So things are moving quite quickly now. It is only about 10 days until myself and Dom fly out to the DRC and there is so much to do. As everyday flies by more and more interest grows in the run for Congo. I had a fantastic chat last night with the US think tank, Enough who do lots of great campaigning work on DRC issues in the US. Just this morning I’ve been chatting with an owner of a chocolate factory in the DRC – Original Beans. Absolutely brilliant organisation and well worth looking into.
I’m going to sending a post out later on to update you all on who will be going out to the DRC and what they will be doing.
So what’s the plan?
Aim to get to DRC between 11-12th August. During the trip I plan to journey up to the border between DRC and Rwanda, along Lake Kivu, visit the UN refugee camps and travel up to the frontline of the conflict and through the villages that have been decimated.
For the Marathon (currently planned for 18 August) I plan to run from Bakuvu. The Marathon will take in Panzi, where Women for Women International has a tile making factory (which provides employment for women who have been on one or our year long programmes) and Kavumu (where Women for Women have an agricultural group, co-ops and a culinary art group).
To coincide with the Marathon (probably around the 19th), Women for Women International will organise a short run with women who have been on their one year programme, local politicians and the media in Bakavu, where their main office is based.
Women for Women are also trying to organise a talk with a group of men from the Women for Women “Men’s Leadership Programme’. This programme is for male leaders whether in the army, police, religious or community leaders and aims to help men understand the impact upon women, their families and communities, when women are raped and brutalised. The Women for Women programme helps men to act as advocates for change to help prevent sexual violence and ensure women who report rape receive help through the justice system.
In terms of preparations it’ll be no different to the marathons before. I think the physical side of things will be pretty straight forward. The hard part I imagine will be from listening to the people of the congo when we run. I imagine that some of the stories will be playing strongly on my mind as I run.
I think there is a plan to have a car a couple of miles behind us in case we get into any trouble, and we will also start he race early on in the morning to avoid the heat and any possible troubles.
And there is the Iron man….