Today's Christian Woman is proud to support One Million Thumbprints through an in-kind partnership. In an effort to help this campaign, we encourage TCW readers to consider this call.
Are you a blogger with a passion for social justice? Do you feel called to be involved in something much larger than yourself but you're not sure where to start? One Million Thumbprints (1MT) is looking for someone exactly like you.
At the beginning of March, 15 women (and 1 man!) of varying ages, stages, and professions from across America are converging at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania's "mountain of light." They will share in a daunting but exciting five-day journey through four climate zones, more than 38,000 steps, to summit at just over 19,000 feet on March 8, International Women’s Day.
And we need you to help get the word out about both the climb and the campaign. We are looking for 100 bloggers who will post on Tuesday, January 19, to help us announce the climb and vision and mission of 1MT. Will you join us and add your voice to ours?
Why Do We Need You?
1MT is a campaign seeking to catalyze a groundswell of people focused on overcoming the effects of war against women through storytelling, advocacy, and fundraising. The volunteer peacemakers of 1MT envision a world where women are free from the fear of violence, oppression, and poverty caused by war.
And this is where you come in. See that description? Storytelling. Advocacy. Envisioning. You are women who value and honor the power of story, of words. Write about why violence against women is unjust, or write about how your passion for foster care parallels the struggles of thousands of orphans that are being trafficked in these areas. Write about the impact that a global perspective has on temporal concerns. Whatever your angle is, however the Lord moves you, we need your voice.
For those who want a little help crafting a post on a topic that often seems too big to understand or discuss, please use the information below in whatever way you need to help spread the word about 1MT.
Why Are We Climbing?
Each climber has a slightly different answer to that question, but all have come because of one woman’s plea to “tell the world” about the violence she and her sisters in war zones have experienced and continue to experience. Three years ago, 1MT founder, Belinda Bauman, sat in the presence of several survivors of sexual violence in the DRC. One woman’s story, her petition, has since ignited a new movement of peacemakers.
Esperance, a woman from a small village in the Congo, watched her husband die at the hand of rebels. She was violently raped and would have died if her sisters hadn’t rescued her. Across a blank sheet of paper, Esperance, who cannot read or write, had her pastor write the words: “Tell the world.” Then she stamped her thumbprint underneath. Esperance's thumbprint became Belinda’s mandate: Violence against women in war is violence against me.
What Is the Campaign?
1MT is a grassroots campaign that is joining forces with companies like World Relief, Today’s Christian Woman, and WE International. 1MT seeks to aid women who’ve been affected by sexual violence in war zones in two specific ways: 1) Advocating the UN and other governing bodies to follow through on resolutions and laws passed to protect women in conflict zones, and 2) Partnering with and building the capacity of proven organizations already on the ground. These programs meet practical needs (food, clothing, shelter, rape kits, and trauma assistance), help stabilize communities (through training in negotiation and peacemaking), and provide sustainable long-term solutions (such as educational development, micro-savings and micro-finance, and refugee resettlement).
“I realized that no matter where violent conflict occurs, it has the capacity to destroy everything, from the tiniest baby to the infrastructure of an entire society,” said Lynne Hybels, one of the climbers on the upcoming trip and wife to Bill Hybels, the founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church.
1MT’s inaugural event, the Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb for Peace, is an effort to raise awareness and funding for programs on the ground in Syria/Iraq, the DRC, and South Sudan through our implementing partner, World Relief. If you haven’t gotten involved with the campaign yet, it’s not too late. You can donate your thumbprint (your voice) online, give a gift to the campaign, and share about this important event and cause on your own social media outlets.
Let’s stand together and do what Esperance asked: Tell the world that violence against women in war zones must end.
To learn more about the climb, read about Belinda's experience with Esperance, and check out Lynne's article on 1MT, "It's Cheaper to Rape a Woman than Waste a Bullet."
You can also support women in war zones by subscribing or giving the gift of TCW magazine in this special subscription offer for the 1MT campaign.