Visits from Our Sisters!
In March we had the pleasure of hosting Mme Tshilanda "Tish" Mukala, now of Boston, to represent Woman Cradle of Abundance at Princeton Seminary's 3rd African Women Extraordinaire (AWE) conference, as "Maman Monique" did in 2014. Tish's story was very moving, as she recounted the work which Maman Monique has been doing for 20 years, even before FEBA was formally established. Maman Monique is bringing Antoinette Muleka Tshisuaka, & Denise Sakisa Ngome to see us! The visit we hoped for in spring had to be postponed but the plans for October 2016 are even more exciting. Special events include a 3-day visit to Georgian Court University, a lecture at Princeton Seminary, visits in churches & with special friends & donors. The visit combines leadership development for Antoinette & Denise & an opportunity for us to meet & hear their stories. See our website for details.
Women's Day in Eastern Congo:
a Triumph of Faith and Courage
As you know, our sisters in eastern Congo live in "the worst place in the world to be a woman," as the militias keep Kivu province in a state of war. See the story in our Winter newsletter 2015. Hundreds of women & girls have been raped. Yet by their faith and courage, and the help we send through their community non-profit (CENEDI), these women have found the strength to go on with their lives. Rape is not only physical destruction; it is social death because often the victims are rejected by husbands or families. With great skill CENEDI has provided counseling for the families and villages to lead them to receive and reintegrate the victims. Along with on-going violence, however, the women also struggle to survive, since they are afraid to return to gathering firewood in the forests where they were attacked, yet do not have other means of
livelihood. We hope to find means to open a sewing school for them... But just now we work to provide emergency medical care & a means of hope: see the vivid courage of these women as they celebrated International Women's Day!
The "Pour Femme" concert was a beautiful afternoon! Many gifted performers
shared music by women composers (17th-21st centuries). Clear melodic voices of The American BoyChoir charmed everyone. The soloists presented a program as remarkable for its diversity as it was lovely to hear. Many thanks to Anna deGroot who organized the whole event & accompanied everyone, and to each of our generous artists for contributing her or his voice to help "raise the walls" of the Women's Center in Kinshasa. Thank you to Trinity Church and all who attended and enjoyed it with us.
(L-R) Anna de Groot, Lesly de Groot, Doreen Fry-ling,
Jorie Moss, Eva Kastner-Puschl, Shane Tapley.
CONTRIBUTE OR GET INVOLVED
Contribute: Donate securely via PayPal at www.WomanCradleofAbundance.org/get-involved. Please designate "Capital Campaign" in the purpose line to contribute to the Women's Center or "Sustaining Gift" to support ongoing work. Checks payable to Woman, Cradle of Abundance can be mailed to the following address:
Woman, Cradle of Abundance
attn: Cheryl Ciaranca, Treasurer
25 Alexander St.
Princeton, NJ 08525
Volunteer: Contact Cheryl Ciaranca, Community
Outreach Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or
215.292.3290 to discuss ways to partner with Woman
Cradle of Abundance.
Report on Capital Campaign:
Contributors & Challenge
In January we announced a challenge: dollar-for-dollar match up to $10,000 for gifts received by June 30, 2016. To date we have $6110. Join us to make this big goal!
As promised, we are also listing the names of those who have contributed $1000 or more to the campaign (Oct. 2013-to date).
Amy Woods Brinkley
Christo Claassens & Karen Oleri
Christopher Barr & Trish Stanley
David & Susan Lidstone
Dick & Neena McGlaughlin
F. Carter & Joan Karins
Jason & Shari Oosting
Katherine Williams & Timothy Schaap
Kathryn L. Sutton
Matthew & Malini Ireland
Ray Huger & Beth McKee-Huger
Richard & Helene Rubin
Vasanth & Susan Victor
William S. Morris, III
Merck Matching Grant
Central Presbyterian Church of NYC
First Presbyterian Church of Evanston, IL
Frenchtown Presbyterian Church, NJ
Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, PA
Princeton United Methodist Church, NJ
Taiwanese American Presbyterian Fellowship, NJ
DRC Political & Economic Challenges & Consequences
The current political situation in the DR CONGO is increasingly unstable. President Joseph Kabila is trying to change the constitution so that he can run for a third term, or delay the elections scheduled for Nov. 2016. Opposition parties & candidates are struggling to hold the government to the schedule; there have been protests, unrest, & violence. The economic situation has been very adversely affected by both the political tensions & the unusually severe weather of the past months. Each year the global climate change has caused more havoc in the seasons in Congo. Particularly the heavy rains have destroyed property & caused trade to drop off; people cannot get to market to sell, they cannot afford to buy, yet prices (especially for imported goods) rise astronomically. Woman, Cradle of Abundance cannot sell its products; prices for materials to build the Women's Center continue to skyrocket.
New Partners/ New Ideas
It is such fun to welcome new partners! Are you a crafter who is looking for a place to
donate your fabric stash? Get it out of your way & on the way to bringing joy & hope to young women in Congo, says Crystal VanSise, our craft-creator. Thanks to her & all who have contributed! See "Crafters for Congo" on Facebook to get involved.
A generous friend has bought 3 new i-pads for the Uvira Internet Caf‚! This micro-loan project provides work for graduates (whom our partner Hands Across the Water has educated) & a service to the community. They were swamped with customers for the original 2 computers; with 3 new ones - how amazing!
Georgian Court University has opened its arms to Woman, Cradle of Abundance! Inspired by a visit from Elsie McKee in Nov. 2015, Dr. Evelyn Quinn & the WILD Women (Women in Leadership Development) & members of the community have welcomed a closer association with the work of Woman Cradle of Abundance.