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mia farrow

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October 30, 2010

Congo- two beautiful drops in the bucket

Since 1994, in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo many hundreds of thousands of rapes -of women, little girls, boys; even babies have been raped. Some of the women and girls I spoke with had been gang raped, then penetrated with a bayonet after which the rapists used their rifle buts to pound their legs to pulp. The savagery of the assaults destroyed their insides leaving them incontinent and in constant pain. Some had been infected with HIV/AIDS and many were abandoned by their husbands and families.

I visited Heal Africa's Hospital in Goma, where the doctor was performing an average of six fistula surgeries per day. http://www.healafrica.org/
In the hospital I noticed a small room- on the door it said American Bar Association. In a region where impunity reigns, the ABA was pursuing the prosecution of perpetrators-twelve thus far in June of 2009. A drop in the bucket, but a glimmer of hope. As an American, and as a mother of two attorneys, I felt proud that in that tiny office, where the desk was almost the size of the room, members of the American Bar Assoc. were working hard.

Panzi Hospital in Bukavu is the other hospital qualified to help the victims. Next week, a group of six Mayo Clinic doctors and nurses will be traveling to the Congo to work with Dr. Denis Mukwege at Panzi Hospital performing surgeries, providing medical supplies and equipment. I hope more hospitals take their cure from this team at the Mayo.
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