We Rise By Lifting Others

“We rise by lifting others.”– Robert Ingersoll

Dear friends,
Many of you may know that I once planned to go to Africa with the Peace Corps so thatBatwa I could make a difference in the world. Now I didn’t end up going (which is another story) and that is OK, because I learned that I could make a difference in my own community without going halfway around the world. However, Africa and her people continue to have a place in my heart. I was filled with hope to read of the work of one group — Initiative For Equality, a network of activists around the world working to empower people in some of the poorest regions to work together for greater social, economic and political equality. One group they are working with is the indigenous Batwa and Bambuti people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi and Rwanda, one of the most ancient human societies on earth. They have been the subject of massive land grabs, rights violations, sexual violence and mass killings over the past few decades, due to a combination of local prejudice compounded by the financial incentives created by international companies seeking minerals, timber, and land for cash crops such as palm oil. Initative for Equality is working to change that. With their help, a growing movement of educated, internet-savvy Batwa men and women are standing up and fighting back on behalf of their people. I encourage you to learn more about the plight of the Batwa people and the work of IfE to help them. There are so many tragedies in the world, but there are also many points of hope. The more we know, the more light we can shine on the struggles and the successes…Betsy