Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Photo by Caitlin Lezell

Caitlin Lezell, Journal Staff


Last Sunday saw the 35th annual Tufts Health Plan 10K Race for Women in the Boston Common. Over 7,000 female runners turned out to participate, all representing various organizations and causes. One team in particular had reached out toSuffolkUniversitystudents last week through a presentation at theSuffolkLawSchool. The team Run for Congo Women ran in an effort to raise money and awareness for the women of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, “benefiting Women for Women International’s Congo program.”



The Run for Congo Women, founded by Lisa Shannon, joined forces with Women for Women International to take part in the race. Pam Steel from Women for Women International spoke last week at Suffolk University to bring attention to her cause. The organization works to provide “financial aid, job training, rights awareness, [and] leadership education” for women and families across the globe in struggling areas. It works through sponsorship; one woman choosing to participate will get matched to a woman from one of such areas, and she will sponsor this other woman directly, learning her story and seeing how her money is going to be put to use to improve someone else’s life.



In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this help is desperately needed. According to Women for Women International, “more than 5.4 million people have died in conflicts since 1998. Half of these were under the age of five. Women are tortured and raped as a weapon of war.” The situation for women and children in this country is horrendous, and it is one that continues to worsen without much attention. This organization is working to change that.



Each woman had her own reason for participating in this race- whether she was a sponsor, knew somebody affected or simply wanted to raise awareness for the cause. Another influence to participants was a presentation by Zainab Salbi, the founder and CEO of Women for Women International.



The Run for Congo Women team was made up of over 50 female runners of all ages, and raised over $18,000 for its cause. While this run was meant to specifically raise awareness for the plight of the women in theCongo, this is not Women for Women International’s only focus. They currently sponsor women from eight countries across Africa, Asia, and Europe and, to date, they have impacted the lives of over 24,000 women.

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  • K

    Kerry BernardOct 14, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Thank you for being there, Caitlin, and for writing about our effort. The day was a huge success, and I’m looking forward to doing this same run again next year!

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