Hello to all you Los Angelenos,
I thought I'd give you something to think about as this week comes to an end....maybe you can give me your 2 cents? You know that it's always appreciated.
Here we go.....
This semester, I'm taking a class where I have to make a presentation, something I've done a million and a half times already. Woo hoo, surprise surprise, I know. But this one happens to be very different. Main point: it's about getting a grant for a charity that's near and dear to my heart. This, my friends, is not your average class presentation with a rinky-dink PowerPoint presentation; it's about contributing to the greater-good.
I was confused when I received this assignment. With so many organizations out there, which one would I choose? And being a Los Angelena myself, it's easy to get in a war with my infinite list of to-do's. I decided to do some soul searching, which lead me to research an issue that I was a part of not too long ago.
It is estimated that just last year in 2009, 20,000+ women and girls were raped by militant forces. This number disgusts me and should disgust all women and men across borders. I'm still shocked. Here I am in this beautiful city and 9, 399 miles away, 50+ women and girls are getting raped on the daily. Although there are a zillion issues that have taken over this planet, this one has become personal for me.
V-Day was able to break ground in the building of their City of Joy, a transformational community and rehabilitation center within the region of Bukavu, just south of the main area of sexual violence, Kivu. Although this center is a brilliant idea, it can only treat 180 women a year, only .04% of the estimated rape victims. There's an effort being made, but people united work greater than a single individual can. Can you imagine 20 or 30 of these centers for rape victims in the DRC? A little bit of optimism/idealism never hurt anyone...I hope and pray this will be accomplished one day.
Living in Los Angeles, it's so easy to get caught up with traffic, work, school, family among an infinite list of things. But think how good you'll feel if you save at least one woman's/girl's life in the DRC. That extra hour in traffic won't matter anymore. I'm not asking you to buy a ticket to the Congo and save the world; I'm asking you to be a hometown hero in Los Angeles. Research an issue that's prevalent in society and to find at least one way to help out by the end of this week. Being a humanitarian, if only for an hour, is like chicken soup; It'll be good for your soul.
If you can't contribute financially, don't worry, just talk about it. There is nothing like enlightening a friend or family member with some startling information about a globally detrimental issue. The word will spread people, trust me, this is Los Angeles...We hate to be silent here.....
This week, ask yourself what you will shout out loud and stand for. The answer might surprise you.
Until next time Los Angelenos, stay classy and educate yourselves!