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HEAL Africa's Founders Conduct Nationwide Tour to Share Best Practices for Rebuilding Congo
Date:10/5/2009

SEATTLE, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The founders of HEAL Africa (www.healafrica.org), a nonprofit organization that provides holistic healing including urgent care medical services and community development support for the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo, are conducting a seven-city tour of the U.S. to share the work of HEAL Africa in the midst of the of war in Congo. HEAL Africa's approach to healing conflict has helped nearly 200,000 women and families recover from rape, poverty and illness, and trained over 90,000 in HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness. With thousands of supporters across the U.S. volunteering their time and resources through HEAL Africa, the founders are here to acknowledge the growing nationwide movement to help the war-torn country of Congo.

"Jo and Lyn Lusi are pioneers in shining light on the issues facing the Congo in the midst of war," said Judy Anderson, Executive Director of HEAL Africa. "This national tour will allow the Lusi's to meet with the volunteers who have supported HEAL Africa, and to share best practices with the hope that they will help these communities lighten many of their own social and health challenges."

Dr. Jo Lusi and Lyn Lusi will be visiting the following cities from September 22 through October 20:

  • San Francisco: October 1-October 3 - special fundraiser with partner International Pediatric Outreach Project, an organization that sends hundreds of SF-based volunteers to work in Congo
  • Minneapolis: October 3-October 5 - meetings with local supporters to give updates from the field in Congo
  • Chicago: October 5-October 7 - special meeting with longtime donor who has helped HEAL Africa be sustainable for over a decade
  • Syracuse University: October 7-October 9 - symposium on the atrocities occurring in Congo
  • New York City: October 9-October 13 - participation in Congo Week with special showing of the film LUMO with Q&A at Maysles Cinema
  • Miami: October 13-October 20 - special showing of the film LUMO

Congo has been called the "worst humanitarian disaster since World War II" by the International Rescue Committee. An estimated 5 million people have died due to the conflict since 1998, while an estimated 2 million(i) have been displaced from their homes without access to medical services, food or shelter. Recent visits to HEAL Africa by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon demonstrate the urgent need to raise global awareness of the systemized violence that is being used against civilians, especially women, and to witness the impact the organization is having on local communities.

By training health professionals, empowering social activists, and providing physical, spiritual and social healing to individuals and communities affected by the Congolese war, HEAL Africa has become one of three hospitals the government of Congo recommends to receive the best quality healthcare in a country of roughly 63 million. By providing hospital facilities and community development support, HEAL Africa addresses the root causes of illness and poverty for the people of eastern Congo. The organization's hospital and women's safe houses have provided a shelter for many of the country's war victims, and have been vehicles for combating poverty and promoting community cohesion over the past 14 years. Through their hospice program HEAL Africa has cared for roughly 5,000 individuals living with AIDS.

Statistics on the war in Congo:

  • Nearly 6 million people have been killed since 1996(ii)
  • Children account for nearly 47 percent of the deaths(iii)
  • Roughly 45,000 Congolese die each month(iv)
  • The war has had the most casualties since World War II(v)

About HEAL Africa

HEAL Africa is a nonprofit organization that provides holistic healing including urgent care medical services and community development support for the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. HEAL Africa's hospital and community development work address the root causes of illness and poverty for the people of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. To learn more, visit www.healafrica.org.

(i) http://tinyurl.com/ybw6ajh

(ii) http://tinyurl.com/5ejnaw

(iii) http://tinyurl.com/5ejnaw

(iv) http://tinyurl.com/5ejnaw

(v) http://tinyurl.com/5ejnaw

SOURCE HEAL Africa


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