities. He concludes that the missing part of our international aid efforts is not a better policy, but insufficient political will for engagement from the USA and other powerful countries.
All this means is: we need more letters and calls to congressmen to engage with the DRC - even if the calls simply emphasize priorities like Kristof's four items.
Kristof's blog also led me to many very engaging videos of women survivors in DRC - on the rebound!
The IRC is one of the largest providers of humanitarian aid in the DRC. IRC aid worker Jean-Marie Toro Mataboro of Bukavu tells the story of a young girl who is succeding despite having to survive incredible childhood injury and violence. Sarah Moseley of the IRC tells about working to build communities of survivors.
Kristof mentions the Panzi Hospital of Bukavu (South Kivu, DRC) as one of his favorite smaller-time humanitarian efforts. Dr. Lee Ann De Reus, a social sciences professor at Penn State University, interviewed survivors at Panzi Hospital in 2009 - here is her brief talk on NPR.
Kristof also interviewed Lisa Shannon, who is dedicating her life in a more entrepreneurial style to advocating for survivors in the Congo. Incredibly, Lisa was originally inspired by hearing Oprah's and Lisa Ling's 2005 show on the Congo.
Eve Ensler's organization V-Day has also been doing some impressive work. Here is a video of women building the "City of Joy," and an inspiring video of V-Day workshops.